Pacific Rim – Entertaining. Likeable Characters. Good actors.

It’s Godzilla made palatable to more than cult followers, including a setting in Tokyo. Pacific Rim is written and directed by Guillermo del Toro, and stars Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh Becket (Nicholas Nickleby and Cold Mountain); English actor Idris Elba as the commanding officer Stacker Pentecost (he played Heimdall in Thor and Mandela in Long Walk to Freedom), Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori (a host of Japanese based films – she’s good), and Ron Perlman as the quixotic (and homocidal ) black marketeer Hannibal Chau – you’ll love his gnarly, quarrelly character.

The computer graphics visual effects are excellent, (not stupid looking as in Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible series). However, the sequences are rather dark during the fight scenes — sometimes hard to distinguish friend from foe on “close-ups”, a little hard to follow, too. What’s happening is a war between all of united earth and the Kaijus, gigantic monsters from an interdimensionaI gap on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. They are combated by Jaeger (pronounced Yeager, as in Chuck). colossal fighting machines made in a humanoid likeness. They must be manned by a minimum of two pilots controlling the machine’s actions from inside. I was intrigued by what was called a “neural bridge” between the pilots, necessary because of the overwhelming mental strain on just one person. The two (and in one case, three) pilots, worked in tandem – one for the right brain and the other for the left, sharing memories good and bad.

There are memorable quotes from the movie, which means the dialogue is good,accompanied by an equally memorable delivery. Ron Perlman as Hannibal Chau remarked that “I took my first name from a historical figure I respect, and my last name from my favorite Chinese restaurant in Brooklyn”. 

I thought it was interesting, too, that the names of the characters were significant historically. Becket, of course, is the name of the saint and martyr, Thomas Becket, who put everything on the line for the integrity of his office and beliefs. Pentecost is the fire that touched the apostles with the Holy Spirit and brought them together as a unit. Then there’s the little scientist whose first name is Newton and whose last name is Geisler — Geisler meaning goat herder in German. He is fixated on the Kaijus and “herds” up any body parts for study. And, of course, the devil is represented sometimes as the cloven-hoofed goat. I’m probably reaching on the Geizler name, but still thought it interesting.

Jaeger marshall, Pentecost

As the outer conflict escalates with the mega-monsters growing and evolving, so does the inner conflict within the confines of the Jaeger base. Pentecost makes an excellent center around whom all other characters revolve. His is a calm, commanding presence, but brooks no breech of conduct nor disrespect. As the earth arrives at the threshold of annihilation, even as personalities continue to collide, Pentecost holds to their mission at all cost. “Today”, he says, “we’re cancelling the Apocalypse!”

I did like Godzilla as a kid, and I like this adult version, too. As Godzilla was a good analogy for the nuclear age of fear, so Pacific Rim mirrors the fears of our own known world at the brink of annihilation. “Today”, said Pentecost, “we face the monsters that are at our door.” Just watch the news. The monsters are here.

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10 thoughts on “Pacific Rim – Entertaining. Likeable Characters. Good actors.

  1. Wow! What a coincidence that you posted this because I just watched the movie last night. I’m a huge fan of both Charlie Hunnam and Ron Perlman because of “Sons of Anarchy,” which I absolutely adore. I have never seen any of the “Transformer” movies, or similar films, so I was fascinated with the Jaegers. I thought their design was brilliant. I was intrigued by the mind drift, mind melding, or whatever it was called, between the two Jaeger pilots that allowed them to get into each other’s minds.

    I agree, excellent cast. I liked the supporting players, too, especially the two “nerdy” scientists. I’ve seen Rinko Kikuchi in some other films and she’s always good. I thought the little girl who played Mako as a child was excellent. Ron Perman’s character is a hoot-and-a-half. Did you see him pop up during the credits, cutting his way out of the Kaiju and yelling, “Where the hell is my shoe?” It’s happening more and more frequently now that something happens when the credits are rolling to make you stay and watch them.

    I’ve met Charlie Hunnam and he’s the sweetest guy. He’s made so many American films and TV shows – complete with a perfect American accent – that people are often surprised to learn that he’s a Brit. The photo was taken when I was invited (along with some friends) to the premiere of his movie “Green Street Hooligans” in NYC, Charlie has the odd hairdo for a movie he was filming at the time titled “The Children of Men.”

    http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y109/magicdancer/Hooligans/My%20GSH%20NYC%20Photos/19lc0qn.jpg~original

    http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y109/magicdancer/Hooligans/My%20GSH%20NYC%20Photos/100_0062.jpg~original

    I’m on the left end in this one. The woman crouching in front is the director of the movie, Lexi Alexander.

    http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y109/magicdancer/Hooligans/My%20GSH%20NYC%20Photos/group2.jpg~original

    The black woman, Gwen, was my first on-line friend and is still one of my best friends. She lives in Cleveland, is a brilliant graphic artist, and we’ve gotten together several times. The woman with short black hair is Joanie, another friend I met on line, who lives in Staten Island, NY. We get together occasionally, too.

    • Great pics! What a thrill that must have been. I fell in love with Charlie Hunnam the minute I saw him in Nicholas Nickleby. He was fantastic. I’ve watched it several times.

