July 13, 2013

Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim is outstanding.
The premise is a slam-dunk. Why this movie didn't get made sooner is a mystery to me. Robots Vs Godzillas. That's all there is to it. The robots are hundreds of feet high, thousands of tons of metal (picture Transformers/Voltron/Starvengers), and operated, Avatar/Matrix-style, by human pilots via brain upload.

The robots and Godzillas are not amazingly innovative in their design, but they're perfectly executed. No one has successfully produced a giant robot movie before (I find the Transformers movies to be a incomprehensible mess). There have been only a handful of giant monster movies, and none have achieved so much, on such a limitless scale and scope, as Pacific Rim.

Of course they're not technically Godzillas, but they don't have to be official to be awesome. Why hasn't an unofficial Godzilla movie like this been done before? I don't love watching major cities getting destroyed, but I'd much prefer watching skyscrapers crumble in a massive monster battle than watch General Zod and Superman work out their daddy issues on the human race.

Unlike other "end of the world" blockbusters where only the Americans are trying to save the Earth (Armageddon, Deep Impact, Independence Day), in the world of Pacific Rim, the nations of the world have banded together to defeat these massive monsters rampaging across the globe. The movie is in English, but only the hero and the comic relief are from America. The entire remainder of the cast is international. After the Golden Gate Bridge is demolished in the first scene, the remainder of the film doesn't include any sort of Americana.
"Nations of the world" make it sound like a United Nations meeting. Far from it. Besides one battle in Sydney Australia, there's no jumping around the globe for reactions from world leaders, no monsters crushing Parliament or leaping over the Great Wall of China.

Highly recommended. If you missed it on the big screen I pity you. My grade: A!
(At the Somerville Theater with my wife and a very engaged and enthusiastic crowd.)