In man’s desperation to survive, they have created these “monster machines” which superficially echoes the heart of real men and women as it packs more punch than anything landed on a Kaijus’ face!
When gigantic monsters threaten the world and no amount of people can stop them… we turn to our alternative! Warner Bros. brings to us an unprecedented new take on science fiction which involves amazing special effects that doesn’t compromise the intellectual aspect of film making. So, since Ultraman was not around and neither were any of the Japanese Super-Sized Robots, Director Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) is here to save the day! The film was like “Iron Man” who turned into “Iron Giant” but became an “Iron Legion” but instead of fighting genetically enhanced soldiers…just watch the film!
A starkly, sober, raspy voice starts to narrate what came to be from the very beginning! Emphasising on hope and the collective efforts of humanity not just to fend off these abominations from a portal from the deep but rather survive the day no matter the cost! Typical for a film like this one is the numbers game; scores of lives are lost due to the wreaking devastation manifested by on-going battles not to mention the pollution provided by their excrements in the Philippines capital city!
The flow of the story was commendable after a 16 minute prologue before setting in the title, it was worth the wait! To understand fully what is going on not just in the Pacific area’s standpoint but also with other countries, this includes an adamant choice to win this war and pool all our resources together as mandated by the world council of leaders! So it begins the work through on the Jaeger programme was initiated, with equal the size of 100 story buildings to go head to head with these beasts of burden until all of them are washed away from the face of the Earth.
The concept was using the left and right hemisphere of the brains to be used from 2 pilots to give mobility for these machines to “rock and sock them”! All things were going well and the populace was starting to feel confident each day but they never knew what is about to hit them next!
“Sons of Anarchy” star Charles Hunnam (Children of men) is Raleigh Beckett, still licking his wounds after 5 years and 4 months. Humbled from the last encounter which took the life of his brother and found him working on a construction site which builds walls to somehow “defend” the city! Like Col. Truman who seeked out Rambo for the one last mission, Marshall Stacker Pentecost portrayed by Idris Elba (Thor) is the Head of Operations for the Jaeger and the commanding officer of Raleigh. Both had a long history that brought in the “Gipsy Danger” in the forefront before it was mercilessly ravaged by a Knifehead! This is where Rinko Kikuchi (Assault Girls) as Mako Mori a troubled young woman who still has a trauma from her encounter with one of the Kaiju’s until his now surrogate father Pentecost saved her on that hellish day! She had a strong character built in to keep in pace with the smorgasbord of male adrenaline going around.
The technicalities of hardware in using the recently clichéd 3D hologram technology of Leap Motion and Head Tracking were simple and yet sweet especially for mecha junkies out there! Suiting up was a notch below compared to Marvel’s very own Iron Avenger (no doubt about it!) Speaking of which, Ramin Djawadi (Clash of the Titans) returns to serve as Film Composer, his work with “Iron Man” was redundant coming off with “Driving with the Top Down”!
It’s great seeing how Guillermo designs and places this sophistication into full effect which is easily overwhelming! Now, we are just talking about the humans here, wait until you get a load of the full sized scale of these colossal robots! Another viable to note is knowing how to use angles and camera work in order to manipulate the practical effects to the visual effects, in which by the way compliments to Industrial Light & Magic as always! When to pan the lenses in and out makes it spectacular to experience courtesy of Guillermo Navarro (Spawn) who has a long line of box-office hits under his belt!
The Director also has a knack for the horrific nature of his projects, not that the Kaijus’ will make you tremble in fear but rather by making them smaller as in pieces and we are talking about their brain, intestines and organs that is places in large aquariums while being experimented by funny man and hyperactive Charlie Day (Horrible Bosses) he plays Dr. Newton Geiszler a scientist who studies them who also have some bantering with fellow “nerd alert” Dr. Herman Gottlieb from Burn Gorman (Layer Cake). Charlie has once again proven his geeky comedy works when his on the spotlight and he never disappoints!
If you have been watching anime and Japanese films you will notice the similarities when man and machine integrates special mentions are “Gundam”, “Neon Evengelion” and of course who can forget the classics like “Voltes V”, “Daimos”, “Getter Robo” and last but not the least “Mazinger Z”! Although, Guillermo iterated that this film was never intended to be a homage for these mechanical saviors. While their counterparts, the Kaijus’ were also inherent to the likes of the Frankenstein brothers “War of the Gargantuas”, the giant turtle “Gamera” and the King of Monsters itself “Godzilla”!
The balance between premise, dialogue and delivery of the characters were altruistically genuine although not too deep in terms of bringing a supposedly complicated man in a machine versuss monster film together! It’s simply an amalgamation of sorts where drama needs to exist in order for action sequences to kick-in at the right time. It therefore compliments each other so that people can appreciate fully the cause of human sacrifice with the hint of futuristic and otherworldly phenomenon duking it out big time and while it still creates a space for emotions to flood in!
We can now breath and stop the clock!