Pacific Rim Review

Posted 10 years ago by myetvmedia

Surely the biggest of the summer blockbusters, Pacific Rim reinvents the massive monster robot genre that dominated Japanese cinema in the 50’s and which became cult classics worldwide. Director Guillermo Del Toro brings this genre evolution to a new level with his signature approach to artistic and production design. A marvel of CG and psychical artwork, not only does Pacific Rim incorporate visual appeal it also incorporates story or rather history as every facet of this sci-fi adventure seems to unfurl a story of its own.

Opening against the narration of Charlie Hunam, we are quickly brought up to speed on humanity’s conflict with the Kaiju; creatures of massive scale that arise from the Pacific to terrorize mankind. Mankinds’ global response to the Kaiju threat are Yeagers; massive bipedal robots piloted by two pilots with a special ability. The ‘Neural Drift’, an element of Pacific Rim’s mythos, proves to be novel as well as thematically deep. The Yeagers can seldom be piloted by a single person. It takes the powers of two pilots who synchronize their minds and share their memories within the Yeager. This Plato-esque setup comes to the forefront when the film’s hopeful heroes; Raleigh (Charlie Hunam) and Mako (Rinko Kikuchi) are paired for a special mission. Both characters bring a well developed history to the partnership in the Yeager and the film does a fantastic job of showing the gradual development of this relationship. It avoids becoming generic and cliched with its emphasis on friendship and respect. Erotic tension between them remains just that, seen through their eyes only and never realized (surprise: not even a kiss). While the conflict of humanity is the inciting force that drives the narrative, it is the relationships between the pilots and their commanding officer Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) that provides the most engaging emotional development of the story.

Idris Elba cast perfectly into the role of Stacker Pentecost evokes a fusion of classical characters. The last line of defense, Stacker is ordered to abandon his Yeagers for a new global plan that will do nothing to strike at the Kaiju. With a sort of Ahab-like conviction in chase of his own ‘Moby Dick’, he pushes ahead embodying the undying sense of duty that so many resistance fighters of history became famous for. Stacker is far from a one dimensional character and towards the film’s end becomes a scene stealer as his own story arc becomes so powerful and influential with the film’s other characters. The trailer snippet of Elba’s rallying monologue is only the tip of the iceberg.

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Pacific Rim Review

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