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Submitted on
August 5, 2013


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Ah, yeah, Guillermo Del Toro. To me, his name was always connected to Pan's Labyrinth, being the  first Del Toro-movie i ever watched and which was indeed pretty impressive. It was later then when i realised that he also caused Hellboy and other things that would seem unlikely at first but – whatever; this guy got my interest after all and thus it was just a matter of fact that my ears would go all alert when there was news about Pacific Rim. (but before i start the babbling: why even talk about that at all? Well, because i simply love movies. And cinema. And i just watched it. And because i enjoy sharing thoughts. Duh.)

So, what's the story.
Somewhen in the near future giant alien creatures emerge from a breach within the depths of the pacific and overrun the coasts. Thus, humanity adapts to the new danger and creates giant robots called Jäger, driven by two humane pilots to fight these critters. The story is introduced by ex-pilot Raleigh Becket off screen and even though the audience gets a whole bunch of background and information within the first five minutes there still is yet enough to come...

What really caught my interest for Pacific Rim in particular was not the director's name but that one certain similarity that everyone else seems to bring up and i won't lie that i just thought the exact same as soon as i saw the trailer for the first time:
„Da Fuaq. Is this supposed to be Neon Genesis Evangelion in American Hollywood Style or what."
Now, being a great admirer of NGE my feelings about this were of course kind of so-so. At the end, it was clear that i would have to watch it myself to get a final opinion of it.  

And at first glance the comparisons actually seem indeed significant and justified. Yes, we have giant alien monsters who attack mankind (here, they are called Kaijūs instead of Angels and unlike the abstract, often unexpected appearances of the NGE creatures the Pacific Rim-critters just appear as „classic monsters"). Yes, we have giant robots/mechas to fight these alien monsters. Yes, these mechas are neurologically linked and driven from the inside by pilots (of course not children but adults and not one but a two-pilot team for one robot this time). Shiver me timbers, we even have the usage of Japanese and German terms to name things („Kaijū" (Japanese for weird creature) for the monsters and „Jäger" (German for hunter) to describe the machines) and I remember NGE being especially fond of German portions here and there (Nerv, Seele, Asuka herself, etc) for whatever reason.

And YET, i surprisingly don't find myself joining or continuing the NGE/Pacific Rim-comparison rampage (and i really thought, i would) – because despite these similarities that i mentioned above, both NGE and Pacific Rim eventually turn out to be totally different things. I mean, sure, there are of course similarities but they're really just superficial since Del Toro came up with so many cool and own ideas that any further comparison appears plain forced to me. He also stated that he heard of Evangelion but never watched it and his screenwriter loved Evangelion but actually wrote most of Pacific Rim before he saw it. That said, why continuing to bother anyway? So far, my two cents about the NGE-plagiarism thing.

But, does this still classify Pacific Rim as a good movie?

If I had to describe Pacific Rim with one term it would be the following: Cinema flick. Because that's exactly what it is; a movie that works best when it can show off its mere size and thus is perfect for cinema. The bigger the screen the better and impressive, the louder the stereo the more badass it will be – because the size of this movie is huge, the scenes are epic, the visuals are spectacular. We have giant monsters and mechas, cities getting destroyed, explosions, oceanic combats, fire, things flying around, bombs, etc. - long story short, this is a wet dream for blockbuster-popcorn-actionfans. Which is also is the second term that i can give for this movie: Blockbuster-Popcorn-Action flick. Therefore something that is perfect for leaning back with friends, beer, some chips, turning off yer brains, simply enjoying some pure entertainment and partying all the effects and monsters that smash each others faces. With likeable characters and a decent story but nothing too deep or qualified to give you serious food for thought. There's nothing bad about that since even i sometimes feel the need to just „turn off" and lay back to celebrate some Roland Emmerich-disaster-shit from time to time and i love it. The trailer of Pacific Rim gave me an impression of what the movie would be like and i got exactly what i wanted – Blockbuster-Popcorn-Action. Rad.

