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English 1101

Professor: Deborah Artis

Student: Jerry Baker


When I was young, say 7-11 years old, I loved watching classic Japanese monster
movies. Movies like the 1960s Godzilla movies: Godzilla vs. Mothra, Godzilla vs. Rhodan,
Godzilla vs. King Kong, etc. Those old Japanese movies were so cheesy, they were cool. The
monsters were fake, the dialog was stilted, and the acting was way over the top. I thought they
were awesome.
That is why I was curious to see Pacific Rim, a movie that is about giant monsters
(Kaijus) that invade Earth from another dimension through a hole in the Pacific Ocean. Unlike
the old movies, in which the humans are basically defenseless, the human race in this movie
actually has the technology to fight the monsters by building giant humanoid robots (Jaegers)
that are piloted by two humans each. The human pilots must have the minds linked together by a
process that the movie calls drifting. When drifting, the pilots can feel what each other is
feeling, share their memories, and read each others minds. They have to be connected in the
drift in order to properly operate the Jaegers.
The movie itself is set in the 2020s. After the first few invasions, the nations of the
Pacific Rim countries put aside their differences and build the defensive robots. That happens to
be the main theme of the movie that humans can accomplish great things, beat almost

insurmountable odds, if they put aside their petty differences and work together for the common
good. I think it is done in an utter ably predictable way, but it is there.
The main protagonist of the film is Raleigh Beckett, a washed up robot pilot played by
Charlie Hunnan. His character has tragedy befall him when, early in the movie, his brother is
killed while he and Raleigh are piloting a Jaeger against a Kaiju. In the aftermath, Raleigh falls
out of favor. The movie then fast forwards a few years and Raleigh is called upon to join with a
new partner to rejoin the fight against the Kaijus. In addition to Raleigh, there are several other
pivotal characters within the film. Stacker Pentacost (played by Idris Elba) is the Jaeger
commander. Stackers character is a typical tough minded military type leader. Raleighs new
partner is Mako Mori (played by Rinko Kinkuci). Mako is a central character to the film. As a
child, she lost her parents in one of the earliest Kaiju attacks. The memory of that attack and
how she survived it provides a surprise in the movie which sheds light on her relationship with
Pentacost. Another character of note is Hannibal Chau (played by Ron Perleman), a Kaiju organ
broker. Every time a Kaiju is killed, Hannibal sends a team in to harvest its body parts and sells
them on the black market. His character is so over the top and predictable, he almost seems like
he came straight out of a comic book.
No one is going to win an Oscar for their acting performance in this film. The dialogue is
predictable. The plot is fairly predictable as well. But it is not the worst acted movie Ive ever
seen either. In that sense, they actors do their job. I say that because they are not the stars of the
movie. The monsters are the stars and they are meant to be.
Just like the old Godzilla movies that I used to love so much, this movie is meant to
target a younger (7-12 year old) audience. The director, Guillermo del Toro, in an interview said
that his main goal was to introduce these monsters to a new generation of kids while not boring

the adults to death. (Wikipedia Foundation Inc) He also mentions that he is trying to pay
homage to the old Godzilla type movies. He hits the mark on both accounts.
The special effects for this movie were very good, especially the fight scenes. Very
creative, with there being just enough of them to keep me interested. There is also some mildly
humorous parts of the movie as well. Not bust your gut laughs, but moments where you can see
that the director is not trying to take the film too seriously.
In the end I pretty much get what Im looking for; an old school monster movie updated
for the 21st century. Its not Norma Rae, or Terms of Endearment. That is okay. It was never
meant to be an Oscar winning social commentary. It was just meant to be @ two hours of
mindless entertainment. And on that score, it does hit the mark. By the way, my 5 year old
grandson A.J. loved it. Guess I have to try and find the toysChristmas is coming you know!

Wikipedia Foundation Inc. Wikipedia. n.d. 31 October 2014.

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