Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pacific Rim on DVD

When I first heard about a movie called Pacific Rim, I had little interest in seeing it. I wasn't impressed by the Transformers movies (Sorry! I know I have readers who are fans. I'm not trying to be a hater!), and Pacific Rim looked too much like those. But then I started hearing things about it. It was getting good reviews. People I knew liked it. I put it on the back burner to see when it came out on DVD, and now here I am, converted.

If this movie had been just like Transformers and all about the huge fighting machines, I don't think I would have liked it. But it's not about the machines at all. Sure, they are essential to the plot, but they aren't the plot. The story is more about the characters (which I always love), and when characters are at their rope's end with nothing more to lose, that's when you can tap into and draw out the rawest of emotions and reach a level all humanity can identify with, no matter the external differences.

The plot itself...completely far-fetched and ridiculous, but with good characters, I didn't much mind. And okay, I admit, it was a tiny bit cool to see gigantic robots being controlled by two little humans, linked mind to mind and unafraid of the weaponry and alien creatures around them.

There was one nitpicky thing I didn't like about the movie's characters. Two of them (not the brothers at the beginning) looked so much alike that I often had trouble distinguishing between them at first, but it didn't hurt my understanding of the basic premise much.

This movie obviously calls to mind other famous monster movies like Cloverfield and Godzilla, for instance. But though it takes itself seriously enough, I like that it sort of pulls its punches. Normally, I wouldn't say such a thing. But not being a big fan of total annihilation disaster movies, it was refreshing for me to see so many characters survive to the end of the film. There were a few who I was sure were goners but that happily came out alive at the end. Of course, that's not to say everyone survives. The numbers were just higher than I expected. And though the stinger is hardly worth waiting around for (the advantage of DVD is that you don't have to) there's yet another example of a punch pulled.

Altogether, I was impressed and satisfied by this movie from director Guillermo del Toro, with Charlie Hunnam as the lead. It's rated PG-13, mostly for sci-fi action and violence, and just over two hours long without feeling dragged out. Maybe my satisfaction is due to the fact that I wasn't expecting much, and yeah, it's basically just a good popcorn movie. But nothing's wrong with popcorn...or a fun movie to watch as you eat it. Three stars.

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