Guillermo del Toro is a different kind of cat. Most Hollywood directors live in a safe zone. Pumping out movies that speak a common language; paradigms, digital effects and retread ideas. Del Toro has a long track record of breaking that mold.
He made his big jump into the public eye in 2002 with Blade II, when he took over the vampire comic book franchise, giving it a horror twist. As opposed to being a straight sequel to a kung-fu superhero film replete with attractive vampires, del Toro’s villains were terrifying monsters, with pathos even.
He followed up by bringing the indie-comic, demon hero Hellboy to the big screen, another dark, gritty movie that did not fit into the mainstream paradigm for summer blockbusters. Next del Toro constructed the fantasy noir fairy- tale Pan’s Labyrinth, a dark otherworldly story told against the backdrop of war torn fascist Spain.
But after the successful sequel Hellboy II, del Toro’s directorial career hit a bump; he signed on to direct The Hobbit. But the Tolkien novel’s rights were tied up in endless legal battles, unable to proceed with anything beyond concepts and preproduction. For the next couple of years the future of the man and the film sat in limbo, nothing happening except for rewrites. Eventually the eccentric artist had to cut ties and hand the reins back Peter Jackson, the man who directed the films predecessor, The Lord of the Rings.
Finally, with Pacific Rim, del Toro makes his long awaited return to silver screens, bringing audiences a sci-fi giant with aliens and giant robots in, get this, an original idea; at least for Hollywood. Viewers of Asian cinema and late night Anime cartoons may not suffer from such culture shock.
Taking many visual cues from shows like Voltron, Evangelion and Gundam, Pacific Rim is tale of humans, using giant mechanical suits of armor to fight enormous monsters that threaten mankind’s existence.
Idris Elba is the face of the movie from everything that I’ve seen, and that excites me. I’ll take any excuse to get Stringer Bell in a movie. And I love sci-fi. Tonight is discount movie night in Green Valley so I am going to check this flick out. I am pumped to see what del Toro has come up with, an I look forward to some awesome summer movie fun. Hopefully with a twist, and not the Shyamalan kind.
Movie review to come in the next blog. Fingers crossed.
If all goes poorly, will have to join Ron Perlman’s crusade for more Hellboy.