Pacific Rim a brilliant beast of a film
PACIFIC RIM (PG13)
THERE are some films that seem to meld logic and incredible action sequences so effortlessly that you immerse yourself in their worlds, forgetting their imperfections and shortcomings. Pacific Rim is definitely one of those films.
It is so easy to dismiss this film as a paean to director Guillermo del Toro's fans; but the Mexican digs deep and delivers a visual spectacle that not only looks meticulously produced, but is also one that does not sacrifice plot for senseless explosions.
Pacific Rim takes place in a world where monsters called Kaiju emerge from the depths of the sea to wreak havoc.
Forced to adapt or die, humans choose the former and create machines called Jaegers that operate using the physical and mental prowess of two to three pilots in exoskeletons.
Enter Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam), a talented but traumatised pilot, who teams up with Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) under the tutelage of commanding officer Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) to try to destroy the "bridge" between the Kaijus' world and Earth.
Cool gadgetry and bada** Jaegers aside, the film deserves the most credit for its screenplay by del Toro and writer Travis Beacham.
While the film seems to draw inspiration from the likes of Godzilla and the Power Rangers, it sets itself apart by providing a concrete reason for the Kaiju invasions.
This is a smart move, considering that most of the monster-alien films we have seen only give possible theories for these beings' invasion of Earth.
Without giving too much away, the Kaijus' intention is explained in an ingenious manner.
What is perhaps the coolest aspect of the film is its realism, despite its fantastical elements. The heroic Jaegers are fallible and, yes, there are imperfections in the system.
What the movie has going for it is an element of suspense that is perhaps absent from similar films, because the Jaegers are not superheroes, but tools for survival against an impending apocalypse.
The ensemble of actors in the film elevates these moments, with Elba nailing his stereotypically-authoritarian role with gravitas. Hunnam and Kikuchi excel in their roles as two pilots with emotional baggage.
The true standout, however, is Ron Perlman, who hilariously showboats as Hannibal Chau, a black-market trader with whom the Jaeger programme crosses paths with.
Del Toro does action brilliantly and, in this film, his flair for visually-arresting sequences is on full display.
Although Pacific Rim wears its heart on its sleeve too often, this impressive beast of a film - with a groovy yet majestic score by Ramin Djawadi - towers over its blockbuster counterparts this summer.