Tuesday, July 16, 2013

This one is for the kids

Film: Pacific Rim

Director: Guillermo Del Toro

In a pile of sci-fi movies shipped to us from Hollywood, finally a blockbuster arrives with a heart of its own, and brings along something entirely fresh to the current scheme of things. But the problem with Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim is that the heart just stops beating towards the end.

Set in the near future (2020), the film opens with legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, emerge from an inter-dimensional portal in the depths of the Pacific Ocean. To fight these demons, the human race unites to create large manned robots, Jaegers, of its own. However, while the robots take care of the initial threats, the aliens begin to adapt, evolve and grow stronger. On the verge of defeat, the governments disband the Jaeger project. But Marshall Stacker assembles what is left of the project, and creates a private resistance to get rid of the problem once and for all.

The film offers magnificent imagery of a world united by a common fear and is fairly innovative in thought and precise in its execution. The screenplay progresses in an upward manner, starting off with just a few glimpses of a threat that grows bigger and bigger with every passing sequence. But just short of its climax, the film lets go of its imagination and resorts to a tried-and-tested, derivative method to resolve the conflict.

The first duel between a Kaiju and a Jaeger takes place in the presence of a trawler with humans on it and this theme, which tries hard to establish a human connect while a giant robot is fighting an ugly monster, disappears somewhere in the second half. Between being aloof and spontaneously melodramatic, the film fails to find its tempo at times.

The graphics and action sequences overwhelm you with their size and surpasses the likes of Transformers in terms of technique and Godzilla in terms of impact. However, the fact remains, this is a film about creatures from foreign planets duelling with giant robots of equal size. If you are into that, go ahead. But make sure all the 8-10 year olds you know watch this. They deserve the magnificence and grandeur.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Published in DNA (Pune) on July 13, 2013

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