Movie Preview: The Pacific Rim

By William Kustiono

On July 9, 2013, there was a private press screening for the movie “Pacific Rim”, which will be released in public theaters on July 12. This fictional action-packed movie takes the audience to a futuristic setting where King Kong-sized monsters called “Kaijus” rise from a portal in a crevasse beneath the deep Pacific Ocean. These alien-like creatures were destroying the Earth one city at a time.  With millions of people forced to flee their abolished cities, nations came together to create a military program to eliminate the monsters. In defense, human controlled machines called Jaegers were built.

“Pacific Rim” is not only recognized for the outstanding fictional graphics and explicit fighting scenes, but also for the humanistic need of trust, the obstacle of overcoming fear, and breaking cultural norms.

In the high-tech society of 2017, programmers were able to create machines where human minds control the Jaeger’s movements. However, one mind is too weak to operate a gigantic steel warrior machines and, therefore, needs two to have control of it. This introduces to the continuous theme of “drifting” – a neural connection between the two participants of a Jaeger. This syncs both the mind and their actions into the Jaeger. The protagonists, Chuck Hansen (played by Rob Kazinsky) and Mako Mori (played by Rinko Kikuchi) were paired to be the control the robot Gipsy had to learn to trust each other’s actions in order to defeat the Kaijus.

The character Mako had a traumatizing experience regarding a Kaiju when she was young which haunted her to adulthood. She witnessed the destructible behavior of these Kaijus and how it eliminated the population and the setting in Japan. Having dealt with a tremendous loss at such a young age, Mako always wanted revenge by chosen to be a warrior for a Jaeger. When she finally got that opportunity with Chuck Hansen, Mako immediately revisited her horrific memory. With the ability to look beyond her fears and haunting past, Mako shows bravery as she triumphs to stop the apocalypse.

“Pacific Rim” also breaks racial barriers in the film industry. The American film industry predominantly cast Caucasian to be the leading role. This particular movie extends their character focus outside the norm by casting a Japanese star, Rinko Kikuchi to play Mako Mori, a young woman who shows tremendous skills as a Jaeger Pilot.

“I love Rinko,” film director, Guillermo del Toro, states. Also, the movie itself was inspired by Asian film. His works particularly consists of fairy tales and horror. His famous works are “Hellboy”, “Pan’s Labyrinth”, “James Bond’s Quantum Solace”, “Kung Fu Panda 2”, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”, and “Mama”. For this film, he also used Asian films to be examples of what not to do. Del Toro examined Japanese movies such as “Ultraman”, “Godzilla”, “Gamera”, and “The War of the Gargantuas”.

This two-hour movie has it all: It’s action-packed, fictionally exciting, and emotionally moving. “Pacific Rim” is definitely worth the time to visit a theater and watch the film for yourself. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

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