JAEGER (yā’gar, German) Hunter.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays – not because of the food, or the visitors, but because of the long weekend. (Note to my international readers: We get Thursday through Sunday off. It’s awesome.) This year, I used that extra time to catch up on a lot of stories. Because stories are my favorite thing! (Well, after food. Maybe.)
I read seven or eight books. (I can’t remember exactly how many.) Historical fiction, contemporary, short stories, et cetera. I started listening to Welcome to Night Vale. I binge-watched Carmilla. I had time for a few more episodes of Elementary.
And I watched Pacific Rim.
My wonderful friend Micha @ Wanderer on the Sands of Time adores that movie more than I’ve ever seen anyone adore anything. And enthusiasm is infectious, right?! So eventually I said OK OK I NEED TO WATCH THIS MOVIE ALREADY. So I did.
It was an afternoon well spent. And now I’m going to write a list of awesome things that will hopefully convince YOU to watch the movie!
This post is spoiler-free!
1. This movie has MONSTERS and GIANT FIGHTING ROBOTS…
(The plot is basically about these giant creatures from another world – known as the kaiju – that appear from a rift in Earth’s crust deep beneath the ocean, and attack cities. Eventually Jaegers – huge robots piloted by two or more people – were built to fight the kaiju. Awesomeness ensues.)
2. …but it’s also a well-written movie.
I must confess: I was not expecting this. (Sorry, Micha!) I was expecting a fun-yet-slightly-pointless story, but Pacific Rim isn’t that. Sure, there are a lot of scenes with kaiju and Jaegers punching each other in the face, but the movie also has time for a decent plot.
When I see action/adventure/superhero movies, I expect lots of explosions and super-expensive special effects, and little else. I don’t expect intriguing subplots! I don’t expect well-written, complex friendships between characters! Basically, I don’t expect to be impressed by any movie containing that much action and violence. But I was WRONG. Pacific Rim doesn’t win the title of “deepest movie ever,” but it’s definitely a compelling story.
3. It’s dystopian/post-apocalyptic.
Basically: END-OF-THE-WORLD AWESOMENESS AND DRAMA.
4. Pacific Rim has an amazing soundtrack composed by none other than the brilliant Ramin Djwadi.
I love his work on Game of Thrones, and his music here is just as beautiful, if very different. Forget violins and fantastical-sounding pieces – think electric guitars instead! My favorite piece is “Canceling the Apocalypse,” a simple-yet-beautiful reprise of the main theme, but I also really love the following songs:
And last but not least, courtesy of Micha, here is an awesome video that you NEED in your life: Pacific Rim‘s main theme played on a singing Tesla coil!
(What can I say? Micha is a science nerd.)
5. There are SO MANY FRIENDSHIPS in this movie.
I think that forms the heart of Pacific Rim, honestly: People working together to fight giant monsters. There is one pairing that could, I suppose, be interpreted as romantic, but it seems like a lot of people see Raleigh/Mako as best friends and not boyfriend/girlfriend.
And I love that. SO MANY MOVIES have completely unnecessary romantic subplots, and this movie is just like, “Pffft. Who needs those when you can have a story about FRIENDS WHO BLOW UP THINGS?!”
6. The scientists are amazing.
Speaking of friendships… Newt and Hermann crack me up! They’re the scientists in charge of learning more about the kaiju, and they are so. Freaking. Great. They squabble about one another’s theories and argue about Newt’s foolish decisions. (Such as linking his brain with that of a kaiju, just to see what would happen.)
Basically, they’re the best.
7. This movie portrays one of the best father/daughter relationships I’ve yet seen in fiction.
Mako and Stacker* are adorable. They really, really care for one another, always worrying about whether the other person will come back safely, and basically they’re just… perfect. I may have even teared up during some scenes. I find that a lot of young protagonists have very shallow relationships with their parents – they don’t really interact with them that much during the story, and instead go on their merry way. But that’s not the case in this movie, and I appreciated.
*All the characters in Pacific Rim have weird names. You’ll get used to it.
8. I think people of all ages can find something to like about Pacific Rim.
I LOVE stories that are capable of this! Star Wars and the Harry Potter books are excellent examples of this as well – there are so many facets to those stories that I think anyone could read/watch them and find something they enjoy.
So. I think little kids would probably be like, “Wow, giant monsters! And explosions!” Those who are a little older will probably pay more attention to the subplots, dark dystopian setting, et cetera.
There are a lot of movies that can’t do this – The Hunger Games films spring immediately to mind. They’re great movies, to be sure, but honestly I think they have a fairly narrow fanbase in terms of age. No one’s going to take their eight-year-old to Mockingjay Part One, right? (God, I hope not. That was INTENSE.) Meanwhile Pacific Rim, for all its fight scenes, is a surprisingly ungory movie.
I would recommend Pacific Rim to
lots of people anyone who enjoys science fiction or dystopian fiction. Or robots. Or film scores that kick butt. I would like to thank A) Guillermo del Toro, for making such a cool movie, and B) Micha, for the recommendation. I’m looking forward to the sequel, which will be released sometime in 2017!
P.S. Pacific Rim is by no means a brand-new movie: It came out in the summer of 2013, so if this post has piqued your interest and you want to see it, well, it’s definitely not in theaters. But you can watch it here for free, if you’d like. And be sure to let me know what you think once you’ve finished it!