Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Movie Week - Pacific Rim

via blurppy.com
I decided to pair Pacific Rim with Red State, since both films are by directors with pretty rabid fan bases.  Kevin Smith has fans who sing his praises and Guillermo del Toro’s fans are equally loyal. 

I’d also been curious to check out Pacific Rim because I like when directors try something new.  Del Toro strikes me as one of those directors who is always trying to push the boundaries and makes movies worthy of the big screen experience. 

Would Pacific Rim live up to the buzz? 

Well to answer that you’ve really got to clarify which buzz is being referred to.  The initial hype was that it was going to be a blockbuster movie that would become a franchise.  But then when it started tracking, it tracked below expectations, which became a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. 

I was curious about Pacific Rim, because del Toro is one of those directors that I generally trust.  Even though I grew up with Voltron and Robotech, I’m not the biggest fan of giant robots or giant monsters.  But again I have faith in del Toro. 

Pacific Rim has a lot of things going for it.  First off it’s got a bold, big screen story to tell.  It’s about giant robots fighting giant monsters.  It’s a sci-fi movie and a monster movie and an action movie all rolled up into one. 

It’s also got a great cast and everyone plays their roles well.  Idris Elba plays the stern taskmaster and Charlie Hunnam plays the rebel.  And even Charlie Day plays his supporting role well.  And Rinko Kikuchi really impressed me with the journey that her character had to go on. 

The action sequences are pretty awesome.  Seeing the Jaegers run and fight was absolutely thrilling.  And the Kaijus looked weird enough to be other-worldly.  The special effects were perfectly done and incredibly fluid. 

Unfortunately Pacific Rim also has it’s share of flaws.  While I got the whole newsreel aesthetic of the opening sequence, the black and white footage almost immediately struck me as absurd.  Also, Geiszler and Gottlieb’s are practically slapstick in their interactions.  They’re on like 9, when they should be 4. 

In fact there are times when Charlie Day’s Geiszler feels like he’s part of a completely different movie.  The tonal shift is way too jarring.  And of course Hunnam’s American accent is just painful. 

Pacific Rim is so close to being the movie that it wants to be.  All of the components are just slightly off.  It does a really good job of melding the mythos of the Jaegers and Kaijus and the crafting of the world.  But it just comes up ever so short. 

It’s still worth watching and it’s enjoyable.  While it's certainly got more good than bad Pacific Rim just slightly misses the target that it’s aiming for. 

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