Plot (taken from Wikipedia):
In the near future, humanity is under assault by the Kaijus: colossal alien beasts who rise from a portal on the Pacific floor to devastate human cities. To combat them, humanity builds the Jaegers: equally colossal humanoid war machines, each manned by two pilots whose brains are linked to share the overwhelming mental load of piloting the sophisticated machines. Though the Jaegers are effective, the Kaiju attacks grow more frequent and powerful. Humanity's governments discontinue the Jaeger project and resort to building massive coastal walls to protect humanity from the Kaijus. The four remaining Jaegers are redeployed to Hong Kong to defend the unfortified coastline until the wall is completed. Stacker Pentecost (Elba), commander of the Jaeger forces, devises a plan to end the war by using a nuclear warhead to destroy the portal.
Pentecost approaches retired pilot Raleigh Becket (Hunnam) and convinces him to return and pilot Gipsy Danger, the Jaeger he and his brother Yancy once piloted. During a mission, Yancy was killed by a Kaiju while connected to his brother, traumatizing Raleigh. Arriving at Hong Kong, Raleigh tests with potential co-pilots to find one with a strong connection, as the stronger the connection, the better their performance in battle. Sensing a strong connection, Raleigh demands to be partnered with Mako Mori (Kikuchi). Pentecost opposes, as Mako is his adoptive daughter, but he eventually relents. The duo's initial test run nearly ends in disaster when Mako gets caught up in a childhood memory of a Kaiju attack; she inadvertently activates and nearly dischargesGipsy Danger's weapons while in the hangar. The duo are withdrawn from the field as the remaining Jaegers are tasked with fending off a double Kaiju attack in Hong Kong. The defense goes badly, with the Kaijus destroying two Jaegers. Pentecost sends Raleigh and Mako to mount a last stand with Gipsy Danger, and the duo drive off the assault.
Meanwhile, Dr. Newton Geiszler (Day)—a scientist studying the Kaijus—assembles a machine allowing him to establish a mental link with a Kaiju brain fragment. The experience nearly kills him, but he discovers the Kaijus are not wild beasts, but engineered weapons who fight at the behest of a race of alien conquerors. With Pentecost's approval, he seeks out Hannibal Chau (Perlman), a major figure in the trafficking of Kaiju parts, in an attempt to procure an intact Kaiju brain to repeat the experiment. Chau criticizes Geiszler's merging with the Kaiju brain, as he has attracted their attention, and the Kaiju attacking Hong Kong are seeking him. After Gipsy Danger kills both Kaijus, Chau and his team move in to harvest parts. Geiszler realizes one of the Kaijus is pregnant. The newborn bursts from its mother and swallows Chau before dying. Geiszler merges with the baby Kaiju's intact brain and learns the portal will only open for a Kaiju.
The two remaining Jaegers assemble to execute their plan to destroy the portal with a warhead. Pentecost co-pilots the Jaeger carrying the warhead, but is forced to detonate it early, sacrificing himself to destroy two powerful Kaijus guarding the portal. Raleigh and Mako seize another Kaiju with Gipsy Danger and use it to enter the portal. Running out of oxygen, Raleigh ejects Mako, initiates the self-destruct sequence, then ejects himself. Gipsy Danger's nuclear core detonates, laying waste to the alien conquerors and destroying the portal. Mako and Raleigh's escape pods surface safely in the Pacific, and the duo embrace as rescue arrives.
In a post-credits scene, Chau—revealed to have survived—cuts his way out of the newborn Kaiju's stomach.
Now here goes my thoughts.
As a young kid, I used to watch so many anime and tokusatsu shows like Voltes V, Daimos, Combattler V, G Gundam, Choudenshi Bioman, Hikari Sentai Maskman, Dai Sentai Goggle V, Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman, Choujin Sentai Jetman, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and a lot more out there in the list of humongous mecha shows alongside daikaiju shows like Godzilla, Ultraman, Super Sentai/ Power Rangers and others out there and have been so much enthusiastic whenever these are brought unto the airwaves. I have been wondering if ever something like these would be brought to the movie house with terrific graphics when all of the very shows that I watch in the duration between that time until 2012 since we have so many Super Sentai/ Power Ranger shows were made and deserve some international screening.
I have been looking for great shows that have the vibe of these. Many didn't cut the chase so I said to myself this question and here it goes:
"Can't the U.S. make such a move to pit humongous mechas and kaijus all under one screen after all of their huge funds, great graphics and story making?" I mean come on! Who wouldn't dare ask this if he's a humongous mecha / daikaiju fan in the first place if they are into those stuffs and ask for higher quality?
