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Slick’s Nit-Picks: Pacific Rim (IMAX 3-D)

Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to be honest with yourselves for a moment. We, as the so called “dominant” species of this planet, are a pathetic race of beings. We categorize and separate ourselves by the color of our skin, the shape of our bodies, the country we were born in, the deity(-ies) we worship and countless other things when we are all just humans. The only time we ever come together is when faced with disaster and/or possible annihilation. This is truth, there is nothing you can argue against that. Thankfully, the worst thing we have ever had to deal with thus far is the threat of each other, something we have, again thus far, been able to deal with without destroying the planet. Now we are reasonably intelligent hairless monkeys; and most of us realize that it is simply impossible that Earth is the only planet in the universe with sentient life. We always wonder when and if we will encounter whatever “neighbors” we have. So let me leave you with this single, horrifying thought: let’s say aliens do come to Earth (assuming they have not already). If they behave anything like us, what is the likelihood that they would be peaceful? Think about that while you look up at the stars at night. Then realize that as imaginative as we are, that space is likely not the only way to travel from one planet to another. Guillermo del Toro explores this eerie possibility in the new summer blockbuster film, Pacific Rim.

THE REAL RULES You only need to follow the first two guidelines of this so-called survival guide. And in the event of a Kaiju attack, there are only three rules, two of which are correctly pictured above. Do follow rule number one and rule number six. Other than that, there is only one, extremely important thing to know: If you actually see a Kaiju with your own eyes, it is too late. There is a 99.99999% likelihood that you, are fucked. Have a nice day.

AQUAMAN IS NOT SUCH A JOKE NOW, HUH? We always thought that it would come from above. Friend or foe, we always thought that our first encounter with aliens would come from the sky. Instead, it came from the Pacific Ocean floor. Titanic beasts called Kaiju rise from the depths of the ocean and decimate coastal cities of Earth. Conventional weapons are as effective as Nerf guns against the invading monsters. Millions are killed worldwide by the Kaiju until humanity develops titans of our own, the Jaegers. Jaegers are robots built to match the Kaiju in size and strength. Various nations build their own version, piloted by a two-person team. The pilots are neurally linked via the “Drift,” which allows them to work in sync with one another and properly control the Jaeger. The Jaegers were effective for years, until the monsters started getting smarter and appearing more frequently. With mankind’s only defense against the Kaiju failing, all hope appears to be lost. Sounds like it’s time for one of those good ol’ Independence Day speeches…

Hide ya kids; hide ya wife!

HEIMDALL, SAVE US! This is going to sound really messed up, but aside from #robotbootstokaijuasses, the only reason to watch this movie is to hear Idris Elba talk. Well, Ron Perlman also, but listening to Hellboy talk trash is a given pleasure. To be fair, Charlie Hunnam (Raleigh) and Rinko Kikuchi (Mako) have very good screen chemistry – they had to, their respective characters share a mental bond. The combinations of Charlie Day (Geiszler) with both Burn Gorman (Gottlieb) and Perlman (Hannibal Chau) made for decent comic relief, but the human characters might as well have been the kaiju because the story does not compel you to care about them. The relationship between Pentecost and Mori is touching, but there is no real effort to develop it. The flashback scene that explains how they met looks like something out of Little Shop of Horrors (the play), complete with cheap stage lighting. Even “GLaDOS” (Ellen McLain) was forgettable. Why they bothered to use such an iconic voice and do absolutely nothing funny with her is beyond me. Now don’t get me wrong, this is a fun movie, just don’t expect any academy awards to go to it except for possibly best visual effects. That said, your brain might be stuck in the drift chasing the rabbit if you go to see this movie for the acting.

GO BUY A NEW TV, NOW! You know how everyone went all ooooooh and ahhhhhhhh when Avatar came out? This is one of those movies. The 3-D is nothing special, but this is one of those movies that begs to be seen in IMAX. You see your first kaiju seconds after the movie starts and the action is pretty constant through to the end of the film. Even when you see fights on a TV screen it looks awesome. My only beef is that the kaiju were very unoriginal. As you can see, the one pictured above is slightly reminiscent of Gamera. Others look like Godzilla foes and one even looks similar to the Cloverfield monster. This is a small gripe though because the movie is a huge hommage to all giant monster flicks before it. The Jaeger designs looked like a throwback to shows like Giant Robo and other old anime and that was awesome. The robots were simple in design because they were not made to be flashy; they were made to separate kaiju from this plane of existence. I thank the mighty blu-ray lords that I am getting a new TV next week, because this is going to be one of those must own videos later this year.

NEEDS MOAR AKIRA IFUKUBE! The music in Pacific Rim composed by Ramin Djawadi was very good and it definitely fit the movie. It is just kind of weird the story took elements from so many older movies that there were no musical nods to movies like Godzilla. I wish I could have stood outside the film when it let out and asked the older viewers if they could have seen this playing during the fights:

Of course there is the issue that a new Godzilla movie is coming out next year (and it BETTER use this music). What is done is done and I am not really complaining. These days, the musical score for movies is rarely anything to write home about and the music for Pacific Rim is not going to be one of those special instances.

I walked into this theatre with the expectations of a five year old me on a Saturday afternoon at my grandmother’s house (R.I.P. grandma). Pacific Rim is a movie for grown men and women that used to watch Godzilla marathons. If said adults have children, they are taking them to this movie to enjoy that childhood pleasure with their children. As a film, this is by no means a masterpiece, but I must give props to Guillermo del Toro. This movie was developed and partially written by Travis Beacham, most recently known for the Clash of the Titans remake. Del Toro took a paper thin plot and made it fun to watch. He made it so that you don’t even care that the plot is paper thin. In essence, he joins the old masters because he created an old style kaiju movie for a brand new generation. If Fox still did the marathons then Pacific Rim would play somewhere in there. If you were one of those kids that used to enjoy those types of films then you must see this movie because you will really enjoy it. If you are an otaku that likes mecha anime, then you must see this film because you will enjoy it. Even if you are just the type that loves to see the big summer blockbuster movie, this is the film for you to see. If you go to see it, make sure you stay for the end credits, all of them. That’s all for now folks, I am gonna go play some Rampage.