14th July - Pacific Rim
There is not much else I can say about Pacific Rim that has not already been said by fan art, critical essays about race or feminism and fanficition already available about Pacific Rim only weeks after its UK release. There is literally no better accolade that I can give it than knowing I am going to see it a second time only a week after first watching it.
It really is something else. In a time where most films go for hard-boiled grit and realism its incredibly refreshing to watch a sci-fi film that is not afraid to be fun too. Despite being firmly set around the end of days, there’s an atmosphere of quiet normality rather than of desperation and despair. Despite characters such as tattoo-ed kaiju-fanatic scientist Dr. Newton and his neurotic yet introverted ‘side-kick’ mathematician ‘friend’ Dr. Hermman obviously around to provide levity, it is hardly needed (although absolutely wanted considering Charlie Day and Burn Gorman’s phenomenal chemisty and comedic yet oddly poignant performances) as characters are far from being that cut-out stotic hero we have come to expected of blockbuster science fiction.
Protagonists with personality. What a wonderful surprise! Even Commander Stacker Pentecost Year Zero veteran and stern ‘father’ of Mako Mori is refreshingly fun to watch especially his run-ins with “Mako Mori Fan Club President” Raliegh and his odd meetings with reluctant science duo Dr. Newton and Dr. Hermann. Characters are not just likable but lovable. It’s probably why an entire fandom has sprouted up from practically nothing in a few short weeks.
Pacific Rim is absolutely stunning to watch. Director Guillermo Del Toro (famed for other such visual treasures as Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy: The Golden Army) certainly exercised his masterful attention to detail. Everything from the set design (hailing both unimaginable technological advancement and the decay of war) to the kaiju character designs (terrifying homages to the giant-monster films infamous in Japan) is simply awe-inspiring.
There’s something very, very special about Pacific Rim. Maybe it’s like most other sci-fi films I’ve seen this year: there’s ideas here! There is a very fascinating mythos with well developed characters inhabiting a colourful yet ultimately dying universe. It’s truly exciting to jump into. I was totally immersed for its duration: clutching the seat, jumping at the kaijus’ blows and literally recoiling as the jaegers took a hit. It’s definitely the Summer blockbuster I’ve been waiting for.
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