The Joy and Monstrosity of Pacific Rim

That giant robot in the picture above is Cherno Alpha.

For six years, the husband and wife team who pilot Cherno Alpha successfully defended the Russian coastline from Godzilla-like creatures who have come here to mop up the human race.

Cherno Alpha has a massive fuel cell in place of a head, secretly protecting its pilots inside its torso but unfortunately also preventing them from being able to launch an escape pod in case of severe structural damage to their robot.

Now Cherno Alpha is rushing into battle to protect Tokyo in yet another battle against giants from the sea.

Not that you would learn much of that from watching Pacific Rim. No, those are just minor details I looked up on the internet, not really important plot points. Just some trivia from the fascinating world from the minds of writers Travis Beacham and Guillermo del Toro.

Pacific Rim is an incredible accomplishment, a movie about monsters and the humans who rise up to fight them. There is no grand metaphor here, just the rush of outmatched pilots out to save humanity in a world of sheer imagination.

I can’t understand why people who will stand in line for a fourth Transformers movie refuse to see this superior joyride. Still, as badly as I wish there could be a sequel and as unlikely as it that is, Pacific Rim is film enough to stand on its own and be remembered and cherished.

It is closer to Avatar than it is to Transformers, capturing a sense of wonder and pure thrills. Instead of exploring a new blue alien body, here we are learning how to mindmeld with our co-pilot and share our deepest memories together. Here we are turning fighting reflexes into coordinated and specific movements to wrestle a billion ton terror to the ground.

The battles are an onslaught. Luckily the kooky side characters provide a much needed relief from the unrelenting intensity of these sea battles. The Pacific Ocean feels cramped and tiny when filled with such monstrosities.

I hate the Kaiju, their repulsive body shapes and raw brutality creates a terrible injustice. They should not exist. They must be destroyed. They must be brutally put down.

They bring out the monster in me. They make me crave violence. It’s disturbing.

This movie makes me feel. It makes me laugh, shudder, squirm, and smile. Lots of the smile.

Why aren’t people seeing Pacific Rim? I have no idea, but they should. Wow.


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