Of Monsters and Men

Had the chance to see Pacific Rim yesterday and took it. I have been eager to see the movie since I first heard it was about giant robots and Kaiju and Guillermo del Toro was directing. I’ll get right to it…it was incredible. Not that it was loaded with Oscar-winning performances or high art aspirations, but it was chock full of high-octane action, heroics and amazing world building. When I left the theater and drove home, I expected to see a giant monster rise up from under the overpass or out from behind a hill ready to destroy. That is powerful movie-making.

The giant robots called Jaegers in the movie, were impressive. Each one having its own fighting style and weapon payload. Two pilots aligned with the machine and each other through The Drift, Each of the major characters were well-defined and interesting. Ron Perlman nearly stole the show as Hannibal Chau, a black market dealer of Kaiju body parts. Charlie Day was also very good as the Kaiju expert.

The giant monsters named Kaiju were incredible and given believable life that reminded me of the first time I saw Jurassic Park and marveled at the dinosaurs. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t address the hype issue. Pacific Rim is not Star Wars, no matter how much a group of rabid fanboys wish it to be. Will people go wild for Pacific Rim and see it multiple times, eat up all things related to the movie and form a loyal club? No doubt. However, it will not reach a fever pitch as Star Wars did and has in our time. There are no instantly remembered characters with equally remembered costumes or actions. I had to struggle to remember the names of each of the characters in Pacific Rim and, as much as I love the movie, don’t find myself wanting to create a costume based on one of them. The musical score for Pacific Rim is good and the main theme inspires giant monster bashing but it is nowhere near iconic as Star Wars. It is really a moot point anyway. I doubt very much that del Toro was trying to make the new Star Wars. He aimed to tell a story that only he could. A story of honor, duty, retribution, humanity and giant monster smack down.

Now hook up, ride the drift and go show that yellow belly slobber face Kaiju what your made of.