PACIFIC RIM: A REVIEW

So three guys walk into a bar, Tomoyuki Tanaka, who is the creator of Godzilla if you never knew, the other is Mr Hasbro or for the sake of films lets call him Michael Bay – Mr Transformers movies – and the third is Jeff Goldblum who was in a little film called Independence Day. These guys get royally sloshed and start arguing about who’s film’s are better – Tanaka created the most famous character and starts spilling his sake, Michael Bay claims his Transformers could easily defeat his monsters and starts immediately planning how he can blow Tanaka up and film it from twenty angles and good old Goldblum, ever the man trying to avoid chaos theory has a solution – “let me ring my mate Guillermo and we will see”. And there you have it – I present Pacific Rim. The end.

 

Guillermo del Toro's PACIFIC RIM starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and Rinko Kikuchi
Guillermo del Toro’s PACIFIC RIM starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and Rinko Kikuchi

 

Ok ok, not quite, we all know I like to babble. Guillermo del Toro is a phenomenal producer with an eye for the unusual and specialising in horror but as a director he takes his visual flair, sense for the different and turns them into wonder. He has brought us the odd Hellboy series, number three is on the way and one of my faves, Pan’s Labyrinth. In Pacific Rim he delivers an homage film that is a pastiche of not only Godzilla, Transformers and Independence Day but also of the 90’s and 00’s action films. It so reminded me of Godzilla from 1998. And then of Independence Day from 1996 in the style of the film. It is not ashamed of what it is, a B grade sci fi action film that never once deviates from its path to pretend to be anything else. It’s a damn fine boy film of big toys fighting big monsters and “booyaaaa” hits on an epic scale.

 

Guillermo del Toro's PACIFIC RIM starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and Rinko Kikuchi
Guillermo del Toro’s PACIFIC RIM starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and Rinko Kikuchi

 

How is it like Godzilla? Well this one is obvious, giant monsters terrorising cities, also the Asian feel of the film. It gives it that slightly otherworldly feel. I also have to say yay to the addition of localised scenes for each country – so while we got to see abundant bits of Sydney and Australia ripped up – from what I read this is different in every country with a few localised scenes added. How is it like Transformers? Well derr – the giant robots. This is one of the highlights of the film, how Del Toro came up with this entire universe around the giant robots is actually believable and just visually stunning, I want to be a Jaeger (German for Hunter) pilot. The costumes that are worn and the way they are connected to the robots is just amazing, and Charlie Hunnam in those costumes – Oh My God.

 

Guillermo del Toro's PACIFIC RIM starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and Rinko Kikuchi
Guillermo del Toro’s PACIFIC RIM starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and Rinko Kikuchi

 

And how is it like Independence Day? Pure 90s cheese factor. This is entirely unlike Del Toro but the thing is he will get away with it – yes, it is patriotic but it is not American patriotic, it is world patriotic. The world has come together in this film to conquer a foe and nothing else matters. This is why the cheesy speeches that sound a lot like the President in Independence Day will be overlooked. Also the Aliens, at the end, have a striking resemblence to the Independence Day ones and the ending has that moment of Stargate. What cannot be forgiven though are the accent shenanigans of this film. Firstly, Hunnam, he is an English man, I mean a proper Londonman – but he only acts in American shows of late and has the U.S. accent down pat. He talks exactly like Jacks (S.O.A.) in this one and I don’t care – he can vomit and talk with fart noises and I will allow it but he does fine, but then Idris Elba (who’s character was originally going to be played by Tom Cruise – THANKS TO THE ALIENS FOR THIS ONE NOT HAPPENING) has an accent that changes in the start of the film, I can forgive that, but honestly, I can never forgive the father son team of Herc and Chuck Hansen (played by Robert Kazinsky and Max Martini) – DEAR FILM MAKING WORLD – YOU NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER DO AUSTRALIAN ACCENTS BY NON AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE – I REPEAT EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unforgivable.

 

Guillermo del Toro's PACIFIC RIM starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and Rinko Kikuchi
Guillermo del Toro’s PACIFIC RIM starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and Rinko Kikuchi

 

Now, the acting, and this is all accents aside. Hunnam is superb, he should be leading many more films. He is sex on feet with talent. He has a cult following from the gay world for Queer as Folk, has fans that will kill for him in Sons of Anarchy, be it gay or straight fans, everybody loves Jacks. And onscreen he owns the camera. More Hunnam films please people. He made the film for me. You may have noticed I am a bit of a fan :). Then there was Idris Elba, m’eh, he was OK – it is a patriotic military leader role and while cheesy most of the time this is what was required for the part. I LOVE Rinko Kikuchi and would love to see her in much more. Her and Hunnam made a good pair. The other Jaeger pilots are all ok. I can just forgive Charlie Day for his over the top comic relief role, and only because I love him. What I detested was Burn Gorman (probably best known for Torchwood) but this scientist character is so ridiculous I just wanted to punch him. I understand Gotlieb and Dr Netwon Geiszler (Gorman and Day) were meant to be a comic duo but to me they were so over the top it was bordering on embarrassing. Kids will love them. And finally there is Ron Perlman, a favourite of Del Toros, and evil backstabbing asshole step father of Jacks (Hunnam in S.O.A.). He just has some over the top fun which is very Del Toro ala Hellboy and oddball. It was quite predictable what happens with him but he still has a ball and is quite laugh worthy.

 

 

Guillermo del Toro's PACIFIC RIM starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and Rinko Kikuchi
Guillermo del Toro’s PACIFIC RIM starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and Rinko Kikuchi

 

One thing I did not understand, the title. Why Pacific Rim? I may have missed the explanation – I would have thought “The Drift” would have been more suitable. Or just Monsters V Robots. OK – with thanks to Wiki: The Pacific Rim refers to places around the edge of the Pacific Ocean. The term “Pacific Basin” includes the Pacific Rim and islands in the Pacific Ocean. OK then this is where the portal was located.

The CGI and action of this film is out of control, I mean head exploding out of control that will make Michael Bay cream himself. Del Toro delivers better than Bay and while it lacks the personality of Iron Man, this Iron Giant film has way bigger balls of steel. Just look at Hunnam’s cod piece 🙂 I highly recommend this one in full 3D in the biggest loudest cinema you can find. You want your ears bleeding for this one. This fine piece of Jacks taking on rampaging sons of anarchist robots and monsters commences this Thursday 11th July 2013 and I cannot recommend it enough, so get your large combo and don’t get caught putting your feet up and get thee to a cinema stat!

 

SALTY’S POP SCORE:

4 Pops

 

KERNEL DARA’S POP SCORE:

3 and a Half Pops

 

KERNEL BEN’S POP SCORE:

3 Pops

 

KERNEL ANDREW’S POP SCORE:

3 and a Half Pops