And yet, that's also all about it. A movie which works best in cinema but will loose a LOT of its size when it's released on Blu-Ray and DVD for home entertainment (i just remember experiencing that with Clash Of The Titans for example. The flick itself was stupid, no word about that but i remember that i was indeed impressed by the mere scale of Kronos and the other creatures on big cinema screen. Later then, i watched it at home and everything of that was gone. Or perhaps, i just need a bigger TV).
The problem is: If nothing else than cinema epicness is left, a movie like that can drift into tediousness very fast. Even faster when you don't have a big screen. That is an issue that most Blockbuster-Popcorn-Action flicks suffer from, so they always do better when they have more than explosions and action to bid and lean themselves a little more out of their pure genre purposes.

And Pacific Rim, well....doesn't. The story is okay, but not too much of a hit or brainfucker. Many cool ideas, but most of them only vaguely addressed. And of course there had to be a bunch of clichés to underline the mediocrity (gawd, they even had to include the ever popular speech full of pathos about how „we won't get defeated and die today!"). Thank God they at least left out any romance which would be one of the good things that i really appreciate.

The main characters are mostly okay but also kind of bland and forgettable. Charlie Hunnam does a decent job on his character (your average traumatised tough guy) and so do the others but there really is nothing that much to pull off. I have to say, though, that i was honestly happy and delighted to see Rinko Kikuchi in this one (named „Mako" - another plus!). I knew Kikuchi from Brothers Bloom and totally digged her performance as Bang Bang so that was a nice and unexpected reencounter. Not to mention that i found her absolutely sexy in that fighting scene, where Becket decides her to be the perfect co-pilot. No seriously, that was a feast for the eyes. Yummy.
Mentioning the good stuff, i also might just add on a side note that the soundtrack wasn't that bad either. The main theme actually had a pretty catchy tune. Ramin Djawadi already proved with his work for Iron Man that he has a knack for epic „Stadion Soundtrack" music.

Back to characters again: If there are other characters that need to be mentioned – it has to be that scientific sidekick duo. By GOD, did i find these two douchebags annoying. One of them a hyperactive self-proclaimed „Kaijū-Groupie" (like...what the actual FUCK), the other one an apparent German guy, just as unnerving, just as awkward: and with the most cliché German haircut – seriously, WHAT. You place the events in the future and the best thing you can come up with is giving the German guy a doodlyfucking Nazi haircut. Idiocy overload. Can't handle.
Honestly, the whole time i was so hoping that these twits get eaten or smashed or something - and that should never be a good sign.

But, all the rambling aside and leading this thing to an end, what can i eventually say about Pacific Rim. Is it bad? Not necessarily. It is a GREAT „action flick", a GREAT „cinema flick", definitely a must watch if you're a fan of this genre and i assume that especially younger generations will totally dig that one (in fact, i believe that i for myself would have loved and watched Pacific Rim hundred times in a row when i`d be Twelve); but overall it is just a mediocre „general flick" and it can't hold up against other movies that are generally good.

