As you may have noticed, we love watching Adrenalin fueled action adventures that display science-fiction, a futuristic world filled with special effects and good old “end of the world” and saving of mankind by self-sacrificing larger than life hero formula movies – just as much as all of you. The genre always produces either very big hits or very big misses at box-office, but sometimes a movie gains traction later than anticipated and goes on to become a “cult-movie”.
|Guillermo del Toro, Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent
Guillermo del Toro
|Travis Beacham, Guillermo del Toro
|Legendary Pictures, Double Dare You
|Warner Bros. Pictures
|John Gilroy, Peter Amundson
July 1, 2013 (Mexico City)
July 12, 2013 (US)
|Charlie Hunnam (Raleigh Becket), Idris Elba (Marshal Stacker Pentecost), Rinko Kikuchi (Mako Mori), Charlie Day (Dr. Newt Geiszler), Burn Gorman (Dr. Hermann Gottlieb), Ron Perlman (Hannibal Chau), Max Martini (Hercules “Herc” Hansen), Robert Kazinsky (Chuck Hansen), Clifton Collins, Jr. (Ops Tendo Choi), Diego Klattenhoff (Yancy Beckett), Ellen McLain (the voice of Gipsy AI), and others…
The 2013 film Pacific Rim is one such movie and now it has also got a 2018 sequel – thanks to its popularity in both the animated and movie worlds, and we recently watched it again. So, here are my views on the 2013 movie for Team Thinkerviews and for all action thriller lovers…
So, the aliens finally showed up – only not from the sky as expected, but from the deep sea fissure cum interdimensional breach – in the Pacific Ocean. These are the massive Kaiju (A Japanese word for monsters). And to build these monsters humans built massive robots called Jaegers that can hold their own in the battle with the Kaiju. But the size of the Jaegers is such that it cannot be piloted by one person, and so they require two pilots who need to establish a mental link – drift together – to be able to co-pilot the Jaeger.
As we meet the Becket Brothers, Yancy and Raleigh, all keen to go and fight the latest Kaiju emergence called the Knifehead – you know something horrible is going to happen. And so it does, when Yancy dies in the battle and Raleigh barely makes it alive – but broken. He quits the battle and finds employment in temporary construction jobs.
The battle of humankind with Kaiju monsters is weakening and the governments decide to cut the funding for the Jaeger program and focus on building a wall instead. Marshal Stacker Pentecost takes all the remaining Jaeger forces to the Hongkong Shatterdome to continue the resistance. He tracks Raleigh down for one final mission and Raleigh accepts reluctantly.
We meet the remaining Jaegers and soldiers in Hong Kong, along with Mako Mori and scientist duo Newton Geiszler and Hermann Gottlieb. There are a few skirmishes between Raleigh and other pilots, some more exciting battles in Hong Kong and a few scientific discoveries until the final mission takes place. But as usual, the mission is built on imperfect knowledge of the Kaiju, and sketchy resources, so a fair few things go wrong…
Can they end the battle or have they just made it worse?
While the genre of Kaiju film goes back to 1960s, this film does bring some freshness to it along with the homage to the classics feel. The robots and the monsters are spectacular, the visual effects stunning and the fights and chases enjoyable. It feels like a big, colourful game rather than a dark, brooding, doom and gloom venture, which makes a nice change and reminds you that sometimes entertainment is all you want from such movies.
All the characters here are battling with some loss, some limitation and the message is clear – you have to move on no matter what happens, but it is not easy and hence, it is better when you take help of others around you. We might not stand a chance to win every time, but if we all pull together we have a chance to survive. I liked the positive message that this film tries to aim at. Although sometimes the dialogues and the characters are predictable. Some of this well-known friction between lead characters slow the film down but you know you can have a few chuckles over the theatricality of it and still enjoy the rest of the film.
All the actors do what is expected. But I think Idris Alba comes off the best while he portrays the hero carrying the burden of the entire humankind on him while dying of radiation sickness. The second best character is Mako Mori, who unusually for a science fiction – thriller heroin, doesn’t have to parade around in skimpy clothing, but actually is given a chance to be human. Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh does his best to be the nice guy, although I found him a bit bland at times. He could have done with a bit more spice.
Some of the concepts of the film – like the hive mind of the Kaiju, and the possibility that they are engineered clones also reminded me of “Edge of Tomorrow”, which has similar alien invader concept. Interestingly, Tom Cruise who was the hero of “Edge of Tomorrow” was at one point offered the role of Marshal Pentecost, but refused due to scheduling conflict.
The movie was commercially successful and inspired a few video games, but they have not been very popular. The action figures though are still around 🙂 and there is also an anime series in pipeline…
All in all, a nice, colourful, entertaining, good guys win the war film with a lot of action and special effects film that will be perfect for all thriller lovers.
Around 7.5 out of 10.
Over To You:
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