Release date in Malaysia: July 11th 2013
Studio / Distributor: Legendary Pictures / Warner Bros Pictures
Genre: Sci-fi action
Running Time: 131 minutes
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Writers: Travis Beacham, Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Charlie Day, Rinko Kikuchi, Max Martini, Willem Dafoe, Robert Kazinsky, Clifton Collins Jr., Diego Klattenhoff, Ron Perlman
Synopsis: When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes.
Verdict: This has got to be one of the coolest and most entertaining live action giant mecha vs. monster film to date. It’s light, it’s fun for all ages, it’s also not overly westernised and the art design is awesome. And for the first time ever, I actually felt that CGI seems to be better than the old skool ways with actors in costumes. The film does suffer from extreme cheesiness (especially the horribly written dialogues) and cliched storyline with flaws and inconsistencies, but not more than the classics of the genre such as Godzilla, Ultraman, Evangelion, Power Rangers, etc. So in that sense, if you hate or criticise Pacific Rim, you’re hating the classics as well. The real problems with the movie is that at times, it tries too hard to be a bit unique, by having most fight scenes in the dark either in the rain or under water, and too much close-ups. All that makes it quite challenging to enjoy all of the action. Also, there’re mentions about how cool the other “Jaegers” are besides the hero’s one but they don’t get much screen time to shine (particularly Crimson Typhoon piloted by the Wei Triplets).
Second opinion: “I hate to admit it but I liked it too” (girlfriend).
A kid actress worth mentioning: Mana Ashida, the little girl who plays the younger Mako Mori. Although her screen time is as long as usual flashback scenes in most films, her part is probably the most challenging one (especially when she’s freaking young) ’cause her facial expressions are specifically focused and it’s quite essential to make it convincing but she’s done it very well. Being extremely adorable is definitely a plus point.
Honouring the origins of the genre: Instead of coming up with an original name or simply refer the huge creatures as ‘monsters’ in the movie, they call ’em ‘Kaiju’ (means ‘strange beast’ in Japanese), a term universally used to refer to Japanese science fiction monster films like Godzilla. I see this as a clear gesture of paying tribute to Japan where the concept of Kaiju originated from.
To watch in 3D? Seen it in IMAX 3D and wasn’t impressed with the depth. I felt like I was watching it in 2D with glasses on. It’s waste to have converted this to 3D instead of filming it in 3D but as always, the directors have good technical reasons for that.
Malaysian censorship: I don’t believe there’s any scene to chop off but I was surprised that there isn’t a love scene at all ’cause the onscreen sexual tension between Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) and Mako (Rinko Kikuchi) is so strong (well, to me at least).
Post-credit: There is a very brief unimportant mid-credit scene. Pretty sure there isn’t a post-credit scene.
Rating: 4 / 5
Movie stills / images: View ’em here.
[SPOILER SECTION BEGINS HERE]——————————————————————————————–
Why don’t they just nuke the Kaiju’s? It is apparently explained in the prequel comic, Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero, that they did eliminate the first four monsters with nuclear weapons but are afraid that frequent use may irradiate the planet. It is also unsafe to nuke ’em when they’re near areas with people so the Jaeger (giant robots/humanoids) program was developed to defend against the huge ass creatures. Nuclear weapons are then only kept as a last resort option. All long range weapons of a Jaeger are only fired when the Kaiju is close or dazed in battle so that the risk of them dodging and mistakenly killing human lives or damaging lands and buildings can be reduced.
Plot holes & inconsistencies: It is revealed in the film that the Kaiju’s are not exactly brainless monsters, they’re a colony of aliens and they intend to takeover Earth so why, for so many years, they only send one of themselves to Earth one at a time instead of a few like at the end (same issue with Ultraman, Power Rangers, etc.) or an army for an all-out war in which they’d definitely would’ve won? In the movie, we see that 6-8 helicopters can carry a single Jaeger which weighs around 3,000 tonnes and all we can do is laugh this one off ’cause we all know that’s impossible (you can read the physics and calculations specifically about this here). It seems to take a lot of effort and variety of arsenal from a Jaeger to defeat one, that’s cool, but then they spoilt that by having a scene where two pilots coming out of their Jaeger and successfully hurting a Kaiju by firing mere flare guns at its eye so why, as a strategy, didn’t they aim to damage Kaiju’s eyes first when they fight them in Jaegers. It is clear that the Kaiju’s arms are too short to defend their eyes. ALSO…
Issues with the ending: So the heroes dive into the “Breach” (the portal that links the Kaiju world to Earth’s Pacific Ocean) piloting their Jaeger, detonate the bomb it carries, successfully destroy the Breach and somehow managed to survive but what makes them think there’d only be one Breach? An opportunity to a sequel perhaps but it’d be too lame. Apparently the director’s gonna play around with the fact that Dr. Newton (Charlie Day) drifted (connect) with the Kaiju brains and all Kaiju brains are synchronised. That probably means that the surviving Kaiju’s know more about humans now that both they and Dr. Newton looked into each other’s memories… twice.