Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

July 23, 2013

'Pacific Rim' a new standard of monster and bot excellence

Movie Review

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Try or not try as we might, it is far too easy to find disappointment in the release of any summer blockbuster, which does not deliver on what we perceive as perfectly meeting a promise of excellence. We’ve reached a point where flicks are even condemned before their wide release and audiences often fall into line like sheep. However, when something achieves delivering nothing more than what they promised much like today’s title, the impact is not only an outpouring of well deserve praise, but something that can change for the better the very formula of the genre it’s associated with. The thing that made this feel like such an achievement is because there is no illusion of a product hidden behind flashy advertising, yet a masterpiece because of a magical simplicity. “Pacific Rim” may be miles beneath the upturned noses of those who miss the substance of monolithic creatures battling mega robots, but for the rest of us is a ride we never want to end or forget.

Born out of soup made from the drool induced dreams of Godzilla and Mechanized Anime fans alike, humanity has rallied around the world to fight a common enemy, giant sea monsters that are entering our world from a universal portal in the pacific. At first humanity is successful in beating back these gargantuan baddies using towering war machines called Jaegers, but a combination of our own egos and increasingly powerful foes whittles down our defenses until only a few of those battling bots remain.

Leading the remnants is a former jaeger pilot named Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), who is not as blind as the global leaders who are willing to settle for walls to defend them, and sees hope in those like Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) despite the emotional impact losing his brother as they battled one of these monsters in the past. Of course, as any of these bots like Gipsy Danger require dual pilots through a mental bond, this means finding a replacement, which happens to be a very intelligent and feisty Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi). The key to survival as well as victory ultimately depends on understanding the attackers and is brilliantly achieved through the addition of quirky background characters including scientists like Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day) or sleazeballs like Hannibal Chau (Ron Perlman); complimented by a ballet of a rocking soundtrack and merciless brawls.

For the record, this is one of the movies where it is entirely worth shelling out the extra cash for 3D as well as the generous IMAX screen size as it is only enhanced and pops with each sensory shaking scene. Few movies have had such an impact and when I wasn’t tempted to squeal with manly glee (cause us dudes got to keep up appearances), I felt drawn in by the relationships established by the main players. Though I’m sure it’s a perfectly fine film on its own merit, my heart kind of sank a bit when Rim was beaten out by “Grown Ups 2” and if you have to pick one action film, this one is a winner until the final battle. Despite all obvious and well placed cheese, I don’t think I’ve had more fun just going to the theater and say that I am not worthy to bask in the almighty glow of Guillermo Del Toro (Now can we have Hellboy III pretty please?). Once I was able to recover from the shear grip of such an awesgasmic spectacle I found it only appropriate to award “Pacific Rim” 2013’s first flawless five out of five rating.