In the near future a trans-dimensional rift is opened, at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, releasing Giant monsters called Kaiju (Japanese word for giant monster). You might think this is where the story begins, but it isn’t. The real plot actually begins almost 12 years after the initial attacks. The film goes through telling us that the world banded together to create giant robots called Jaegers (German word for hunter). These robots are controlled by humans using a neural link. However, the link is too much strain for a single human brain, so Jaeger pilots must team up and sync their minds using a device called “The Drift.” The closer the bond between the pilots the better they fight. This film is not a remake; however it is a creative adaption of the old Japanese rubber monster suits and cardboard robots Genre.
The commercials for this movie made it seem like an action packed transformers knock-off. The trailer showed scenes of cliché giant robot violence. I was worried I was in for 2 hours trying to focus on over a dozen different fights (yeah I’m looking at you Michael Bay). However, the films delivered three really good intimate one on one, and then a final two on three, fights. All of which had great “OH! Did they just do that?!” moments. Every minute of each fight was different than the last. Unlike the repetitive punch, kick, shoot formula of the Transformers films, most of the film was used to actually grow the characters. SHOCKING, I KNOW!
And what a cast it is. All of the characters at the surface seem like Cliché archetypes ripped right out of an arcade brawler. You have the Russian team, the Chinese team, the Australian team, and mixing it up is an American teamed up with a Japanese girl, both of which seem ripped straight out of an anime. Even with these characters being from widely overused stereotypes, the film made sure to build the character rather than just assume we could accept cookie cutter personalities. The film’s use of “The Drift” is a great way to get coherent exposition, in a fast, relevant manner. I don’t want to reveal too much about the film because the character building is probably the strongest part of the experience. In fact there are so many great, three dimensional, dynamic characters that I won’t even get into the hilarious mad scientists, the black market Kaiju remains dealer, or the eccentric IT guy.
Pacific Rim did everything right, from the music to the fights to the visuals. It was even worth it to see in 3D. However, this film had something that very few films have had for a while: a great moral. So many films these days are about the question “Who am I?”, but Pacific Rim focuses on “Who are we?” These characters already know and acknowledge their flaws, and they help each other to overcome them. Our culture is so “Me” centered that is truly refreshing to see a film that stresses the importance of helping others, rather than just focusing on your own problems. By the end of the film each and every character grows as a person and receives some form of redemption. Redemption is something movies have been lacking. We as human have an inherent desire for redemption within us, and every great movie contains some aspect of it.
In short, I don’t want to mince words. I want to be very, very clear. GO SEE THIS MOVIE! Buy the soundtrack, buy the shirts, buy the toys, heck if they release Pacific Rim underoos, go buy those too. Throw as much money as you possibly can at this production. The film world is so filled with nothing more than rehashing of older stories and unimaginative, safe ideas. Now something genuinely original, imaginative, and fun has been created, and this studio deserves to be rewarded. This movie might be the greatest Sci-Fi film made in years.