Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pacific Rim The Review

Assalamualaikum / Peace be Upon You

Okay, I haven't written any post lately, so I'm returning back by writing this review on this awesome summer film; Pacific Rim. What is Pacific Rim, you might ask? Pacific Rim tells a story of a future where Earth is under attack by Kaiju, colossal monsters which have emerged from a portal on the ocean floor. To combat the monsters, humanity unites to create the Jaegers: gigantic humanoid mecha or robot, each controlled by two pilots whose minds are joined by a neural bridge. Focusing on the war's later days, the story follows Raleigh Becket, a washed-up Jaeger pilot called out of retirement and teamed with rookie pilot Mako Mori in a last-ditch effort to defeat the Kaiju.

 "WARNING: SPOILER ALERT. Proceed With Caution!"

First thing first, when I saw the trailer for this film last year, I was a little bit skeptical this might be another Hollywood blunder film like what happened to Transformers series. I just kept thinking that I might go and watch the film but wouldn't get my hopes high. It was until Hideo Kojima tweeted about this film one week before the film go to the big screen. Seeing his review, I was quite anxious to see is this film is as good as the Metal Gear Solid's creator claimed to be.

 Kojima's tweets about the film

I was lucky enough to get a free ticket to watch the movie given by Socialites Malaysia. It was a TGV Cinemas' IMAX free ticket under talkFILM which was last Thursday (11th July 2013), at 8.30PM. I kid you not, you must watch the film in 3D! It was definitely worthy and not to mention awesome! The fighting scenes will blow away your mind.

The movie first starts by explaining the origin of the Kaijus and the creation of the Jeagers. It then talks about the story of two siblings that pilot the American's Jeager, Codename; Gipsy Danger. Like any other film where in order for the main protagonist to be a success in the end of the movie, Raleigh Becket must first experience the Heroic Blue Screen of Death which in his case, the death of his brother, Yancy Becket, whom was eaten alive by a Kaiju (Codename; Knifehead). Do keep in mind that the two pilots are sharing the neural link with each other thus making Raleigh felt all of his brother's despair and pain of that moment. 

Then the film skipped to 5 years later in the future, where the government wants to put a stop to the Jeager's program due to its inefficiency of stopping the Kaijus from terrorizing the cities. Instead, they want to build walls around the major cities in the world. I mean seriously? You think a wall can stop an over 20,000 tons of monster? You know that they can simply crash into the wall like it was nothing. Robotic countermeasure is the only way, well.. Unless you want to use nuclear missiles. 

 I stand corrected

And apparently, only 4 Jeagers remained after 5 years of struggling fighting against the Kaiju army. The only Jeagers that left are; Striker Eureka (Australia), Cherno Alpha (Russia), Crimson Typhoon (China), and of course, Gipsy Danger (America). So, as a last ditch of making sure that humanity will prevail, these pilots are recruited with the Avengers-esque style by an African-American man called Marshal Stacker Pentecost for a group which they called 'The Resistance' which is located in Hong Kong. 

 Definitely not Nick Fury (Missing the eyepatch)

So, these pilots are banded together in order to save humanity. The plan was to mount a nuclear-powered bomb ontop of Striker Eureka and nuke the wormhole where the Kaiju came from (Typical American solution, nuclear. Geez.. Haven't see that before; Hint: Avengers The Movie). We then were introduced to all of the Jeager's pilots when the main protagonist entered the base accompanied by Stacker and his adopted daugther, Mako (which later on became the pilot of Gipsy Danger).

Gipsy Danger's Pilots
Striker Eureka's Pilots
Crimson Typhoon's Pilots
Cherno Alpha's Pilots

What really ticked me off on the robots are not the robot designs. Believe me, I've seen suckier robot design. This is by far one of the most logical designs ever, not to mention the neural link concept was somewhat awesome. What ticked me off is the arsenals. Sure, everyone love a good old fashion brawl but seriously, where are the long-ranged weapon? It's like the last 4 Jeagers are equipped with close-combat arsenals (Blades, Swords, Fists). The only ones that I've seen was Gipsy's plasma cannon and the shoulder missiles launcher on Coyote Tango. You need a long-ranged backup, dude. It's one of the oldest trick in military warfare.

The next thing would be, the screen time of Cherno Alpha and Crimson Typhoon. The pilots only given a few lines in the movie. They were introduced like a group of badass during the introduction but was given a can of whoop-ass when they were fighting the Kaiju. I was like; "What the hell? THAT'S IT?!!" C'mon, give them some justice. What they ever did to deserve something like that? Not to mentioned that the pilots were introduced in stereotype way. The Chinese pilots were shown playing basketball while the Russian pilots were bringing in nuclear missiles.

