So Pacific Rim: Uprising is less than a week away from hitting cinemas across the UK. Unbelievably it has taken five years to create this sequel to one of 2013’s most underrated films. Pacific Rim was criticised for its by-the-numbers plot but this Del Toro movie was much more than giant monsters and robots fighting.
In fact, it was director Guillermo Del Toro’s first real mass-market blockbuster. Sure Hellboy and its sequel The Golden Army were comic-book stories, but they never had the mass appeal of say, the Transformers series, which Pacific Rim can be at times, quite a lot like. With Uprising hitting cinemas very soon, I thought it was high-time to look back through its predecessor and pick out five moments that make it stand out from the rest of the blockbuster crowd.
Gipsy Danger vs Knifehead
The action in Pacific Rim is filmed with such incredible confidence that it truly brings to life not only the characters, but the monster-sized Kaiju and the Jaegers that were created to fight them. The scale of the robots and monsters is apparent here as Gipsy Danger desperately tries to save a fishing vessel from being collateral damage.
In this particular scene towards the beginning of the film, Jaeger Gipsy Danger battles the terrifyingly named ‘Knifehead’ Kaiju. The Jaeger sustains irreparable damage and in a scene just a few moments later, collapses on a snow-covered beach in-front of a shocked girl and her grandfather.
Idris Elba’s Speech
In a scene reminiscent of President Whitmore’s speech in the classic Independence Day, Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost (names are not the film’s strong point it has to be said), rallies the troops with a rousing dialogue. It’s a scene that was marketed heavily in the trailer, probably to evoke those feelings of nostalgia for older fans of the genre.
Elba has risen to become one of our most charismatic actors and in this sequence it’s easy to see why. Brilliantly delivered and beautifully written by scriptwriters Travis Beacham and Del Toro himself, it’s a great scene that proves you don’t need action to be exciting.
Gipsy Danger vs Otachi
Taking the action to Hong Kong was a genius idea by Del Toro as the city lends itself perfectly to film. Brimming with colour, Gipsy Danger’s infamous battle against ‘Otachi’ is one of the best scenes in the entire film. It also has some great Del Toro-isms in it too. One such instance shows how delicate the Jaeger’s can be when needed.
As Gipsy Danger smashes through an office block, he delicately comes to a stop just centimetres from a magnet clacker. I’m not sure if that is the right word for what I’m describing, so there are extra brownie points for anyone who knows the correct name for those office gadgets. You know the ones I mean, right? They sit on your desk and hit silver magnetic balls. Again, the scale of the robots is shown off brilliantly here as Gipsy Danger picks up a freighter ship and smashes ‘Otachi’ senseless.
Jaeger Suit Up
You’re probably thinking that this is a bizarre choice to put in a top five but stick with it for a moment. As we are introduced to Charlie Hunnam and his brother, we not only get to hear some dialogue about how he and his brother become involved with the Jaeger program, but also some incredible shots of the efforts involved in getting these monstrous robots mobile.
The scene also features some cracking music by composer Ramin Djawadi. In fact, his score here is one of the best of all time in my personal opinion. It combines classic orchestral moments with electronic guitars, making it a match for some of the very best blockbusters out there. It’s a shame he won’t be returning for Uprising but Lorne Balfe is a reasonably good replacement for him.
Cherno Alpha & Crimson Typhoon
All these robots have such cool names, don’t they? In this sequence, just off the coast of Hong Kong, Jaeger’s Cherno Alpha and Crimson Typhoon do battle with a pair of category 4 Kaiju, one of them being the aforementioned ‘Otachi’. The scene is intense as the audience comes to the realisation that these robots just aren’t a match for such menacing and terrifyingly strong monster.
However, the sequence is filmed exceptionally and really shows off what a talented director Del Toro is, even when filming with nearly 100% CGI. It’s also nice to see each Jaeger’s special ability – something which seems to be returning in Uprising.
Which moments from Pacific Rim do you think are the best? Are you looking forward to the release of Uprising? Movie Metropolis will have the full review of Pacific Rim: Uprising just as soon as it is released. For now, check out the most recent trailer below or read our review of Pacific Rim from way back in 2013.