|Pacific Rim (2013)|
|Rating: 7.0/10 (309,826 votes)
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Writer: Travis Beacham (screenplay), Guillermo del Toro (screenplay), Travis Beacham (story)
Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Diego Klattenhoff, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi
Runtime: 132 min
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
|Plot: As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.|
Why do I feel the need to write about a popcorn action movie from 2013? Because, in internet parlance, this movie gives me the feels!
After seeing the trailer, I only went to see it because friends of mine wanted to, expecting some trashy robot-on-monster fights and no depth whatsoever. I ended up enjoying it so much I went to see it again, and have since then easily watched it 20 times or more. I love it as much as Avengers, and that’s saying something (not quite as much as Winter Soldier, but that’s because I’m obsessed – my Bucky Barnes feels know no bounds *g*).
Thing is, I should have expected this – the movie was helmed by Guillermo del Toro, after all, whose Pan’s Labyrinth is gorgeous and amazing. The world building is ace, and the characters are pretty much wonderful, subverting a lot of the common tropes that plague many typical blockbuster movies: There’s our hero, seemingly the standard-issue blonde American jock, who’s dealing with emotional trauma like an actual grown-up (making him attractive to me in the same way Steve Rogers is). The female protagonist, who’s not only Japanese (while adopted by a black Brit, Mako Mori definitely retains her cultural identity) but also defies stereotypes, not once falling into the simple mould of love interest or eye-candy. Actually, there is no romantic subplot whatsoever (a conscious choice by del Toro, for which he deserves all the highfives), the focus being on how bonds of family and friendship can literally cancel the apocalypse. Also, neither is the main story set in the US nor is the world rescued by Americans swooping in à la Independence Day – the Ranger program is a truly international venture. And needless to say it’s beautifully filmed, with great attention to detail and amazing special effects.
If there’s one obvious negative it’s the glaring lack of female characters other than Mako. The only other woman I can remember clearly is the Russian Jaeger pilot, and while she’s heroic and the glimpses we get of her are intriguing, she’s barely more than part of the scenery. It would have been easy to cast a female actor as one of the scientists or even one of the Hansens, the Australian father-and-son pilot team. Apparently there’ll be a second Pacific Rim movie, so here’s to hoping del Toro will rectify this omission – he strikes me as aware enough. (Seriously, the audio commentary is two hours of del Toro being a giant fan boy of the genre – it’s kind of awesome.)
Have I made it obvious how much I love this movie yet? 🙂 I’m watching it again right now, because it’s the perfect distraction and never gets boring.