I never thought this day will come. What we have here is the movie that celebrates the japanese culture media and who could pull it off better than Guillermo Del Toro, the visionary director of such classics like Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy 1 and 2, Blade 2, Mimic and The Devil's Backbone, because Del Toro is a huge fan of japanese culture like mangas and animes. Pacific Rim is his dream baby that allows him to let his inner 12 year old go wild and it really shows as he creates some of the best battles of "Robots VS Kaijus" that you will ever see in a blockbuster film that will put Bay's Transformers into complete shame. Before I watched this movie, I read a lot of reviews from a lot of different people and so far, it was mixed bag. Some say they love the hell out of this movie and others felt like it was a complete waste of time and money (AKA, offensive a-hole film reviewer Rex Reed) but of course, that didn't stop me from watching Pacific Rim because I was so hyped up to see the movie and I'm just a sucker for movies about robots and kaijus beating the living shit out of each other. After finally watching the film today in 3D, my following reaction went like this: I didn't like the movie..... I FREAKING LOVED IT! I think Pacific Rim is, by far, the best movie of 2013 so far and I want to see more of this potential franchise to expand for several sequels if it becomes successful.
Pacific Rim's story is simple: Monsters known as Kaijus rise up from the Pacific Ocean and have started attacking famous cities one by one. Governments from all over the world decided to team up and create the "Jaeger" program, a project that consists in building giant mechas to battle the rising threat of the Kaijus and at first, the humans were starting to win but the Kaijus evolved and they become smarter creatures as the Kaijus take down the Jaegers and therefore, leaving the governments of the world to cancel the program. Why? Because we all know that in movies and real-life, governments and politics are cowards that only care for the money rather than the safety of the people. Hell, they barely have common sense, so what can you do? Five years later, Stacker Pentecost recruits Beckett, who was a former Jaeger pilot but quitted because he lost his brother to a Kaiju during a battle in the sea, and wants Beckett to team up with another pilot to fight back against the Kaijus because the Kaijus are about to destroy the world and only Beckett and her partner Miko can stop them!
While we've seen the story and characters before in other blockbuster movies, I can't really put them as negatives because if you think about it, this was intentional for Del Toro and writer Travis Beacham to add in the movie because this is basically a live-action anime film with giant robots against giant monsters duking it out in every major city of the world. Of course it was gonna be silly and over the top but that's why Pacific Rim works because the film embraces the influence of anime and the giant monster movie genre all in one glorious package of fun and epicness. Hell, I love that it builds an interesting world in Pacific Rim with engaging concepts like the "Drift", where 2 pilots must connect their memories with the machine and the bigger the bond, the stronger they become as one with the machine or learning about the interesting aspects of the Kaijus like with the crazy Kaiju fan scientist that connects his mind with a Kaiju brain and we see how these aliens create different types of Kaijus. While the concepts aren't well developed in thsi movie, it still has potential to expand with further sequels and I know that Del Toro would use more of these cool concepts for the next sequel. I liked the characters and again, these are the basic stereotypes that we see in action movies but give Del Toro credit because he did add some depth to each character and surprisingly, they come off as enjoyable, not whinny and obnoxious like those annoying humans in the Michael Bay Transformers movies. Miko and Beckett have a nice chemistry in the film and both the characters do evolve throughout the film, the scientists are crazy but still lovable smart-asses but the best character in the film has got to be Pentecost because while he is a cold harsh general, you can feel this sense of kindness inside of him and all he wants is to protect the world from the rising threats of the Kaijus at all costs. So yeah, the story and characters are very basic but they are enjoyable to watch and for god sake, Pentecost is a badass in this movie, so why the hell are you people complaining about it? Enjoy it while it lasts.
Now for the action, CGI and the 3D conversion for Pacific Rim... OMG, it delivers. The action in Pacific Rim are amazingly gigantic and it gives a sense of grandness into each "robot VS Kaiju" fight as each Kaiju becomes different in terms of abilities and weaknesses, and we get to see the pilots finding ways to kill Kaijus in cool and creative ways. Obviously, I will not even dare to spoil the fight scenes because you need to see this epic fight scenes for yourself on a big screen in IMAX. The visuals and CGI are impressive with amazing detail put into the mechas and Kaijus, and how gigantic they look with the mechas stylish anime-looking body structure and with the Kaijus more dinosaur/monster look put into them with different color marks on their hard skins. Not only that but they look incredibly real and it makes the other overblown CG films like Battleship or The Lone Ranger look like a bad direct to DVD Rainbow Brite movie in comparison to this. As for the 3D aspect, I went to Plaza Guaynabo to see the 3D version (because it has the best 3D screens in my country) and it is a perfect 3D conversion. I'm not kidding, allowing Guillermo Del Toro to have full creative control on the 3D without any rushing from the executives or any budget restrictions has got to be one of Warner Bros. best decisions for the movie. The 3D actually feels immersive and it really feels like you're in those crazy monster battles that are happening on the screen, and for Del Toro, for his first 3D movie, truly accomplishes the aspect of 3D: To be immersed in the film experience, not to be used as a goddamn gimmick like most Hollywood companies are doing with 3D nowadays but thankfully for me, I only watch movies that deserves to be in 3D.
Pacific Rim is a must-see film that everyone in the world deserves to see. It is not perfect but I stand by my choice of giving this movie a 5 out of 5 stars. Why give it 5 stars when it has it share of problems? Because simply, this is a movie that has 3 things going for: Passion, creativity and imagination. Guillermo Del Toro just wanted to make a film that is not perfect but that it is big, grand and pure fun for the moviegoing experience and that it celebrates the japanese culture as a whole. Pacific RIm is a thrilling spectacle of awesomeness that shows the love and passion that Del Toro has for anime, manga and mostly, giant monster movies. So please, support Pacific Rim at all costs because it deserves more attention than garbage movies like Grown Ups 2 or The Lone Ranger.