Saturday, July 13, 2013

My Year of Monsters: Pacific Rim Initial View

Study the Kaiju, the key to victory.

Pacific Rim gets a monster-sised thumbs up. The film is entertaining, moves along briskly, and does a good job with the background and history. I left the movie wanting to know more about the world, and the history. Dozens of stories could be told in the background of the film.

Monster references abound. An ape-like Kaiju throws a Jaeger, the way Kong throws the tyrannosaur/Godzilla. One of the Kaiju has a Cloverfield vibe to it. There's a Rodanity to the giant, flying monster. And 'knifehead' has got to be a tribute to Gamera's foe Guiron. Each Kaiju has a very different look, but certain visual themes tie them together. They're good monsters. The fights are exciting and not overlong. There's something at stake with each, giving the audience a reason to root for the Jaegers. They also forward the plot, rather than stopping it.

There's a little bit of Cabin in the Woods inclusiveness of previous monster movies. Perhaps this is where all those mojsters that have attacked Japan have come from. It's also very much a Western, with incompetent, ineffective, and interfering politicians and rogue pilots taking their billion dollar Jaegers off mission.

I will totally be buying the big damn special edition for Christmas, and getting the tie-in books. It's a rich, well thought-out universe, and I'd like to spend some more time there.
Idris Elba was absolutely the right choice, and carries some merely acceptable performances along in his wake. The internationalism of the cast is pretty darn good. And an extra plus for respecting the science wonks. I liked the film a great deal, found it very satisfying. Go see it.

That said, a big razz to Fandango, which sold me two tickets to a showing that didn't exist. And although I thought I'd purchased tickets to the 3D IMAX version, I apparently hadn't. Won't make that mistake again.

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