A few weekends ago, my sister and I went on this monster movie spree, and watched Pacific Rim and Jurassic World. Surprisingly, I didn’t think I would enjoy Pacific Rim, but I actually did. As for Jurassic World, of course I enjoyed it. It’s dinosaurs!
Pacific Rim (2013)
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro
Pacific Rim is about aliens, named Kaijus, that enter from a portal or breach in the Pacific Ocean and invade Earth. Humans use these gigantic, mecha robots known as Jaegers to fight against these creatures.
The story follows a guy named Raleigh Becket, who piloted the Jaeger, Gipsy Danger with his brother at one time. He retired from battle after his brother was killed during a fierce attack from a Kaiju. Since then, the Kaijus have become too powerful; in which the Jaegers seemed to fail in destroying them. Henceforth, governments have decided to build walls for protection against the Kaijus, but the plan failed when a Kaiju attacked and broke down a wall in Australia. Henceforth, the commander of the Jaeger organization, Stacker Pentecost, recruits Raleigh Becket for one final Jaeger mission to stop the Kaijus once and for all.
First of all, I would like to point out that building walls as a defense mechanism doesn’t seem to work in most cases (from what I’ve seen so far). I mean when you build a wall for protection against invaders, it brings forth the division of social classes. The poor people live on the outer rings, which makes them more prone to attacks and getting killed, while the rich classes live in the inner rings because they can afford to live there. They are protected by walls, and it will take a while for an invasion or an attack to get to them. There are many shows that use a wall defense mechanism, Attack on Titan and Avatar: The Last Airbender. And from the titles I mentioned, which wall you live in determines your social class.
Now, I am not a big fan of mecha entertainment, but the type of robotic technology they used in this movie is incredible. The Jaeger is a war machine that is powered by two or more pilots whose brains are linked together (a process called “drifting”). This is kind of reminded me of the anime, Aquarion EVOL because in that anime, people are linked together in order to operate the Aquarion (which is a combination of three small vectors). Pacific Rim also brings forth the idea that in order to pilot one of these Jaegers, you and your partner(s) must get along, and also work together as a team. Teamwork definitely determines whether you both will live or die.
Now, the main characters, Raleigh Becket and Mako Mori have a special relationship. They both had their families killed by Kaijus, which results in both having a vendetta against Kaijus. Although it may seem that the two like each other as more than Jaeger partners, the film doesn’t really emphasize or focus on it, which I thought was great because we get to see more action and also the story will primarily focus on the main plot line—stopping the Kaijus—as oppose to having a sideline story about love. Furthermore, the protagonists’ character development is shown through their past troubles and experiences involving Kaijus as oppose a love line.
Also, I thought it was interesting that they used the term, Kaiju to refer to the aliens. Kaiju in Japanese translates to “monster.”
Although this film didn’t gain much appeal to American audiences, it was an international success overseas. I think what appealed to audiences is the action, and also the storyline was pretty interesting. There is a sequel coming out in 2017.
Jurassic World (2015)
Directed By: Colin Trevorrow
I like dinosaurs. In fact, I enjoyed learning about them in grade school.
Twenty-two years after the Jurassic Park incident, Masrani Corporation built a new theme park on the same island called Jurassic World. The park uses samples of dinosaur tissues and other living organisms to create cloned dinosaurs. In order to cater to guests’ interests and get more funding from corporate sponsors, Masrani Corporation developed a new genetically modified dinosaur called Indominus rex with DNA from many predatory dinosaurs and modern-day animals.
Indominus rex accidentally gets released from its’ cage, and is now on a vicious rampage of sheer destruction. It is up to a Velociraptor trainer, Owen Grady, to stop the Indominus rex.
They basically made not the “perfect dinosaur,” but the “perfect monster.” It questions the morals of scientific study. How far should we go in order to obtain knowledge? Indominus rex—the perfect military killing machine—is not the right track to gain knowledge nor is a moral asset because this dinosaur intentionally harms all types of life.
One of my favorite parts in the film is when Owen Grady rides a motorcycle with the four raptors he trained. Another food for thought is whether or not man and any predatory beast can live in peace together.
Jurassic World joins the bandwagon of 90s comeback by incorporating some elements of the original Jurassic Park. For example, the two boys, Zack and Gray, stumbled upon the ruins of the old theme park, Jurassic Park. This brings back nostalgia for fans of the old Jurassic Park. In addition, Jurassic World brought back a familiar face to the franchise, B.D. Wong (who starred in the first movie). He plays the role of Dr. Henry Wu, who is the chief geneticist and in charge of creating the dinosaurs for the theme park.
Jurassic World was an exciting thriller. I was greatly entertained, and it made me like Chris Pratt more as an actor.