Then there is this plot where Gipsy were using a freighter boat as a sword against Otachi. I was like; "Okay, since he didn't have a sword, I guess he improvised in using that as a sword". But then wham! There were a chainsword at one of his arm. I mean seriously? Why didn't you use that the moment when you were fighting the Kaiju?! Nethertheless, it was a glorious scene to see Gipsy Danger smacking Otani with a freighter boat. 

Next would be the main protagonist, Raleigh. That dude is stoic. It is seems that he can't act properly. He looks like Nicholas Cage. Dude, c'mon. Put some expression in your acting. You called yourself an actor? Mako on the order hand, despite her English have the Japanese slang, which in this case it is okay since her character is indeed a Japanese, her lines in the film were.. How to I say, somewhat need some work on it. And she have problems to give full emotion to her lines, she is trying her best to say her lines which is not bad but at the cost of emotional range that she could have deliver. The storyline was somewhat draggy in my case. It could be used to indulge in other characters' background story.

Last one would be, the final mission. Blowing up the wormhole using a nuclear bomb? Why didn't you think of this method 5 years ago?! Were you too busy galloping around on how you managed to defeat the Kaiju using the Jeager? I mean seriously, you could have stopped them from attacking by doing so when they were still at Category 1 and Category 2, but no, you had to wait until there were Category 4 to came up with the plan. Which by the way I would like to state that in real life, a nuclear reactor can not be used as a bomb. Period.

Those are perhaps the cons, so now I'm talking about the pros. I like on how the giant robots are called "Jaegers" which are German for "Hunters". Stacker definitely one of the badass characters I've seen. He have the charisma of Nick Fury. He even delivered one of the most inspiring speech in the film, which can be heard during the trailer.

And canceled it they did

Next would be on how the fighting scene were done. It was superb. Del Toro was able to demonstrate the progression of the battles so that it feels exhilarating and intense. You can see, the Kaiju body parts were getting crushed and ripped off, throats are slashed, and acidic blood is spilled. Then the Jaegers suffered critical damage, and the fate of each Jaeger pilot had unexpected impact. Through it all, it made the audience feel like every blow matters, and no moment in battle is wasted.

The film also made you look out for some of the side characters, I like on how the scientists are out to vindicate their Kaiju theories. How they would argue with each other about their own theories but only to know that both of them are corrrect. However there were characters that we learn nothing about them beyond 'they exist' before they were killed.Then there is Hannibal Chau which in my case, it was definitely an awesome character. According to del Toro, he was originally going to be an actual Chinese guy, but Ron Perlman was brought in precisely to make the character over-the-top ridiculous so that the audience would take the Kaiju more seriously by comparison.

The Hellboy

The soundtrack was appropriate in my point of view. Some of the songs that were played during the film and the progress of the story, actually gave me goosebumps and feel motivated. There were several homage of the Super Robot series which are Gipsy Danger's Rocket Punch and Breast Fire. The Category scale used for the Kaiju is called "Serizawa" and the Kaiju have 2 brains which are from Godzilla. Also a tribute to Gurren Lagann where the strength of the robot is improved by a strong emotional connection between pilots. On the side note, for all their advanced technology, many of the Jagers' combat styles are based on grappling, holds, and throws. Gipsy Danger even seems to pull off a suplex at one point. Which in this case, it is good for close-combat but not very efficient.

This film is totally a must watch film. It will be this summer blockbuster film which in my case, would be awesome. This fim isn't an adaptation from any books, games, or comics or even a remake of an old film. This is an original franchise which we rarely see today. But it does remind me of Robot Jox that were published in the 1990s. The film were a hit that even Mazinger Z creator Go Nagai, EVA creator Hideaki Anno, and a few other notable Japanese animation creators, thought Del Torro did a damn good job on the film. This is definitely a love letter from Del Torro to all Super Robot and Monster fans out there. 

And stop dissing about on how the film uses the Japanese term 'Kaiju', you goddamn weeaboos. Don't even compare the film with Evangelion or Attack on Titan. Geez... Are you guys butthurt or something to say something that are retarded as that? The Evangelion's creator even said the film was well done, why are you guys still dissing about it?

This film was able to make me go crazy and cheer after a long time. It worth multiple rewatch because it just so awesome. Honestly, if ‪‎Pacific Rim‬ is not a successful film and wasn't able to achieve blockbuster, then we, as a people, do not deserve nice things. It was by par the most entertaining original franchise that we had on the cinematic scene since most of the successful films are either adaptations from something or remakes from old film. It is not entirely an original idea but still an original franchise.

I might go and watch this film for the third time. 

 Mako is definitely cute

 Loli Mako is definitely cute

P.S.: Kindly go and read the prequel comic titled; Tales from Year Zero which it explains everything you need to know for the movie's sake, you can watch the movie and totally see it as a complete work.

Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero

1 comment:

Nando Cruz said...

I really love all the pilots photos.... but, there's no Coyote Tango pilots photo?