By Aaron Argot
This review contains spoilers for Pacific Rim, reader discretion advised.
The film starts with immersing the audience into the world at threat by the Kaiju, and how humans are fighting back. In doing so, it introduces the main character, Raleigh Becket. Pacific Rim follows Raleigh as he loses his brother in a fight with a Kaiju, leaves the Jaeger program, and is asked to return for a final effort against the Kaiju, in a war that humanity is losing. The film also follows Mako Mori, a second protagonist, who lost her family to a Kaiju attack and is working toward becoming a pilot herself. Most of the movie is humanities final pushes toward victory against the Kaiju.
What really adds to the emotion of the film is the amazing soundtrack. Ramin Djawadi makes the Kaiju seem daunting and monstrous, and hypes up the fights to the max level. Whenever a kaiju destroys a jaeger or is about to destroy a city, you feel as though you are a citizen of the city and your life may be at risk. Whenever a jaeger stares down a kaiju and engages in battle with it, your heart is pumping and you're excited for what’s about to happen. This is largely in part to the work that Ramin Djawadi did in creating the score for this film.
Pacific Rim is del Toro’s love letter to the anime and the kaiju and mecha movies of his childhood. He put a lot of heart into it, and I appreciate every second of time devoted to this film. I have often considered this a perfect movie, since it has a bit of everything, does everything right. This film has elements of noir, the main robot is modeled to resemble a John Wayne type cowboy, and it is said to have the flow of a sports movie. This film has everything, there are elements of so many kinds of movies that there is something for everyone. There’s a good story that is simple enough yet has a deep lore to look through if you so choose. The characters in the story are fleshed out and likable enough to not be overshadowed by the spectacular beasts and mechs. The visuals, including CGI and practical effects, are beautiful to look at and a testament to the kind of detail that went into it. The soundscape helps even more with the immersion in the film and helps get you into it emotionally. Pacific Rim is also great at one of the most important things when it comes to films, and that is for it to be a fun movie to watch and experience.
Del Toro, Guillermo. Audio commentary. Pacific Rim. Dir. del Toro. Warner Bros. Pictures,