Pacific Rim is the latest film by Guillermo Del Toro and it’s certainly his biggest budgeted film to date. It comes off him walking off The Hobbit and a failed Lovecraft adaptation and it’s his first film since Hellboy 2. The film underperformed in the USA but seems to have done much better overseas so a sequel is probably coming. It’s the only summer blockbuster I bothered with and I’m glad I did.
In 2013 the world comes under attack from Kaijus (Japanese for giant monsters) who come though an interdimensional portal from the ocean’s floor. The world teams together and they build Jaegers, which are giant humanoid robots. It works for a while but the Kaijus just keep coming. They Pacific Rim governments decide to end the program infavour of building coastal walls to protect humanity that is in vain obviously. The leader of the Jaegers Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) devises a plan to destroy the portal with a nuclear weapon.
Stacker approaches the retired Jaeger pilot Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) to pilot the Jaeger to carry out the plan and he eventually agrees. The Jaeger needs 2 pilots for each hemisphere of the brain because it takes too much mental power for just one to do it single handily. Raleigh and Stacker test out candidates and eventually they decide on Stacker’s prodigy Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) to be his co-pilot and make that final push.
The film is consistently being compared to Transformers due to the giant robots. It’s however much more than some incoherent mess of a blockbuster. Guillermo Del Toro is first and foremost a fantasist in the vein of Terry Gilliam and like Gilliam he has a stunning eye for detail. Del Toro also loves the Japanese Kaiju films which it takes it’s inspiration from obviously cause he grew up watching them as a child.
The film’s leads are perfectly fine and Elba is especially good but he is just a really solid actor. The film’s most interesting characters are it’s supporting ones especially Ron Perlman as Hannibal Chao a black market hustler who sells organs from the Kaijus. Perlman drew his inspiration from Burt Lancaster’s performance in Elmer Gantry for his performance. Charlie Day as Dr. Newton Geiszler and Burn Gorman as Dr. Hermann Gottlieb remind me of Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo and I’m not the only person who has drew that comparison.
Pacific Rim naturally has every inch of its 180 million dollar budget on screen despite what some other reviews have said. Its attention to detail is breath taking and like the new Gravity it’s one of the few films that the 3D works well. It’s never reaches the artistic levels of his Spanish language work like Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone or his half person/half commercial Hellboy films. It’s a very fun ride that should bring out your inter 10 year old.
BD/DVD Release Date:
11th November 2013 (UK)
Guillermo Del Toro
Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Charlie Day, Rinko Kikuchi, Ron Perlman