When I was a very young boy, my father was a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force. At that time we were stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Because there was only one channel of American television-neither cable, satellite TV or the internet existed then-my brother and I would often switch to the Japanese programming. It didn’t really matter to us that we couldn’t understand the language, we really only watched for the action and thrill. We watched Ultraman battle giant monsters and other shows involving giant robots battling giant monsters.
While watching Pacific Rim, I was instantly transported back to those days and also remembered Godzilla reruns I had and have seen over the years: The colossal creature from the sea smashing through buildings like they were nothing more than paper mache, droves of people running for their lives. Then, a savior appears. Also massive in appearance; taller than the highest skyscraper. The two become locked in battle. Mountains are leveled, entire city blocks reduced to rubble. Who will be the victor? Thankfully the mechanical golem of steel and the very best in human ingenuity, combined with the bravery and skill of it’s human pilots arise victorious from the epic battle and live to fight another day.
That is the idea behind a film like Pacific Rim and Director Guillermo Del Toro does a fantastic job. The only draw back for me was that a majority of the battles take place in the ocean. I really would have loved to see one of the Kaiju get thrown through a hillside, pulverizing it into level ground, but that’s just the fan boy in me.
Pacific Rim is entertaining at the very least and I believe it opens the door-widely-for some Anime franchises such as Gundam, Robotech and Neon Genesis Evangelion to get the live action treatment. If you’re in the mood for a film where enormously gigantic monsters threaten the existence of the human race and all that stands between them and our extinction are a small band of pilots in mechas that make make the robot in Real Steel look like a toy; then Pacific Rim is precisely the movie for you