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Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim

By Patrick Samuel • November 7th, 2013
Static Mass Rating: 2/5
PACIFIC RIM (MOVIE)
Warner Home Video

Release date: November 11th, 2013
Running time: 132 minutes

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Writers: Travis Beacham, Guillermo del Toro

Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Rob Kazinsky, Max Martini, Ron Perlman

Pacific Rim

The search for other life in the universe is one many might deem pointless, fanciful or even ludicrous, but what if one day we didn’t have to search anymore, what if life out there managed against the odds to find us? How would such an event present itself? Would they be more advanced than us puny humans, would they bestow upon us the secrets to the universe, or life itself? Or would they be similar to us, sharing the same kind of mentality that’s resulted in the countless wars, invasions and exterminations that’s plagued us since we first invented tools to slaughter each other?

In Pacific Rim, the answers to these questions become abundantly clear within the film’s first few minutes. Set in the near future, we encounter a version of our Earth that’s been turned into an even greater battleground than it presently is. From a portal beneath the ocean, giant monsters, referred to as “kaijus”, have been travelling from their world into ours where they’ve been wreaking havoc. In order to defeat them, the military developed their own monsters with the Jaeger project to fight them. The giant robots are controlled by two pilots inside them, but in order to handle the neural load required, their minds have be linked together as well.

Pacific Rim

We’re introduced to two brothers, Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) and Yancy (Diego Klattenhoff) who pilot such a Jaeger, and after battling one of the kaijus at the beginning, Yancy is killed in battle. The Jaeger project is then cancelled and Raleigh takes up construction work in Alaska when the government decide to try and build safe walls to protect its people from the destructive monsters. However, this idea soon proves to be a mistake and a new program is set up to re-modify the Jaegers and send them back into battle as the kaijus continue their attacks.

Still traumatized after losing his brother, Raleigh meets Mako (Rinko Kikuchi), a female pilot who matches his physical capabilities but his commanding officer, Pentecost (Idris Elba), is at first reluctant to let them pilot the Jaeger together. The nature of Mako and Pentecost’s relationship forms some of the melodrama that lingers throughout the film, together with the unresolved father/son issues that follow fellow pilots Chuck (Robert Kazinsky) and Herc (Max Martini).

These characters are very much at the forefront of the film but it’s Dr. Newton (Charlie Day), a scientist who’s passionate about studying the kaiju, and Dr. Hermann (Burn Gorman) who provide us with any kind of thoughtful dialogue, although it’s mostly shouted during the scenes Pacific Rimwhere the attacks are taking place. Using the same technology that allows pilots to access each other’s memories, Newton attempts to “drift” into the mind of one of the monsters so that he can learn more about where they come from and how they might be able to stop them.

Meanwhile, Hermann has his own theories regarding the frequency of the attacks, but these two minds are outweighed by so much muscle and mayhem in the film that they have to fight to be heard.

While Pacific Rim offers a lot of battle scenes and special effects, most of the action takes place either at night or underwater, and for those familiar with the films by Guillermo del Toro, the monsters don’t leave us with much to be in awe of. Feeling somewhat like a cross between Transformers and Godzilla, it’s a film that manages to skip over its most interesting aspect – its story – only to give us things that baffle us even further; such as why the pilots have to be in the robots and not operating them remotely. For the most part the story doesn’t help us understand how pilots accessing each other’s memories helps to balance the neural load and it seemed to be only a tool to help further the escalating melodrama that made the film seem longer than it already was.

Without a doubt, Pacific Rim left me with the feeling that my search for great moments in mainstream modern day science fiction films is probably like the search for life out there… It either doesn’t exist or I’m just looking in all the wrong places.

Pacific Rim

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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