CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

"Pacific Rim" is no "King Kong versus Godzilla"

**King Kong versus Godzilla** will be celebrating it's 50th anniversary this year. This international classic has been an influence for young people. The Japanese art form of "anime" is the flower that **King Kong versus Godzilla** seeded. The new release with snazzy special effect of **Pacific Rim** owes a debt to **King Kong versus Godzilla,** which cast two stuntmen in monster costumes and let them destroy paper machee buildings.

**Pacific Rim** opens in 2013 when the first Kaiju attacks the California shores. Kaijus are giant sea creatures from the Pacific rim that want to eradicate mankind. The world governments unite and create the Jaeger Program. Jaegers are giant robots that are used to battle the Kaijus. A Jaeger must be piloted by two people in the central processing unit.

The robot versus sea monster battles become a generational conflict. During one such battle, Raleigh (Charlie Hunan) loses his brother and his Jaeger, Gipsey Danger, is sent into a storage unit. After years of self imposed exile, Raleigh is greeted by his old boss, Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba). The Kaiju are planning a full frontal assault and the Gipsey Danger must be taken out of mothballs in what could be mankind's last stand.

Like a good war movie from the Golden Age of Hollywood, **Pacific Rim** snatches victory from the jaws of defeat. Character clich�s mount and Mr. Pentecost gives a rousing speech about the survival of mankind with a nod to Shakepeare's **Henry V** and Bill Pullman from **Independence Day.**

Co written and directed by Guillermo del Toro, **Pacific Rim** is the director's first movie in 5 years. Despite being on the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery IMAX screen, del Toro's visual eye seems a bit rusty. All of the battles take place at night in the rain or underwater. Fortunately del Toro's attention to detail is not lost in the background, especially the scenes in Hong Kong that looks like Disneyworld Epcot at night.

Ironically, the secondary characters create most of the audience empathy. Ron Perlman shines as Hannibal Chau, an entrepreneur who sells Jaeger anatomy on the black market. Nerds Geiszler (Charlie Day) and Gottleib (Burn Gorman) steal the spotlight as bickering scientists who unlock the secrets of the Kajiu.

**Pacific Rim** is the victim of high expectations. Fans of giant monsters and robots like the film and it should be interesting to see if the film will be remembered in 2063 anno domini. Fans of the 1963 film, **King Kong versus Godzilla** will have an opportunity to see this epic, for free, on the big screen Saturday - August 17 on the big screen at Imperial Point Library.
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