12 July 2013

Film Reviews - Pacific Rim

Saw Pacific Rim today in 3D

Certificate – 12A
Running time – 132 minutes
Scene after the credits – After the first set of credits showing off the CG designs

Cast –
Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh Becket
Idris Elba as Stacker Pentecost
Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori
Robert Kazinsky as Chuck Hansen

The plot

The film is set in the 2020s, when Earth is under attack by Kaiju, colossal monsters which have emerged from a portal on the ocean floor.

To combat the monsters, humanity unites to create the 
Jaegers: gigantic humanoid mecha, each controlled by two pilots whose minds are joined by a neural bridge. 

What's right with it?

First of all it dives right in with the first fifteen minutes explaining the world and it just throws awesome fight scenes at you straight from the start while pulling you into the story. Hands down it's one of the best opening parts to a movie I've seen in ages

The designs are some of the best I've seen for both sides. I've been a fan of Mecha/Monsters for years and each one not only looks unique but the mechas especially have their own character to them from the way they are designed and which country built them.

The 3D is also the best use of it I've seen since Avatar. Guillermo Del Toro was hands on every step of the way rather than handing it off to a seperate studio and it really shows. I'm not one to recommend a film in 3D usually

What's wrong with it?

It did feel like it dragged a bit with the story when the humans were out of the mecha.

It is incredibly cheesy at some points. Not too much to bother fans of the director but they can seem a bit weird to the average casual viewer, even in a film with this content

One of the researchers of the Kaiju was extremely annoying. It just seemed like he wanted to shout all of his lines, a lot of them being the cheesy points mentioned above

Best Scene?

Suiting up

Best Quote?

Raleigh Becket:   The first kaiju made land in San Francisco, the second attack hit Manilla, then the third hit Cabo.   Then we learned… this was not going to stop.

Bonus Trivia

The computer is voiced by Ellen McLain. She is also the voice of GLaDOS, the AI from Portal and Portal 2

Guillermo del Toro was inspired by the anime and tokusatu of his youth. He specifically cites Tetsujin-28 as a major influence. Despite this, he wanted to avoid referencing other works of fiction in the design of the robots and monsters. 

"Jaeger" is the German word for hunter.

"Kaiju" is a Japanese word that literally translates to 'strange beast.' It is usually used to refer to giant monsters from Japanese science fiction films, such as Godzilla. 

A life-sized version of the robot cockpit was built on a soundstage at Pinewood Studios in Toronto. It weighed about 20 tons, and stood nearly four stories high. It was built on a gigantic hydraulic gimbal, which would move, shake, vibrate, drop, and rock the entire set as if it were actually being piloted. A smaller version was also built with a smaller gimbal, allowing for different movements. The VFX team used some of the Conn-pod footage for reference while animating the robots. The set was also redressed to depict the interior of each robot differently. 

Gipsy Danger is painted and detailed to resemble a World War II fighter plane. There is nose art on its chest. 

Guillermo del Toro drew inspiration from paintings, including Francisco Goya's "The Colossus" and Hokusai's "The Great Wave off Kanagawa." 

Final Thoughts

As a casual viewer if you've ever enjoyed an episode of Power Rangers or Godzilla (and Godzuuuuuuuuki) you'll love this.

If you're a fan of the mecha and kaiju genre's then you will be squeeing all the way through and notice a lot of story points, characters and poses all pulled lovingly from various sources while at the same time creating a film in of itself

Go see it in 3D!!!

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