So here came the movie directed by Mr. Guillermo del Toro and was written by both him and Mr. Travis Beacham which answered that question. I saw the trailers and have been saying to myself "Wait what? Is this for realz? Oh man! Shut up and take my moneh!" and have been so pumped into seeing the movie myself. At first, it made me glad and have been looking forward to see this movie already. I took patience and looked forward on that day I watch it. Here came July 18, 2013 when I finally watched that movie.
This movie was worth my bucks as this movie brought back so many nostalgia moments that I myself found them as gold. This film was like a mashup between so many tokusatsu and anime shows into one explosive and awesome movie. For once, this movies multinational team reminds me of the Shuffle Alliance of G Gundam (minus France and Japan) in the show proper, after all of the early narration. Alternatively, its like Super Dimension Fortress Macross or similar shows that features such. Throw in the Super Sentai, Ultraman, and Godzilla stuffs into it and bam! Awesomeness overflows!
What I like here were the themes it has. Here are the themes that I myself adore for:
- Unity: Political bickerings are nothing but things of the past as the world itself now is no longer shattered by such a force but united as one force fighting against such a dastardly and horrific invasion of such enormous (no pun intended) size. We learnt how to work together to achieve a common goal to save the world from being destroyed by such creatures.
- Courage: We made our own weapons against them. No matter how dark and scary are these things, mankind still keeps up the battle and even doing what they can to save the world even if the enemies are gaining the upper hand due to their increasing number, power and size. We didn't loose our willpower to fight back instead of just running away. Despair may be in the scene but then courage itself stays supreme. Valor after valor were shown even when the darkest hour came.
- Love: Mankind embraced each other as friends and family amid this times' chaos and turmoil.
- Hope: Our world is about to be taken over by the enemy as their advancement is, we are still looking forward for a bright future. The ray of light still shines on each person here which is like a sparkling diamond being hit by radiant light.
The main characters alongside the supporting ones here clearly have a lot of awesome work. I love the acting and the dialogue spoken in many scenes. I love how Mr. Idris Elba (Thor's Heimdall) play such an authoritative and protective figure in Mr. Stacker Pentecost. I love how the building of the characters of Mr. Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh Becket and Miss Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori in the movie since they really performed well and we can see their relationship growning from cold to warm with respect and care. Truly heartwarming were those moments despite how dark it is for mankind by that time.
Another of which is that while awesome as this may seem, this never ran out of humour. Those two scientists we have seen are so merry. No matter how the scenes escalate to the brink of near impossible amounts of awesomeness. That Newton guy really, really lifted the tone and his partner scientist as well is of no exemption. And then came that over-the-top Hannibal Chau who chews and steals every scene he's in. Thank you Mr. Ron Perlman for that. That was a fantastic way to ease up the show's very contents.
Now as for the action and the cockpit, here is another paragraph. Those guys beat the crap out of those kaijus just can't be anything better. The action here is so darn fluid that we can see inch by inch how these punches or attacks really damage the kaijus and that is just the tip of the iceberg. I like how this show was made as we have those plausible if not possible to make cockpits into reality by how the design itself was rendered. I mean, look, we have several of those cockpits from various anime series (sans G Gundam for it looks like its the nearest possible cockpit ever to be made in compatibility with this show) which might look awesome but outright not that realistic at all. Cockpits like those in numerous humongous mechas like the Gundam metaseries (sans G Gundam), Mazinger Z, Code Geass, Voltes V, Daimos, Soukou no Strain, Eureka 7, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Rinne no Lagrange, Mars Daybreak, the Super Sentai/ Power Rangers Series (although some can be taken in consideration) and the like may have cool looking cockpits but then the functionalities to these can be put into question. We have just bunches of joysticks, levers and buttons to be used inside of those machines? Hey! Wait a minute, these should be given a thought since we do not have any idea as to how we should pilot a humongous mecha and as to how these things work in real life setting. Now the mental fusion though can be in question, but then we have to set that aside as we ourselves can clearly see how each of the moves of the pilots are how the machine moves. Likewise, I love how this show went many steps further and may be if not a movie worth to remember by all mecha anime and tokusatsu show makers as to how a mecha or mechas is/ are operated in the near future. I love how innovative this show showed in the process.
Now as for the graphics, hands down! Every single battle scene reeks out splendidly done CGI and how much more will it be in the unearthly Anteverse, the kaiju's homeworld?
Overall, I enjoyed this one with 10/10.