Pacific Rim is Giant Action Packed Fun

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Holy Shit. That is all I can say. Pacific Rim is awesome. Easily the most fun movie of the year, and probably the most satisfying movie going experience I’ve had in a long time.Trying to decide if it tops Avengers and Dark Knight Rises, but I have trouble bringing myself to say that. To be fair though, I’m a huge comic book fan, and in the interest of full disclosure I will freely admit to praying at the alter of the Caped Crusader.

I’ve read a couple of reviews saying that characters are two dimensional or heartless and the acting is sub par, but that seems like big action hatering to me. The fact that the co-stars are giant robots and city crushing aliens, in no way detracts from the emotive content of the main characters. Our hero suffers significant loss in the opening scene, loss that is informs his character throughout the film. The central cast has heart, humor and attitude as well as the blessing of working alongside the always awesome Idras Elba.

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And then there is the action, the bruising battles between those giant robots and the city crushing aliens. It’s clean and visually understandable, while still being fast, beautiful and huge; so much better than the mess of mechanics that are the battles in Transformers. The sets are cool and look authentic, characters unto themselves. Guillermo del Toro is at his best creating immersive worlds full of details and idiosyncrasies that give life on the silver screen depth and personality.

In Pacific Rim, del Toro accomplishes all of that and more. He brings to life an engrossing battle for the end of the world with charismatic characters fighting monsters, fear and each other. An underground black market, dealing in the monster’s remains, offers the civilian view of the Earth shaking crisis, and a walk around the war torn city.

Pacific Rim is a huge mind blowing good time. And it is original. Sure it’s inspiration can be seen in Anime and other Asian imports form Voltron to Evangelion. But this is an original story with original characters and something most Americans, not indoctrinated into the world of men piloting giant robots, have never glimpsed before. And it is awesome. Go see Pacific Rim, so we can rave about it later.

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Del Toro’s Unexpected Journey to the Pacific Rim

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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. pacificrim-artbook_medium

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.

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