Sunday, November 24, 2013

Oh, No! There Goes Tokyo!

Pacific Rim (2013) is pretty much the definitive Big Stupid Friday movie. As I've said before, we like a big, noisy, mindless action movie on Friday nights to help us shut down our minds. This one hit the spot.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Hellboy II), this is your basic live version of a giant monsters vs. giant robots anime. It seems that these Godzilloid monsters called kaiju have started coming out of the Pacific and stomping on our cities. Mankind react quickly, building giant robots to punch them back to the trenches.

Digression: Why not shoot them with missiles from airplanes or long-range gun batteries? This is not discussed, but I assume the answer is: "Our puny weapons are powerless to stop them".

Now these giant robots are controlled by a pair of pilots in cybernetic mind-meld, because why not. Mankind has gotten pretty blase about these monsters because the robots, called Jaegers, are so good. But then our hero, Charlie Hunnam, loses his co-pilot/brother to a new, badder kaiju, and now mankind is in trouble again.

Hunnam gets pulled back into the Jaeger program by hard-assed General Idris Elba. He takes a shine to Elba's assistant/ward, Rinko Kikuchi. Meanwhile, two bickering comic relief mad scientists are predicting worse monsters to come.

The scientists are a hoot:
  • Burn Gorman is the fussy mathematician with a touch of autism
  • Charlie Day is the tattooed Rick Moranis/Elvis Costello type who is just a little too into kaiju
After Day makes an amazing discovery about the kaiju, Elba sends him out to the black market kaiju parts district to try and buy some fresh brain. Since these 100-ton monsters are showing up all over the place, you'd think there would be plenty of material to go around. And you'd think the army would have access to it. And you'd think that they might keep the mad scientist in the lab, and send a flunky to get the brain, but anyway: The kaiju-part bootlegger is Ron Silver - Hellboy himself.

But the best parts are the manga/anime elements: The robot workshop, the monsters, the fights, etc. The rest is just frosting.

1 comment:

mr. schprock said...

I watched the whole thing in the theater last summer. The whole thing. Not since the Matthew Broderick "Godzilla" movie had my endurance been so tested.