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Pacific Rim a giant action-packed surprise

Paul Peterson

Paul Peterson

Ok, so one last time, because the sun is setting on the summer, I’m going to tell you what my process is for watching films. This only applies to the drive in but I’m telling you it works.
I hang out at the drive in every night for the most part from June until Labor Day and part of my job involves making sure everyone exits the building, or in this case the lot. So I am sitting in my car for a lot of movie minutes.
It might seem like fun but try staring down the business end of The Lone Ranger for the 14th time.
Sometimes I watch the film if I’m going to watch it but there are times when I have no interest in what’s on the screen.
Sometimes though, something sneaks thru my preconceptions.Usually I watch the ending first just to see if it looks like they actually have an ending.
If it seems interesting, I’ll watch it without sound.
It really is like I’m challenging the film to capture my attention.
If it does, and I turn the sound up, it’s usually a good film, and a pleasant surprise.
That’s what happened with Pacific Rim.

I thought it looked loud and foolish and just this year’s bigger version of Transformers. I was wrong. It’s a great film.
It is loud and there are things getting blown up and cities being trashed but it has heart and dialogue and  great director telling the story, Guillermo del Toro. I really liked both Hellboys and am one of many who consider Pan’s Labyrinth a masterpiece.
del Toro also wrote this.
It’s an interesting story. There are these giant monsters that live in the ocean and a portal opens and boom, we’re in trouble. There’s not much we can do but there are these giant robots that are powered by the psyches of two Ranger pilots and there’s a chance we might be able to save humanity.
There’s also a couple of nerds who do some kind of a mind meld with the monsters to learn their secrets.
The nerds are hilarious and one can’t help but wonder if del Toro isn’t projecting a little onto these guys and making them heroes.
Their roles are very unique and quite compelling, even down to their affectations. I really enjoyed this subplot. We all know the testosterone cocktail that gets tossed around in these films. Smart is rarely valued.
This movie stands that on its ear.

There is also a really interesting subtext within the mucho macho maelstrom. Stacker the boss and head of the operation has a deep connection to Mako, the wannabe pilot who has to outrun her memories. I won’t spoil it but it has elements of Bruce Willis in Armageddon and makes for a really emotional moment near the end.
There are lots of wheels within wheels in this and there are no cliched moments or characters.
Even the high tech stuff is tied in old school honor and plot.

I really liked this film.
It’s thoughtful and action packed and really keeps you on the edge of your seat. What a nice surprise.
It seems to have made its theatrical run but make sure to check it out when it appears at a video store near you sometime soon, although it really does deserve the big screen.
Size matters, especially when it comes to monster battling robots suits worn by a couple of fighter pilots. See it seems cheesy when you put it that way.
Oh well. I liked it a lot.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul.

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElsePaul Peterson

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