Pacific Rim

Most of you must have caught Pacific Rim by now or have yet to watch because of mixed reviews for this movie. Finally its movie day for the hubster and I. Our choice was Pacific Rim at Cathay Cineplex @ eCurve. 

Colossal giant monsters versus over 10 storey tall huge mechanical robots? Really? Back then when we used to see a lot of these from our TV days of Japanese created serials. And now when its on the big screen, it is Hollywood's take. 

What's Pacific Rim? For me its the brilliant but underrated movie Guillermo del Toro wrote and directed. This science fiction action film is all about alien sea creatures that somehow created a portal to attack the surface of earth where we humans live. 

"Kaiju" as it is named by the Japanese was quite unstoppable at first. It took weeks to destroy these monsters who would stomp everything in sight. These monsters were so destructive that nations started to work together to build huge robots also knows as Jaegers to combat the giant sea creatures.

What we liked about Pacific Rim is the overall movie atmosphere. Love the complexity and texture details of the "Jaegers'. It pretty much kept us glued on the screen watching scene after scene as far as the monsters and robots were concerned. Certainly visually stunning that warranted a second watch as far as we were concerned. Totally unsurprised that many have rated Pacific Rim's CGI way above other highly successful alien robot movie franchise. After all it was the good works of Industrial Light Magic (ILM).

The human chemistry of Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Robert Kazinsky, Max Martini, and Ron Perlman in this movie is nicely pieced together. While most will recognise Ron Perlman, it was the characters Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) and Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) who stood out. Not many understood much Mako's character, unfortunately her character (being a Japanese actress) was dubbed by a better sounding female English voice for some regions. Perhaps they should have left Kikuchi's original voice intact for the movie.

Kikuchi's character is memorable. Her outer appearance in the film are blue and dark grey, with striking blue highlights on her hair. It was no coincidence that it was to remind herself when she was orphaned by Onibaba's attack on Tokyo. She carried that memory and had becomeso focussed under the wings of Stacker Pentecost (Elba). It was easy to dismiss her demure first impression but her character knows what she wants to and seek her chance to take revenge against those alien kaijus. 
Also notable actor was Elba's portrayal of the military head of the Jaeger programme who was also a strong leader and a mentor to Mako. The movie protagonist was Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam), who was a retired jaeger pilot when he lost his co pilot brother pilot in a kaiju attack.  Raleigh's service was then needed again when Pentecost approaches him to pilot 'Gipsy Danger' after the earth defence counsel felt that the Jaeger programme wasn't working and wanted to pull the plug on the programme.
Interestingly, the Jaegers were given interesting names: Gipsy Danger, Crimson Typhoon, Cherno Alpha, Striker Eureka or Coyote Tango. While it is easy to dismiss them as mere giant robots as so much as the those kaijus, they lend a important part to the story. For me, it was endearing to see Mako and Raleigh speak of the Jaeger with much love and treating it like an animated alive creature.

Pacific Rim is a movie worth a watch (or more). Its a movie that certainly stacks up much better in the long term over Bay's Transformer franchise. The hubster gives it 7/10 while I think it deserves a 8.5/10. 

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