What is the story with apocalypses this summer?
In the Superman movie Zod wants to destroy Earth, in World War Z, the zombies threaten to wipe out humanity, in Oblivion the Earth is already mostly laid waste to, and in This is the End the apocalypse arrives complete with demons and devils and hell. And that's not even to mention World's End, the new Simon Pegg movie, the title of which is pretty self-explanatory.
And now comes
Pacific Rim. The end of
all humanity is threatened this time from under the sea. More specifically this
threat comes from a breach in the Earth's crust somewhere the Pacific Ocean,
from where monsters called Kaiju emerge to wreak havoc on the coastal areas of
Asia, Australia and the . US
As the attacks increase the world must come together to combat the monsters. Gigantic robots called Jaegers are built that have the size and fire-power to defeat the Kaiju. The robots need to be piloted by two people, and because of a neural link between the pilots, they are normally relatives, brothers, fathers and sons, triplets.
The showdown happens as the Kaiju attacks increase in frequency, and the agency (led by Idris Elba, from The Wire, whose character's name in
Pacific Rim is the fabulous Stacker Pentecost) plan to
try and nuke the breach in the ocean's crust in order to close it.
Cue massive explosions, cartoon type violence, combat between mountain-sized creatures and gargantuan robots, destruction on an incomprehensible scale, and then an attempted mind-meld with a Kaiju.
It is a silly, entertaining, vivid, spectacular piece of nonsense. There are two things that I think are especially worth noting about the film, beyond the CGI and the implausible plot.
Firstly, at least it is an original idea from an original script, and not a remake, or a sequel, or a reimagining, or a tired new treatment of an old theme, like ninety percent of the big-budget movies of this year.
Secondly it is not as massively Amero-centric as most of the
Hollywood films produced at the moment. Involved in the
final battle are robots from Russia,
Australia and ,
as well as the American one, and it is a Japanese woman who accompanies our
hero on his mission to save the world. China
This, I assume, is down to Guillermo del Toro, who directs this film, a Mexican who has worked in
It is safe to say that the more international feel to the movie is down to his
wider perspective, and also to the Asian influence that can be seen in the
Godzilla-type monsters and the fact that a lot of the film is set in Spain Hong Kong.
For these two reasons alone it is worth seeing. It just remains to wonder about this obsession about the end of the world at the moment. Is it born of some kind of preoccupation with coming environmental calamity, or else the feelings of insecurity in the
(where all of these films are
produced) about economic collapse and the terrorist threat? US
Whatever the reason, it has now become a trend. The world is about to end, who will save us? Is everything really that tenuous? Is humanity truly in that much danger? If you watch
blockbusters at the moment, you could be forgiven for believing that the end is
very much nigh.