July 12th sees the release of the much vaunted Pacific Rim, directed by the darling of contemporary science fiction and fantasy, Guillermo del Toro…… and I must admit that I feel torn. There is part of me that is filled with a tingly anticipation, for I love in a deep obsessive way with the works of del Toro - his movies without exception are a fantasy lovers wet dream…….Cronos (1993), The Devils Backbone (2001), Hellboy (2004), Pan's Labyrinth (2006)………….so excuse me while those movies and I run away together to Vegas for a quick-fire wedding ceremony presided by an Elvis impersonator. In addition the the positives about this movie, there is a certain Ron Perlman appearing in this movie, I don't think that I need to say anymore than that.
The other part of me has more than a small amount of fear, a fear that this may be one del Toro film that may not only disappoint but may instill feelings of intense dislike. Two things are worrying me;
1) On viewing the trailer, whilst being a a wonderfully saturated CGI visual extravaganza, the production style looks rather reminiscent of the Transformer Franchise - and I REALLY don't like those movies.
2) Dialogue such as "Tonight we cancel the Apocalypse!!!!" is on the upper end of the cheesy level of acceptance that could possibly rival the President's cringe worthy speech from Independence Day…….you know how it it goes -"We will not go silently into the night blah blah blah…."
So which side is the movie going to fall on?
Well the story itself sounds promising. Set in the not too distant future the planet is beset by 'Kaiju', which happen to be nasty giant monsters that have risen from a gateway from a crack beneath the Pacific Ocean - blimey, I hate it when that happens. It seems that humanity is getting its little arse kicked on a humongous scale - again. The only thing that can save the day is a new weapon that has been created, the Jaegers, which are nifty gigantic robots connected to two human pilots who control them via a neural connection. The people it seems that humanity eventually sets its final desperate hopes on are a washed up has-been and an untried rookie….thankfully we haven't ever heard that before, grizzled old veteran and eager to succeed youngster - oh, hang on a minute.
I'll be honest, I'm not confident. It sounds as cliched as anything and it has enough CGI offend many who believe that the C in CGI stands for crap. I really worry that the previous del Toro movies that overflow with an abundance of intelligent dialogue and thought provoking storytelling might just be replaced by him settling for a movie that satisfies the lowest common demographic and financial denominator However, far be it from me to pre-judge a movie that I haven't seen yet. I've been wrong before.
Come on Guillermo, you can do it.