Pacific Rim: Mindless Entertainment on a Lavish Scale
Pacific Rim is a completely brainless movie that is rooted in it's corny theme and sticks through with the same throughout. It is still a good escapist fun ride packed with all the right ‘masala’ ingredients to hit it big. Alien monsters, metallic monster killing machines and All-American soldiers (though they have tried hard to make it as generic as possible! Bringing in a characters ranging from all over the world- Australian father-son, a Russian pair, a Japanese girl - sadly all molded in the usual All-American manner) – all heart, full brawn and a lot of yak and needles bravado. A typical big budget movie that seems like a lot of fun as long as you skim along the surface. But trust me, don’t even bother to dig deeper below the surface, you will be devastated at the lack of storylines, plots or even a decent believable premise tinged with logic.
But yes – on the surface of things, Pacific Rim packs in a lot of heart in this movie and it serves you dollops of action-packed fun, all in generous XXL sizes. Be it the big Godzilla-spawn monsters called Kaiju (did you get a Japanese whiff there?) that breach the Earth’s atmosphere and attack from the sea, the monstrously huge killing machines called Jaegars piloted by men who need to have a neural drift compatibility in order to fight in tandem duking it out with these reptilian monsters and tons of eye-popping kickass action that is shot on a lavishly grand scale that is a visual delight. You might just end up loving it, if for those couple of hours you put your thinking /grey cells outside the theatre.
So we are somewhere in the future – where Earth is constantly under threat by an alien presence that sends through these lizard-like creatures (coming in increasing sizes from Category 1 to 4 ) to exterminate all lives – our only guard that stands between destruction and survival are these huge-ass metallic fighting robots running on nuclear reactor cores and digital technology. We are thrust straight into the movie in a glorious sea-battle between one of the Kaijus and a Jaegar – controlled by Raleigh Beckett (our hero - relatively unknown charlie hunan) and his brother Yancy. It’s a gut-wrenching scene where Raleigh loses the fight and his brother as well to the rapacious monster. After this, we cut to five years later where Marshall Stacker, played by Idrish Elba is being asked to stand down on the Jaegar program. In the last stages, the Jaegar program has only four functional robots and the team finally has a plan to shut down the breach through which the Kaijus attack Earth. For this to work, they need Ray back in fighting form and the initial parts of the movie focuses on the hesitant budding relationship between him and this new recruit, Mako Mori, who’s got her own personal demons to conquer and an old score to settle. Marshall Stacker’s got his own personal agenda as well rolled into this scheme of things. Add to the ensemble, two Kaiju researchers who are trying to crack the problem of this breach through their own separate individual methods.
It gets a bit tedious, the characters drab and dialogues stilted and the plot plodding along. We know how things are going to turn out but we needtcha fend off these initial glitches as we squirm in our seats, straining at the leash to get another glimpse of those brilliantly choreographed kinetic immersive churn of metal against leathery skin reptiles. And it comes as expected through the middle of first half. From here on, it’s a headlong rush of blood to the head – bone-crunching, pedal-to-the-floor action full throttle that pumps up and over. The individual confrontations , as opposed to transformers, are easier to follow and is definitely more entertaining.
The acting is nothing to crow about – nor all the characters interesting. Though special call out to Ron Perlman who plays a black-marketer who deals in Kaiju body-parts in Honk-Kong. He brings the much needed cheer into the grim settings. It simply is a fist-pumping visual spectacle that holds no illusions about being a brainy movie. Catching it on the big screen is a great experience and all fans of the Transformer series, have now got something else to croon about.