Movie Review: Pacific Rim
SLIGHT SPOILER ALERTS **
The Jaegers-versus-kaiju epic movie, Pacific Rim opens officially, Friday, the 12th, but I went with some friends to see it tonight in IMAX 3D. Now understand, I am not going to throw around the Japanese jargon like geeks caught in the headlights of a game show where the clock is ticking. I will say this for this movie, it is everything that Transformers was not and it kicked the ass of every Godzilla movie I have every seen and the ones I have not. It knocked them all out of the park!
The audience was given a chance to connect and feel for the characters, even the minor characters. Even the stupid Bull Dog was used in a heart felt goodbye to a team member we all knew was probably going to die. Honestly though, I would have put my money on his father dieing in place of the son.
The screenplay writer, Travis Beacham, came up with the duel driven robots as a way to make this a story, not just about the robots verses the monsters, like so many giant monster movies in the past, but about the characters. I think he did an awesome job of centering the plot around the conflicts between the characters and how they had to overcome past baggage in order to succeed. In the end, it was the two characters with the most to overcome that saved the day. Mako was a scrappy lady who can dish up any man in hand-to-hand combat, and those who know me well, know how much I rooted for her and laughed my head off when she won the match.
But, as much as we can say that Raleigh and Mako, as love interests, saved the day; this movie had the same group effort success of Independence Day, from 1996. We mourned the loss of the characters we grew to care something for, and we whooped and patted those survivors on the back for coming out of this epic monster movie of gargantuan proportion, in one piece. And if you stayed long enough into the credits you may find that one character may have survived after all.
The fight scenes between monsters and robots were the most awesome pieces of work I have ever seen. The colors used to help the viewers pick out the monsters from their heroes, the robots, were well done. Even though there seemed to be an awful lot of raining going on when the monsters and robots were going in to battle. There were times when I wanted to reach out and clean off the water drops from the glasses of the geek scientist, Dr. Newton Geiszler. And seriously, NEWTON? Was the screenwriter being funny? Probably.
Now that said, I did have a few problems, because nothing can be perfect, even if you live for giant robots and huge monsters, totally killing each other.
I personally felt that the 3D work on this one was not up to par. Even when the people were standing still, I had a problem getting them to focus. Now, it could be that I am farsighted and the 3D effects were making the people and objects too close to me, but this is the first time I felt like running to the back of the theater in hopes of getting a clearer picture.
I don't think the director, Guillermo del Toro, had 3D in mind when he kept changing visual points of view of the camera. This constant refocus in 3D was very distracting to the story for me.
The other thing I really didn't like was the posters they sent home with us. It was in cartoon style when I would have really loved a poster like the picture I used for this review. Now, that would have been rad. But, free is Free.
Pacific Rim is well worth your time and money investment to see. By all means though, you REALLY must see this in the theater in order to get the full effect of these monsters stomping through the cities and destroying the buildings. And wait until you see what the robot's human operators decide to use to slap a monster upside the head. You may laugh like I did.