Monday, July 28, 2014

Pacific Rim Review

I don't always see movies in the theater.  I've been emotionally scarred too many times, plus I am paranoid and skeptical.  So I try to choose theatrical movies carefully, because I never want to give money to support something that sucks.  Of course there are no guarantees and my opinions are sometimes slightly askew of friends and critics.  So whether good or bad, my life is still often times filled with regret.

One such movie I did not see in the theater, was Guillermo del Toro's 2013 giant monster movie, Pacific Rim... but should I have?

Have you ever been a fan of Godzilla movies, or King Kong where ginormous monsters destroy your favorite major city... mostly  Tokyo or New York?  Have you ever been a fan of Gundam/Voltron/Transformers/giant mech suits?  Well, Guillermo apparently was, and he made this movie for fans of that genre.  I never have been, so I was not one of those eagerly leaping into the theater.  Sorry!  My nerdly tastes are more about spaceships, aliens, time travel or freakin' laser beams. 

Having said that, I can honestly say, Guillermo made a really fun movie!  I sort of wish I had seen this in the theater, because I think it's important we promote quality programming so maybe Hollowood would stop making so much crap (that is not a typo, as there are plenty of soulless hollow beings making our movies today).

The plot is not overly complicated, which is fine.  It just needed to tell the story, and be better written than most other crap in theaters today (i.e. every Transformers movie or anything written by David S. Goyer).  Pacific Rim drifts from being fun and silly, to unnecessarily sappy at times.  But don't worry too much about the sappy parts.  It isn't enough to take away from the ass kicking parts. 

The best thing this movie has going for it, is Guillermo del Toro.  This man knows how to make a good movie!  The action moves along nicely, with fight choreography you can see *gasp* what a concept! The creatures (aka Kaiju) and giant mech (aka Jaeger) were all unique and interesting enough, that merchandising alone should promote this movie for many years to come.

The acting by our likeable hero (Charlie Hunnam) was decent enough.  And you know I like Asian girls as much as the next American guy, but I felt the female lead, (played by Rinko Kikuchi) was just okay.  Maybe it was her hair that bothered me... but of course now I am being nitpicky.  

And all hail Charlie Day for playing the great nerdy scientist!  I was concerned that he would take me out of the movie and suddenly remind me that It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  But somehow, he made it work!  His scientist partner (played by Burn Gorman) helped make them a fun team to watch. 

I was also concerned the computer AI, voiced by Ellen McLain would remind me too much of GlaDOS from the extra awesome game Portal.  But with everything happening around those scenes, it was easy to think of her as a giant mech AI and not the type of AI eager to offer you cake, or kill you.

So if this is a genre you love, then shut off your brain for a couple hours and enjoy.  And maybe this time I should have listened to my friends and seen it in theaters.  ...HA!


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