This past weekend my friends and I went to see the recently released Pacific Rim, a movie whose release we'd greatly anticipated. And I have to say . . . it was pretty epic. I mean, robots vs. aliens (or in this case, Jaegers vs. Kaiju). Enough said.
But then again Cowboys vs. Aliens, a movie with such promise, wound up being a complete disappointment. So much so that even Han Solo and 007 couldn't save it. Fortunately for hopeful movie go-ers like myself, Pacific Rim delivered.
Of course, you don't have to take my word for it. After all, I love Sy-Fy channel original movies, so my taste is often considered questionable. But for what it's worth, here are five good reasons to head to the theater . . .
1. Director Guillermo del Toro's distinctive cinematic style. As with all his films, del Toro doesn't hold back. His ode to monsters is as visually dazzling as his darker fairy tales, and he manages to make the fight scenes between giant robots and their alien foe look both believable and somehow balletic.
2. The fabulous use of mind synchronization via "drifting". In order to operate such massive pieces of robotic machinery as the Jaegers, the two pilots driving them have to merge their thoughts, memories and even emotions. Not since Star Trek has there been a Mind Meld quite this interesting.
3. Dr. Newton Geiszler and Dr. Hermann Gottleib. I'm always a sucker for the hilarious side characters, and the amusing antagonism and banter between these two scientists made for great film.
4. Occasionally in these blockbuster action movies, writers sacrifice character arc for unnecessary action sequences. Not so in this case. The characters each feel developed with realistic motivations. Their relationships between one another feel authentic, and the film manages to hint at a romance without falling into typical Hollywood stereotypes of an unnecessary kiss in the middle of a dangers battle.
5. Last but not least, it isn's a sequel or a remake. Not that I mind a good sequel, but it seems that there's very little original thought happening in Hollywood at the moment. While Pacific Rim certainly borrows from other alien/robot material and pays homage to the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, it's a fresh story with a plot all of its own.
All in all, I thought Pacific Rim was a terrific summer film and I'm pleased to have paid the astronomical fees they're asking these days to see it in theaters.