Pacific Rim

INTRODUCTION

Pacific Rim is a Guillermo del Toro science fiction monster film telling the story of the future Earth, which is waging war with the Kaiju, which are huge monsters originating from an interdimensional portal at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

To fight off the monsters, humans developed Jaegers, giant humanoid mechas, which can be controlled by two people who are neutrally connected. The film focus on the concluding battles of the war involving Raleigh Becket and his co-pilot, Mako Mori.

The film was shot from 2011 to 2012 in Toronto, and it was produced by Legendary Pictures and distributed by Warner Bros. After its premiere on July 12, 2013, the film was received positively by critics, with focus on its visual effects, actions sequences, and style. The film did not earn well in the US but it was popular in other countries.

Pacific Rim starred Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Robery Kazinzky, Max Martini, and Ron Perlman.

A sequel of the movie is slated to come out in February 2018 with Steven S. DeKnight as director.

PLOT

Earth was currently under siege by monsters or Kaiju coming from “The Breach,” an interdimensional portal at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. To defeat the monsters, humans developed the Jaegers, the colossal robots which should be manned by two pilots to be able to operate.

In 2020, the brothers Raleigh and Yancy Becket piloted the Gipsy Danger to fight a monster called Knifehead. However, the monster survived their attack, and it destroyed the robot, killing Yancy in the process. Raleigh quit from service after losing his brother in the said battle.

After five years, Kaiju monsters started attacking more intensively, and their strength seemed to have grown exponentially. Because of this, more and more Jaegers were being destroyed. Thus, the world leaders decided to put an end to the Jaeger program. Meanwhile, Marshal Stacker Pentecost made the decision to fight one last battle with the monsters and he called on the remaining Jaeger pilots to their Shatterdome base in Hong Kong. He also tried to convince Raleigh to rejoin the program.

Raleigh met the remaining Jaeger pilots from other countries and Mako Mori, the director of the Jaeger refurbishment. They tried to find a new partner for Raleigh but it turned out the Mako was the perfect fit for the neural connection. During the test, Raleigh remembered the death of his brother, which stimulated Mako to remember her tragic past with a Kaiju attack. This caused a problem which got Mako suspended by Pentecose, her adopted father.

Kaiju scientists discovered that the stabilization of the Breach caused the increase of Kaiju attacks. Newton, one of the scientists, made a connection with a Kaiju brain fragment and learned that Kaiju were monster created to wipe humanity for the alien colonists who wanted to invade the planet. Pentecost assigned Newton to find an intact Kaiju brain in the black market. However, the Kaiju also learned about Newton, and now, to monsters were released to find the scientist.

Except for Raleigh, all Jaeger pilots were dispatched. Most of the Jaegers were destroyed, and Pentecost had no choice but to allow Raleigh and Mako to fight. The two managed to kill the two monsters. However, when they checked the corpse of one of the monsters, they discovered that it was pregnant and its offspring suddenly burst out and swallowed the scientists. While drifting in the infant Kaiju’s brain, the scientists learned that the Breach only opens in the presence of Kaiju DNA.

The remaining Jaeger pilots, along with Pentecost, went to their last mission at the Pacific Ocean. The Jagers killed some of the monsters until a Category 5 Kaiju appeared and greatly damaged the Jaeger co-piloted by Pentecost. Meanwhile, Raleigh used the Gipsy Danger to seal the Breach using its nuclear reactor. Raleigh gave his own oxygen supply to the unconscious Mako and released her from the robot via the escape pod. Raleigh manually overloaded the reactor just as it was plunging into the portal.

The Breach was sealed with the explosion of the reactor and Raleigh and Mako survived through their escape pods.

CAST OF PACIFIC RIM

Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh Becket

Raleigh Becket was a former pilot of the Pan Pacific Defense Corps who called again for his duty. He suffered from a great loss in the movie and he did not really have the will to fight anything. Thanks to Pentecost and Mako, he managed to make a rebound and went back to fighting monsters.

Idris Elba as Stacker Pentecost

Stacker Pentecost is Raleigh’s commanding officer and is seen throughout the movie showing a strong character though it was indicated that he was suffering from his own inner struggles.

Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori

Mako Mori lost her family to a Kaiju. Thus, she has all the right to get mad and to want revenge against the monsters. Pentecost adopted her and did not want to put her in any danger at all, which led to a gap in their relationship as a father and daughter.

Charlie Day as Dr. Newton Geiszler

As one of the scientists assigned to studying the Kaiju, Dr. Newton Geiszler was one of the people who discovered the needed break to destroy the monsters. The scientist is unlike the Jaeger pilots, who were all trained to fight. Instead, he made a mark on his own when he set discovering the weakness of the Kaiju.

The other notable character from the film are as follows:

  • Max Martini as Herc Hansen

  • Robert Kazinzky as Chuck Hansen

  • Ron Perlman as Hannibal Chau

  • Clifton Collins, Jr. as Ops Tendo Choi

  • Burn Gorman as Dr. Hermann Gottlieb

  • Diego Klattenhoff as Yancy Becket

  • Ellen McLain as Gipsy Danger AI

PRODUCTION OF PACIFIC RIM

The film’s production started with Beacham’s conception of the idea for the Pacific Rim while he was taking a walk on the beach. There, he imagined a giant robot fighting a giant monster. Then, he thought of what could possibly happen if the robot has two pilots and one of them dies. Beacham proceeded to write the film, and it was bought by Legendary Pictures in 2010.

After dealing with some issues on another film, Guillermo del Toro was tapped to direct Pacific Rim in 2011. He worked with Beacham and was also credited for his work as a co-writer.

The filming lasted from November 2011 to April 2012, totaling a number of 103 shooting days. Del Toro worked most of the week and strictly controlled the production of the movie.

The film was shot with Red Epic cameras. The director did not want to convert the movie into 3D at first, but he later changed his mind. Almost an hour of footage was also cut from the film, the cut scenes mostly focused on story of the characters of the film but Del Toro wanted the film to have some balance.

The film was made as an honor to the Kaiju and mecha genres but with hopes of providing it with its own originality. Del Toro also did not want the monsters to look like anything from Gamera, Godzilla, or The War of the Gargantuas so everything was made from scratch. The film’s designers were Wayne Barlow, Oscar Chichoni, and the monster sculptors, David Meng and Simon Lee. Francisco Ruiz Velasco, who worked in Hellboy II and The Hobbit, was also part of the design team.

Almost 100 Kaiju designs were made from the movie but only some of them were featured in the film. Del Toro did not want the monsters to resemble any creature on Ear, and he wanted them to look like engineered creations and not creatures that underwent evolution.

The Knifehead Kaiju looked like a man in a rubber suit with a head inspired by that of a goblin shark. Leatherback, on the other hand, was made to move like a gorilla. Otachi served as homage to the dragons of the Chinese mythology, and it moved like a Komodo dragon in water. Otachi also showed signs of intelligence compared with the other monsters. Onibaba, the Kaiju who killed Mako’s parents, looked like a combination of Japanese temple and crustacean. The largest Kaiju, Slattern, had a long neck and a “half-horn, half-crown” head.

The Gipsy Danger used New York City’s Art Deco buildings are reference, whereas Chemo Alpha was based on the paint patterns of a T-series Russian tank. The three-armed Chinese Jaeger looked like Chinese lacquered word with golden edges. The Australian Jaeger looked like a Lan Rover and the most elegant.

Industrial Light & Magic handled the visual effects of the movie. Shane Mahan of Legacy Effects created the suits, helmets, and conn-pods. Hybride Technologies and Rodeo FX also worked on the visual effects of Pacific Rim.

The miniature effects were provided by 32TEN Studios.

RECEPTION

The film earned $101.8 million in North America and grossed more internationally, earning $309.2 million in other countries.

The film reached the top 1 spot at the international box office the weekend of its release, with China becoming the largest marker for the film followed by Japan.

The film received positive reviews, having a Metacritic rating of 64/100 and 71% in Rotten Tomatoes. Some publications also applaud the film, including The Daily Telegraph, The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Post, Rolling Stone, Wired, The Village Voice, and Time Out.

Meanwhile, other reviewers who did not favor the film included those from The Guardian, Time, The New Yorker, Variety, the San Francisco Chronicles, Slant Magazine, The Wrap, and The Sydney Morning Herald.