Pacific Rim is del Toro’s Fanboy Opus

Homages are a tricky business. Filmmakers often miss the mark and stalely repeat events of other movies with no panache or style (think Oblivion). Occasionally, the filmmaker’s love of the subject shows and fans happily ingest the wonderful reminders of movies or games they love. Pacific Rim is one such movie,

Pacific Rim is what would exist if Xenosaga and Independence Day had a baby and name Fallout and Portal the child’s god parents. The movie is about large creatures named kaiju that come from a breach on the Pacific Rim. These creatures aren’t coming from inside the Earth but through a portal of another plane. Humans band together to create giant robots that kills the Gnosis, sorry jaegers, that must be piloted by two humans. Sons of Anarchy’s Charlie Hunnam star as Raleigh a pilot who loses his brother their jaeger Gipsy Danger is attacked. Reilly is brought back into the program when as the break proof wall fails to keep the monster out. The jaegers are their only hope.

PACIFIC RIMThere are classic scenes from a variety of movies. The same speech from Independence Day is included as well as a recreation of Jurassic Park’s water vibrating. These are done beautifully giving each scene its own spin. The characters are stock: a hurt hero, an avenging daughter, the snotty opponent. But these characters fit so flawlessly into this world no questions it.

Guillermo del Toro’s homages don’t stop at the films. Gipsy Danger’s AI is voiced by none other than Portal’s Ellen McLain aka GlaDOS.  The pilots live in a compound that houses bedrooms similar to those in Fallout; the pilots seem to be locked away in their own vaults. And if we discussed the anime references, this entry would last forever.

For those not into sci-fi movies and games, you’re out of luck. It will seem repetitive, absurd, and uninspired. But for fan boys and girls, this tale is gorgeous and entertaining. Peppered with humor, Pacific Rim is a fun action flick.