So, if you love classical „monsters destroying cities"-movies like Godzilla and the like, if you just want to have action and celebrate the epic scale of big things that explode, if you're in need of some eye candy and visual effect CGI-orgasms and search for light entertainment – i would totally give it a go. If you already thought something like „God, no" when watching the trailer, you better skip it and wouldn't even miss anything.
  • Mood: Daily Needs
  • Listening to: Journey - Who's Crying Now
  • Reading: On Aggression (Konrad Lorenz)
  • Playing: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DS
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CapedFox Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
i like the kaiju groupie :P 
AwesomeTheAmazing Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Hobbyist
HOW DID THAT SHIP NOT BREAK. And now I will read what you've written....!. :lol:
AngHuiQing Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013  Student General Artist
I saw big things fighting each other when I first heard of it and was like god no not again. And I really didn't want to watch it because I tried it with Transformers 3 before and hated it because I cannot on any actual level connect with the characters. But then I see some people talking about things other than the big things fighting so I went to watch it and then absolutely loved it. It has some cliches and it's pretty predictable but it was a wonderful surprise for me because I thought I might dislike it. And I am a sucker for "humanity will triumph" themes. Plus the characters, in my opinion, are very well thought out for a film like this. I especially loved Mako (like thank god a female character in a movie with big things that is actually competent). And the science duo made me happy because I kinda understand the love for weird unexpected things (though Newt's enthusiasm disturbed me a little at first because those are kaijus they will kill you, but they did mention the "fangroups" so). Aah, I didn't want to say so much but it was just a very pleasant surprise for me. But I always found that I am quite easy to please despite being quite selective (certainly helped that I just watched the abysmal Sea of Monsters hours before I suppose). Last thing I wanna say is that oh my god the soundtrack. Ramin (he did the Game of Thrones theme too!) is absoluately fantastic again and I've added him to my list of composers to look out for along with Hans Zimmer (who is my absolute favorite).
VoidQueenElishiva Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Professional General Artist
I personally love things that explode, so I really enjoyed this movie. It was like Power Rangers X 20 million, where people actually noticed that giant robots and monsters were destroying their cities. But I'll agree, as far as plot goes... not a whole lot there.
Vailwolf Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist
I agree with one critic that said it was 45 minutes of awesome mixed into 90 minutes of yawnsome. 

Lets face it, no one goes to see this for the story or acting, it's all about the fighting scenes. They were amazingly well done and fun to watch but the main characters were cliche and I personally believe the main guy is a laughably bad actor. 

I personally give it a 3/5
Culpeo-Fox Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Professional General Artist
3/5 was just my verdict, actually.
Vailwolf Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist
We agree then. ^.^
SpaceHunt Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Student Artist
Anyway, there is nothing more epic in this world than animatic trailer from My little pony season 4.
marianus Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I wanted to watch the movie since I saw the trailer in youtube. So I got tickets for 3D - OV - IMAX and it was great!
Yes, the story is... .well, neither the newest nor the brightest but it was ok.

I simply loved the animations in the fights, the sheer mass of machine and monster in the water and it felt correct. Something that got often wrong in water fights.

What I disliked were two points.

1 - the scientists were too.... nerdy. Too clichee. I'd prefered honest scientist, real scientists, not a logic geek like a cloned Spock (did anyone else see that similarity because of the haircut?) and a kaiju groupie.
2 - the made THAT big audience for the other teams and then... BAMM! That got two lines and then were dead. I so  had hope to see more of the russians and the chinese teams, they had a great design concept.

Oh, point 3:
Sorry, but I couldn't share the feeling of the loss between father and son since sonny (wtf, what was his name?) was too anti.

Oh, and point 4:
I got some real problems to tell the difference between the main character and the son of the other team. The looked too much alike.

All in all - still much nicer than Man of Steel for my personal taste and I don't regret a second. :)
Viergacht Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Professional General Artist
It actually reminded me a LOT of a 4-book comic series by Dan Brereton called "Giantkiller". The premise has a wormhole to another dimension opening up in a volcano. A bunch of giant monsters dubbed kaiju escape from it, and the landscape surrounding the interdimensional rift is rendered toxic to humans. Conventional military methods are useless against the kaiju, which seem to have an instinctive drive to fight each other and destroy things. The main difference is that instead of mecha, the gov't turns to genetic engineering. The first attempt enhances humans with kaiju DNA - the only survivor of this program is a former FBI agent, Jill, who can survive the toxic kaiju-infested land but has gone AWOL and now harvests monster flesh from kills and sells them to black market dealers (sound familiar?). The second attempt is Jack, a human-kaiju hybrid grown from scratch and educated as a sort of modern samurai.

The parallels are very striking, to the point of being suspicious. 
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