      Yes, the little girl was a standout. Mike and I both remarked on her performance. I also loved the two nerdy scientists, and Ron Perlman. There was much more to this movie than I ever anticipated.

      What fun to be able to get together with online buds, especially at something like this. They sound like a talented group. You all must have had a lot to talk about.

      • I was invited to the premiere because of Elijah Wood, who was also in the movie. I really didn’t know about Charlie before that movie. At the time, I was the moderator of the largest Elijah Wood on-line fan site. The director of the film invited me and said I could bring four friends. I’ve been to three other Elijah premieres, but this was the first and still my favorite.

        I love Gwen to death…one of the most terrific and talented people I know. She runs the Elijah Wood fan site now where I had been moderator. Joanie’s a gem and a huge Elijah and Charlie fan, too. She works for a large corporation in downtown Manhattan, less than a block from the World Trade Center. Her office windows look out on the WTC. One afternoon the five of us walked all around where the buildings had been. It was quite a shock to actually see the emply space in person because I’d watched the Towers go up. Joanie was at the dentist the morning the buildings fell. Said it’s the only time she’s ever been grateful to a dentist.

        The woman in the photo, with salt-and-pepper gray hair, was an on-line friend and is the only person I’ve met on line who turned out to be totally different in person. We’re no longer in touch and I don’t think she even cares about Elijah or Live Journal anymore. She’s dropped out of sight.

      • I meant to mention I thought that was Elijah Wood in the photo, also. We loved him as Frodo. Those big eyes of his added to his character as a Hobbit.

        Yes, Gwen sounds like quite a talented and well-rounded person. It’s nice to have friends like that you can talk to and bond with. That was also quite a story about the World Trade Center and the dentist appointment. I’ve hear dozens of stories like that. People being late, sleeping late, had to be somewhere else. All of them grateful for that major miracle in their lives.

        It’s sad that people are sometimes so different from how they represent themselves. It’s amazing that you have had several who are all they seem to be.

        You said Gwen had taken over the fan site. Are you doing anything else like that now?

  2. Yes, that’s Elijah. I think everyone loved him as Frodo, but he’s made LOTS of movies since then.

    I’ve met some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever known via the Internet. But there are a lot of people who come alive when they’re anonymous on the Internet, but turn out to be real duds in person. That woman who went to the premiere with us was one of them. But she’s the only one like that in all the time I’ve been on line….since 2003. Not a bad record.

    No, I’m not a moderator anywhere anymore. There are so many new things that take my time now. But Gwen does a fabulous job maintaining the site. It’s called Always & Forever Elijah Wood. It used to have a very, VERY active forum that I moderated, but gradually interest in the forum died out. The forum is still there for reference, but it no longer accepts new threads. It’s still an extremely useful site and by far the best site for people who are interested in following Elijah’s career. It has thousands of photos and videos.

    http://always.ejwsites.net/

    • No, it’s not a bad record to only meet one dud. I also don’t see how either you or Gwen could keep up with all that. It would drive me nuts. Of course, I do family history and Mike says all the little details of that would drive him nuts, so I guess it’s where your interests lie. I’ll have to check out the site.

      • For about 5-8 years after the LOTR films came out, A & F’s forum was a madhouse. We often had well over a thousand people in the forum at any given time. Gwen and I were administrators and we had four moderators working under us. The main thing the moderators did was delete new threads that didn’t belong in the forum and delete inappropriate comments. Gwen and I got to deal with troublesome members and she did site updates because of her terrific graphics skills. The coding was VERY complex. Eventually the number of people in the forum dropped to only 2 or 3 at a time. That’s when we decided to discontinue it.

        It was interesting, but I’ll never do it again…anywhere!

      • “What kind of trouble could anyone possibly make on a forum with fans?”

        Well, have you ever been to a fan site forum? You can’t imagine, if you havene’t. Members sometimes insult other members, call them names, and get into really nasty arguments that result in our having to delete their comments, give them a warning, and if that doesn’t work, then ban them. We would block their IP address, but some were clever enough to use a proxy and try to join again.

        People, the nutty ones, would start new discussion threads titled things like “What kind of underwear does Elijah wear…boxers or briefs.?” Or threads asking about how to get in touch with his girlfriend and family. Threads to discuss whether or not he’s gay. I think you get the idea. We NEVER allowed threads that discussed his personal life. We listed on the site the names and addresses of his management, agents, publicists, etc. and steered people to them. In my four years there, I’ll bet I deleted nearly 100 threads posted by people asking how to get an autographed photo. That’s why we listed his management info.

        We even had people who would join under two different names and start arguments with themselves. If there was something weird they could think of to do, someone would. It was definitely a learning experience.

        However, having said all that, I am still best buds with a lot of the people I met at A & F. They are my core group of friends at Live Journal now.

      • Do people really have that much time on their hands? Sheesh! It’s unbelievable how weird people can get. You must have really been into it to put up with all that. Glad you made some good friends along the way. So there must have been a lot of good discussions going.

        Sorry I conked out last night. Got my Halloween blog done post haste and been gone all day ever since.

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