Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pacific Rim

I've been raving about Pacific Rim since I saw it opening weekend, and didn't realize I hadn't yet written about it.

It's a fantastic, big-robots versus giant monster film, has the requisite Guillermo Del Toro visual panache, and is a needed film.


I avoid reviews before movies, but I remember after seeing them movie hearing a phrase from one reviewer who said, "This is exactly the kind of movie we need" -- And that resonated with me.

I don't know what his/her meaning was, but for me, movie going has changed for the (far) worse over the years. Theaters not being competitive (not running their establishments like a business), spoilers rampant and tough to avoid on social media streams before the movie even comes out, disrespect and distraction from audience members during a showing, etc.

(Thank goodness for Alamo Drafthouse.)

But then Pacific Rim comes out.

It's a movie meant to be seen in the theater, and it drove people to the theater. It's a genre film, and that genre is "anime mecha" (cartoon giant robots). And it delivered a live-action version of that genre in a brilliant way that pulled in the Neon Genesis Evangelion crowd, and the crowd for which that esoteric franchise isn't accessible or attractive.

It pulled off tropes from Japanese action cartoons in a live-action film, and did so not only believably, but in a way that made people cheer out loud in theaters.

Charlie Hunnam as the lead is solid. Charlie Day is engaging as not over-the-top comedy relief. Rinko Kikuchi is empathy-grabbing without being maudlin -- I would love love love to see a Breakfast at Tiffany's remake with her as Holly Golightly, or My Fair Lady with Ms. Kikuchi as Eliza Doolittle. (Give me a moment.)

And  Idris Elba? Totally sells cancelling the apocalypse. Every time.

It's a fun film to see in digital 2D. And IMAX. And D-Box. Multiple times.

(And I'm hopeful for a director's cut with tons of extras.)