Friday, July 26, 2013

Review: Pacific Rim

Warning: Spoilers?... sort of... maybe?

The last of the out-of-town family headed back home on Thursday, and the Wife and I finally had some time to ourselves. We used it to run some errands before heading out on our honeymoon tomorrow. We also used it to go to lunch, and then to go see Pacific Rim.

I must say, Pacific Rim was everything the wife and I were hoping it would be. Meaning, it was a whole lot of giant friggin' robots punching the crap out of giant friggin' monsters! The movie showed influences of Lovecraft, classic kaiju eiga (Japanese monster movies like Godzilla), mecha anime like the Evangelion series, and many of the beasts bore a striking resemblance to this guy:

D&D's Tarrasque
We both absolutely loved the movie. It has the gloomy but saturated high-contrast glow that I love about Guillermo del Toro's stuff. It also has the badass Ron Pearlman, whom I also love about Guillermo del Toro's stuff. I love that the movie begins with the Earth suffering from the scourge of the kaiju, rather than simply building up to it. This is very characteristic of Japanese storytelling (begin with a disaster and tell the story of after). I love seeing how the appearance of the creatures has affected society as a whole, not just the hero. del Toro did a good job setting up a world that was living with this threat.

The acting was decent. As in many action films, the supporting characters often stole the show. I particularly enjoyed the interplay between the scientists Gottlieb and Newton, played by Burn Gorman and Charlie (Rick Moranis is retired and too old for this) Day. And, of course, Ron Pearlman is brilliant, as always, as the black market kaiju parts dealer... Oh, and the choice to use GLaDOS as the voice of the robot suit interface was a stroke of genius.

Anyway, I only had a couple minor nitpicks, which did not take away from the fun, mostly related to the scene where the flying kaiju carries the mech, Gipsy Danger up into "space". Gripe a.) 50,000 feet is not high enough to see the curve of the Earth as dramatically as it appeared in that scene. There is a glider, hanging in the museum where I work that went higher than that. Heck, Felix Baumgartner made his parachute jump from twice that altitude. b.) that altitude is not high enough to cause reentry heating to a point that a falling body would be sheathed in plasma as it appears in the movie. And those are minor nitpicks that again did not detract from my enjoyment.

If you like robots and/or monsters, and/or a combination of those things beating the crap out of each other in the middle of cities and/or at the bottom of the ocean, go see Pacific Rim! I may see it a second time, and I will definitely buy the Blu-Ray when it comes out.

The wife and I are heading out to a mini-honeymoon on the Pacific Rim nearby this weekend. We'll be staying off the grid on the Oregon coast and enjoying some rest and alone time.

We're locked in the drift!

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