Friday, July 12, 2013

Pacific Rim Review: Too Awesome for a Clever Title

That's it, everyone. Wrap it up. Shut it down.

Pacific Rim just made any other movies this summer completely pointless.

I had pretty high expectations going into Guillermo del Toro's new giant-robot-versus-giant-monster action epic. Heck, I was so excited for this movie that I was willing to turn my brain off and enjoy the spectacle if needed be. However, it turns out that Pacific Rim is a near-perfect example of how to put out a mind-blowing action movie that isn't afraid to throw some substance in with its style.

Suck it, Snyder. All of it. Suck everything.
For those reading who use Ad Blocker, Pacific Rim takes place in the near future, where a portal to another dimension has opened up in the ocean to transport into our world massive beasts called Kaiju (named after the Japanese genre films involving similar creatures). To retaliate, the countries of the world settled their childish differences and constructed equally large robot fighters called Jaegers (named after the Meister consumed to inspire their creation). Mechs of this scale require not one but two pilots to mush together their thoughts and memories and cooperate. These Gundams powered by friendship end up making things go boom, and crap gets punched like it's going out of style. Oh, and it's all really amazing.

Still, I remember calling it near-perfect. When it's all said and done, the story beyond the premise isn't going to win any Oscars. There are some great twists and subtle hints that illuminate the film's mythology, but most of the plot is what you've already seen in the trailers. And while I can't commend del Toro enough for his ambition with pushing a project like this to a major release, I'll admit he tries to maintain too many moving parts. There's classic American action, some sequences resembling anime, a romance subplot, and a few more elements. They don't all gel that well together, but this is by no means a deal-breaker.

Pacific Rim works best when it has its "full steam ahead" action on display. The Kaiju hit hard. The Jaegers hit harder. The punches have an incredible weight to them. The sheer scale of this movie still blows my mind. I can't emphasize enough that you should see Pacific Rim in anything but a standard theater. 3D, IMAX, or whatever else is fine. I saw the movie at a "Mega Screen" in St. Louis that uses elephants as units of measurement (must be a metric thing), and the experience was all the more incredible. Lastly, don't be worried that all the cool action sequences were given away in the trailers. Pacific Rim is more than willing to bring out some surprises.

And audible cheers from my section of the theater.
After the lights went up, I looked behind me and saw a kid, no older than ten. I was so jealous of him. I would have killed to see something like Pacific Rim when I was his age. I haven't felt such sheer childish excitement during a movie in I don't know how long. So it's with this closing paragraph that I have a request. Go see Pacific Rim. Bring a younger brother or sister or cousin. Go with your family. Just go. And remember, if Grown Ups 2 beats this at the box office, the terrorists win and it was your fault for not doing enough.

Until next time. I feel the deepest desire to buy a Gipsy Danger action figure. And no, I don't think that's weird.