Guillermo Del Toro has, first and foremost, been a visual director. Be it Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy or Hellboy 2 his level of visual flair is unsurpassed. More than that as evident from Pan’s Labyrinth, he’s also equally skillful in storytelling. Believe me Pan’s Labyrinth is as twisted a simple fairytale can get. But he’s had his fair share of hit and misses as well *cough* Dont be Afraid of the Dark *cough*. You know he’s a good director when Peter Jackson himself chose Guilermo for directing The Hobbit trilogy. Unfortunately The Hobbit landed back in the hands of its own foster father than a step-dad. Its been 5 years since Guilermo’s directed a movie. People thought he’d make a comeback with Hellboy but what came a surprise was Pacific Rim. First Look at its previews made me think “oh yea, another Transformers clone” but I was direly wrong. Pacific Rim is more than Michael Bay’s Transformers, more than just an homage to Robots Vs Monsters movies as well.
Pacific Rim is a nothing but glorified Power Rangers for adults movie, but it nevertheless entertain you. Basically its human-built giant robots, Jaegars, against giant alien monsters, Kaiju. What ensures is a huge huge robot on monster action with some drama sprinkled over the top. Pacific Rim, as soon as it starts puts you in the thick of action and clocking in at 132 minutes there was never a boring sequence. The writing was exactly what you’d expect in this genre. The lines were forced and at times very very cliched but admit it you were neither in for performances or a plot…you were in for giant monsters vs giant robots and u get served pretty damn well and hot. The Drift was an interesting mechanic that serves as the backbone for the movie. Was a bit let down when other Jaegars didn’t get enough screen-time as Gypsy Danger. Would have died to see the Russian one go a bit more. Most of the Kaiju encounters takes place at night and watching the movie in 3D felt a bit tedious as it was super dark I would have loved it if there was at least one head to head Kaiju fight in broad daylight. Then again the fight sequences were insanely detailed much much more than Transformers where we could only see blurs and metal scraps. Here in Pacific Rim each punch, each blow the Kaiju and Jaegers delivered was felt with equal force.
Pacific Rim doesn’t have a star-studded cast and it doesn’t need one when the the plot is focussed on Jaegars and Kaijus. Idris Elba had always stood out be it whatever roles he was in. He plays Stacker Pentecost and his sheer flamboyance does an amazing job here as well. I was particularly impressed with his “Do not let my calm demeanour fool you, ranger!” line. Rinko Kikuchi, as Mako Mari was good. I’d loved her in The Brothers Bloom where she delivered a solid performance without uttering a word. Her backstory here was touching, have to give kudos to the kid who played little Mako as well. It struck to me as vaguely similar to the Kim Phuc photo during the Viatnamese War. Comic relief by Charlie Day and Burn Gorman were good, it sometimes felt as cheesy but it was integral in this genre of movies. Guilermo’s favorite Ron Perlman does a short role by name Hannibal Chau serving some chuckles. I was disappointed with the inadequate performance from the lead, Charlie Hunnam. Ofcourse I’ve heard people saying his resemblance with Tron Legacy‘s Sam Flynn but thats just where the resemblances end. I just couldn’t buy into his performance.
Ofcourse the real stars of Pacific Rim were the Jaegars and Kaiju and both were exquisitely detailed. Guillermo was never a stranger to monster designs, evident from some of the Hellboy and Pan Labyrinth monsters designed by himself.The Kaiju felt like intimidating hulking beasts of pure destruction and chaos and most of them modeled on monsterized versions of a shark, a gorilla etc. Loved them.
Ramin Djawadi’s score is pure spellbinding. I need not give an example more than Game of Throne‘s booming score. He does his magic again here with Pacific Rim. His score with the awesome visuals is enough to induce goosebumps. It leaves us in awe and beckons to be heard again and again. Tracks like ‘Pacific Rim‘ and ‘Gipsy Danger‘ is pure awesomeness.
Pacific Rim is undoubtedly flawed in writing, performances and plot but it what it lacks there, it makes up with style, action and thrills. Pacific Rim isn’t even close to Guillermo’s Pan’s Labyrinth or Hellboy in terms of storytelling but it excites you and it does give you an adrenaline rush watching the action packed fights and its more than any fanboy could ask for. Summer movies cant get any BIGGER than this. Go watch it at the movies now!