As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.
I’ve been pretty interested in watching this movie ever since I saw the trailer. Not only was it rather different from a lot of the action movies that have been coming out recently–hence probably the amount of fanfare that went with this movie–but also it was reminiscent to a lot of the anime I watched growing up: Gundam Wing, Vision of Escaflowne, Neon Genesis Evangelion, shades of Power Rangers…Plus, it looked pretty epic. Anyway, hurray, finally got around to watching it recently 😉
As I mentioned briefly, I can see why people really liked this movie; the concept was different from a lot of action & sci-fi movies out there in recent years. As for people like me, who grew up watching mecha anime and Power Rangers, it’s not a wholly new concept, but it’s interesting to see it as a live action, Hollywood production. The scale is quite epic, it’s pretty sleek and action-packed, what’s not to love? And at moments, it did feel a touch like Neon Genesis Evangelion (minus all the depression and the not-so-great characters) and Attach on Titan (minus the hideous giants that eat people).
The narrative was pretty straight forward with some predictable tropes used, but I was invested in the characters and how everything was going to turn out so it didn’t feel too simplistic or a letdown by any stretch. I will say that I thought the opening narrative was a tad bit too long for an action movie; I thought they could have perhaps introduced things a bit differently to shorten the time, maybe introduce Raleigh’s backstory like Mako’s (though then we wouldn’t be introduced to how the Jaegers worked or how bad the kaiju were).
The characters were interesting and came across quite nicely, especially Mako. She was pretty awesome and I could feel her frustration with the marshal denying her request to be Raleigh’s co-pilot. Idris Elba’s accent slipped a bit at some points–couldn’t quite figure out if his character was supposed to be American or from the UK–but he had such a commanding presence, he was perfect in the role and balanced off Charlie Hunnam nicely.
One thing I didn’t like? The scientists. Felt bad, Burn Gorman is a good actor and I got the point of their storyline–how they contributed to the overarching story, the contrast between the two scientists–but it was just too much at some points, especially on Newton’s part =S
Overall, I enjoyed the movie, it was entertaining and it kept me invested in the characters. The story was a little clunky at the start but once they were at Shatterbase, the story moved forward in quite smoothly. I’m curious to see how the sequel will play out.