I love robots, and I love giant monsters, so the news that Guillermo del Toro is looking to add Godzilla to the Pacific Rim movie is the best official news I have had this year. You see Pacific Rim may be the greatest film I have ever seen. This isn’t a view based upon quality of writing, story or characterisation. It is based on the fact I have never been lucky enough to watch anything that has entertained so much. For just over two and a half hours I was in rapture.
Seriously, this is the most fun I have ever had in the cinema. I was worried after watching the trailers because I was so excited, the geek site reviews loved it, it was being billed as one of the best summer blockbusters in years. My own internal hype was maxed out, but I’ve been disappointed before (*cough* The Hobbit). As the lights went down and the trailers passed the music started. It was within a few seconds I knew this was going to be something special.
To get you in the mood here is the intro music, play it while you read it is now the soundtrack to my life.
Inevitably there may be some spoilers in this, I will not try to give away the story (or as the snarky fun police would say “what story”) but to tell you how amazing this film is I will need to give some things away. Most of these will have been shown in the trailers anyway so seeing them on the big screen does it make them more amazeballs.
What makes Pacific Rim great:
The Elbow Rocket – because punching an interdimensional monster needs that extra afterburner kick. Not only do they shout “ELBOW ROCKET” but the confirmation it is engaged come from the voice of GlaDos. If you are a nerd or geek that should make you fist punch the air so hard you could have a jet engine strapped to your own articulatio cubiti.
Sword button – the fact these 2,500 tonnes of awesome (this is one of the tracks on the soundtrack) have a back up sword. Just in case having all the available military hardware isn’t enough they have the ability to turn into a giant mecha-knight.
It’s the movie you always dreamed of as a child. It does not bog itself down in morality or contain a layer of allegory to explain current events. It is a film about the people who pilot giant robots and fight giant monsters. The characters are stock tropes, daddy issues, authority issues, amazing comebacks, speeches on cancelling apocalypses; they are all there but this is purely to allow you to understand the film without the need for lots of exposition. You are placed in the middle of the Kaiju War with humaity on the brink, I’ve seen others clamouring for a ‘Origin Story’ about how we came together and built these robots but seriously who wants the opening of every superhero movie?
We go to blockbusters for action, and this film delivers with the style of an Idris Elba monologue.
Side note, Idris Elba plays a character called Stacker Pentecost, my new first choice for Baby G. Add in names such as Gypsy Danger and The Shatterdome it is clear someone has been playing the awesome name generator game.
Unlike other action movies you can see what is happening, there are no “realistic shaky cams” but a clear view of the action. Which includes a Jaeger (the proper term for the robots) using an oil tanker as a cudgel.
The best thing about this movie is the joy involved. Unlike the cynical Transformer movies (with bent over Megan Foxes, tie in toys and being made to maximise the dollars) this is a film full of love. Guillermo del Toro has said in interviews that this is movie he has tried to recreate the Giant Monster Movies of his youth, tied with his love of luchadore wrestling, and it shows. This is a film made by someone who clearly enjoys making this film and it shows.
From the very first scene to the last I had a huge smile on my face, even Mrs G had a look of glee despite a number of face palm dialogue moments. Yes this film has a lot of plot holes and logic jumps, yes there are moments when the laws of science and physics are broken, and yes the script does sound like it was written by a eleven year old. This does not make it a bad film. This is the film for you inner child, it is the movie that makes you feel happy and want to stand and cheer a CGI robot and chisel chinned lead.
If you don’t smile once then you are a dead-hearted cynical pessimist in my book. It will divide people straight down the middle, it is a Marmite movie. Go in expecting Battleship Potemkin and you will be disappointed, go in expecting Battleship and you will also be disappointed. It is comparable to Independence Day without the rampant Americanism, it doesn’t try to do a “dark” story like Batman.
Prior to this my favourite movie was Jurassic Park, this has edged it. I still feel that Jurassic Park is one of the most important movies ever made, but it was more of a thriller than action movie. Scenes like the Raptors in the kitchen are amazing set pieces, but none of them made me feel joy in the same way this film did.
The idea that any sequel is being made is amazing news, it got beat at the box office by Grown Ups 2, and the first movie is so perfect I don’t know of anyway I could improve it.
Especially as this honest trailer already did.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Missing Seqeuls.”
If you could create a sequel to one favorite (standalone) movie, which would it be? How would it build on the original?