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Godzilla meets Iron Man

APARNA NARRAIN
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Back in black:The Jaegar brigade packs a punch.
Back in black:The Jaegar brigade packs a punch.

Pacific Rim (English)

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Diego Klattenhoff

The best way to approach films that seem to rely rather heavily on the Michael Bay school of thought is to have very low expectations. Having said that, Pacific Rim turned out to be quite a fun ride.

The exposition lets us know that earth is under attack by the kaiju, enormous Godzilla-like creatures that appear through a breach in the ocean floor. To combat these creatures, huge Iron Man-type machines (they really look like Tony Stark’s invention) called Jaegers (meister?) are used.

The Jaegers are operated by two pilots using a neural handshake i.e. memories of the two pilots are combined in order to operate the machine through the process of ‘drifting’. The story gets under way with the pilots of the Gipsy Danger, brothers Raleigh Becket and Yancy Becket (played by Charlie Hunnam, and Diego Klattenhoff respectively) disobeying a direct order to try and save a boat from a kaiju. Their commander, Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), yells at them to get back, but by then Yancy is ripped away from the machine.

Five years later and Raleigh is working in construction and the Jaeger program is being shut down. Stacker soon convinces Raleigh to return to piloting Gipsy Danger and a whole bunch of tests are held to determine who will be his partner.

Mako (Rinko Kikuchi) desperately wants to be a pilot, but is haunted by the kaiju attack on her family. Eventually though, she gets her wish.

The duo must work together fast as the plan is to nuke the breach and stop the ‘end of the world’. Newton Geiszler, a professor, (Charlie Day has some funny lines) and Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) come up with theories on how the attacks are going to get worse and what should be done to kill the kaiju.

The film follows certain tropes. Both Raleigh and Mako have suffered losses but have to face their demons and get on with the job. Then there is the cocky young pilot who ultimately redeems himself. Pacific Rim can best be described as Godzilla meets Iron Man in the ocean. There are so many references to other films — resistance, war machine and Mark 1 — that it’s hard to look at the film as a completely separate entity. There are also some loopholes: you will be left with some questions at the end. But, ours not to reason why, ours to lie back and enjoy this popcorn flick.

APARNA NARRAIN

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