When I was eight, I wrote a story about an oversized chimpanzee that attacked our nation’s capital. The ape was relatively successful in its conquest, leveling much of the city, before it was felled by a rather supplied resistance…and an unfortunate fall from the Washington Monument.
Was I aware at the time I essentially copied “King Kong?” No, I was eight. And had not seen the movie by that point, but that’s neither here nor there. I was very creative in my youth.
When I first heard about “Pacific Rim,” I immediately thought back to that story. Not so much the similarities, but because the story seemed like something only a child could create.
Very hesitant about the movie, I initially had no urge to see it: A strange rift opens in the Pacific Ocean and giant monsters (Kaiju) start rising and attacking the world’s largest cities (sorry, Tokyo. It never seems to work in your favor). After mass casualties are sustained in a ground battle, several nations assemble giant robots (Jaegers), to be piloted by two men, who can face these monsters head on.
The program, soon deemed to be too costly, is abandoned. But after the monsters grow stronger is the need for this program re-born. Problem is, only four robots have survived. Their mission? An all-out assault to close the rift once and for all.
Basic gist aside, it was your typical summer movie. But did I enjoy it? Oh, you betcha, yah.
Director and writer Guillermo Del Toro was able to bring my imagination (and what I assume are the imaginations of children worldwide) to the big screen. Something we could only ever conceive while playing with action figures. Dialogue we could only ever create while pitting our action figures against the action figures of our friend.
While I could’ve done with more “punchy punch” and less “talky talk,” I do realize it’s necessity for the film. The dialogue sets up the major plot. While each character has their differences, tries to find who they are, tries to mend the bond with old friends, new rivals or even their new robot friend.
That being said, the dialogue – not strong. The acting – kind of weak (the only exception is Idris Elba, who brings the necessary “oomph” as Marshal Stacker Pentecost and Charlie Day, as Dr. Newton Geisler, who believes we can connect to the monsters to deepen our understanding of them). The plot kind of dragged, especially when the pilots weren’t in full “monster ass-kicking” mode. And, when they were, it seemed like Del Toro kind of made it up as he went along.
For instance, one fight finds our heroes on the edge of defeat, until they realize they have a weapon at their disposal. (Seems like something we’d create in the middle of a fight with our friend) Kind of a “where the hell was this before?” kind of moment.
I wasn’t anticipating anything special, and this movie pretty much met my expectation. The majority of attention was given to the fight scenes.
If you were like me, you will leave with a smile on your face. Not because of the movie as a whole, but because of the final act. And the following fight scene.