In July 2010, Guillermo Del Toro was directing the adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's At The Mountains Of Madness for Universal Studios. When Legendary Pictures pitched a collaboration with them for a film, he was intrigued. When Del Toro struck a deal with Legendary Pictures, he found himself juggling between directing At The Mountains Of Madness and producing and co-writing Pacific Rim. Because of conflicting schedules, he signed on to direct Pacific Rim only if At The Mountains Of Madness was cancelled. Then on March 2011, At The Mountains Of Madness was cancelled due to Del Toro being unwilling to compromise with Universal on the budget and didn't agree with the R rating.
As Del Toro described it, the film was to honor the giant monster and robot genre and wanted to show that starting everything from scratch. When designing the monsters and the robots, Del Toro cautioned the designers not turn to other movies like Godzilla or Gamera for inspiration. Instead, he turned to works of art such as The Colossus and George Bellow's boxing paintings for fighting scenes. Designers even turned to nature as inspiration when designing the monsters. Every week, the filmmakers would hold an "American Idol" for the designs of the monsters and robots and vote for the best design.
On opening weekend, Pacific Rim took the third place spot in the box office with Despicable Me 2 in second and Grown Ups 2 in first. It was not until July 22, 2013, it was reported that Pacific Rim reached the number one spot in the international box office. The film had the sixth largest opening debut in China for a Hollywood film.
After a series of monster attacks, the human race realizes that these attacks were not going to stop and needed a new way to fight the monsters. So they built monsters of their own by building giant robots called Jaegers. With the Jaegers, it becomes a fight for survival as they fight an onslaught of monsters that rise from the Pacific Ocean and must find a way to stop the kaiju from crossing into our world permanently before the human race becomes extinct.
This was one of the most fun monster movies I ever watched back in 2013 and it still holds up to one of the most amazingly fun monster flicks to date. The movie did not bore me with the story like Godzilla (2014) did and the movie does well balancing the pace between the story and action sequences. While the story is cheesy, it is the good kind cheesiness that you find in a monster flick. Del Toro really went all out in honoring the giant monster genre. It was like a love letter to all the monster movies that fans know and love. I liked the characters, but I feel as though Idris Elba is the only one taking his role seriously more than everybody else. I'm not saying that everyone else's performances were bad, but it could have been better.
The designs of the robots and the monsters are awesome, but it is hard to see them at times during the scenes that take place at night or underwater. Designs for the monsters are far more original than say the MUTOs from Godzilla (2014), but a few of them reuse the same body with some changes to the face and claws. When you look at Trespasser, Knifehead, and Scunner they all have the same body. This is sort of disappointing that the designers were sort of lacking in creativity here. Out of all the designs though, I find Raiju and Otachi to be my favorites in terms of design. When it comes down to the robots, all of them look great. It is a shame though that some of them I don't really get to see what they can really be capable of because of how quick they get destroyed by the monsters. If I were to choose which robot was my favorite I would have to choose Australia's robot, Striker Eureka.
Once the fighting starts, nothing else matters at that moment because all I was thinking was, "F*** the story! It's monsters vs robots time!" and I can never get enough of the action. Let's be honest, this is really the only thing Pacific Rim has going for it. If it wasn't for the fight scenes, this movie would have flopped even harder than it did on opening day and it had to take China just to get this movie to make back the money Del Toro spent to make it and to get a sequel off the ground. Which is kind of worrying when you think about it. That means that the sequel could potentially flop as well. Don't get me wrong I loved almost every moment that Pacific Rim had to offer, but it just seems like this was specifically aimed for fans of the giant monster genre only. While fans were watching this, the general audience went to see either Despicable Me 2 or Grown Ups 2 and those movies have bigger name actors, so of course people are going to see the one with the more recognizable actors. If the sequel does not reel in the general audience and becomes another flop, then a third movie might not be possible. For all I know there could be a third one if Pacific Rim: Uprising does well enough. Maybe, even if it does flop that a third movie will happen anyways. Who knows? Only time well tell and I will be there to confirm whether a third movie will happen or not.
Pacific Rim is a really fun movie to watch and does a splendid job in honoring the genre. I would even say that it is among one of my favorite monster movies of all time. The problem is that even though it was fun, Del Toro sort of forgot that it needed to bring in the general audience as well since fans of monster movies are not as big. I am just hoping that the sequel will pull more people in if this series wants to stay afloat.
What are your thoughts on Pacific Rim? Is this among one of your favorite monster movies or did you hate it? Do you think Pacific Rim: Uprising will do well enough for a third movie or do you think it will flop again? Let me know in the comments and make sure you have bookmarked or subscribed to my page to stay up to date for more Pacific Rim and other kaiju related discussions and don't forget to share with your friends as well.