REVIEW – Pacific Rim (in Taglish)

Mechagandahan
Review by VIves Anunciacion
Published July 12, 2013
Inquirer Libre

Pacific Rim
Directed by Guillermo del Toro

For all the Gundam fans, Voltes V fans, Transformers, Ultraman, Voltron, Deimos and even Godzilla fans – go see Pacific Rim.

Guillermo del Toro’s new sci-fi actioner is a unique summer blockbuster all its own that does great job in creating its own universe while keeping reference to its various mecha, kaiju and video game influences.

Sa pelikula, nagsilabasan sa bitak sa ilalim ng Pacific Ocean ang mga higanteng alien na kung tawagin ay Kaiju. Pagkaraan ng ilang taon na pakikipagtalo sa mga Kaiju (Japanese word meaning giant monster), nagsanib-pwersa ang mga bansa ng mundo na likhain ang mga higanteng robot na Jaeger (German word for warrior, pronounced “yay-ger”) upang mano-manong labanan ang panghahasik ng mga Kaiju (hindi kasi umuubra ang simpleng missile lang.)

Parang Tekken ito o kaya universal fighting – may mga Jaeger ang malalaking bansa para ipang-laban sa mga Kaiju. Crimson Typhoon ang Jaeger ng China. Striker Eureka ang Jaeger ng Australia. Si Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam ng Nicholas Nickleby) at si Mako Mori (Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi) ang mga piloto ng Gypsy Danger, Jaeger ng America. Kailangang pag-isahin ng mga piloto ang kanilang pag-iisip upang makontrol ang isang Jaeger, gaano man kaiba ang kanilang mga pag-uugali, kahit magkalaban pa sila. Ito ang mensahe ng pelikula – na nagingibabaw ang pangangailanan ng daigdig kaysa sa indibidwal na kaugalian ng tao.

Del Toro has done what Tarantino has with his spaghetti westerns and Hong Kong wire-fu homages – and better. More than paying homage to his inspirations, del Toro has created his own movie universe that does not take itself too seriously, but still packs quite the action punch. Alam mo na hindi mo dapat seryosohin ang pinapanood mo, pero sobra siyang nakaeenganyo kaya tutok na tutok ka pa rin sa mga pangyayari. Di tulad ng karamihan ng mga superhero movies na kalalabas lang na sobrang sineseryoso ang mga kwento nila para raw maging makatotohanan ang mga karakter. Kahit alam mong superhero movie na nga siya.

I love how Asian-centric the millieu is even though the main characters are essentially Caucasian – of course since the story happens around the Pacific Rim. For once, we see a blockbuster movie that’s mostly held in Asian countries (kahit na fake.) And the scope – visually and in the narrative. You know there’s more in the story between the pilots, even though not all are discussed or shown. In a sense the movie gives the audience more than enough to derive things deeper than what was shown.

The reveal of the Jeagers (after the title appears) is a wonderful sequence for mecha fans, made more exciting by the music of Ramin Djawadi (who also made the music for Game of Thrones.) That scene takes me back to my childhood watching Voltes V and Deimos. Japanese actress Rinko is a breath of fresh air. Kung mablis ang mata ninyo, baka makita niyo pa ang mga jeepney sa Manynila.

So if you love your toys and your robots, there’s no question you’re going to love Pacific Rim.

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