One Big Scene is a weekly column dedicated to spectacular visual sequences we’re recommending you see in the theater. If you have ones you’d like us to write about, let us know in the comments section.
Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim – I’m not exaggerating – is the first and only film released this summer that NEEDS to be seen on the big screen. Check that, the biggest screen possible. IMAX. Larger than IMAX, if such a thing exists.
The Hellboy director has been selling Rim as a massive monsters-versus-robots experiment… and it delivers on every visual aspect blockbuster fans could be hoping for. Is it a little cheesy and clichéd? Absolutely, but this isn’t a review. This is One Big Scene! And this column was designed for movies like Pacific Rim!
In the distant future, our planet is under constant attack from Kaiju, reptilian creatures who emerge from a rift in the Pacific Ocean and ravage our cities. After years of bombardments, the world decided to fight back. We created Jaegars – massive robotic suits the size of skyscrapers piloted by two soldiers sharing a unique mind meld called Drifting.
Del Toro stages several beautifully choreographed fights between imaginative (and terrifying) Kaiju and his old-school Jaegars. But the best, in my opinion, takes place in Hong Kong, where Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) and Mako (Rinko Kikuchi) must prevent two Kaiju from tearing the city apart.
The scene has been discussed often. It’s the one where the Jaegar uses a battleship as a baseball bat to smack a Kaiju upside the head. But as the sequence plays out, the Kaiju suddenly spreads its wings and carries the Jaegar into the skies. To escape, Raleigh and Mako must rely on a massive sword, which leads to a deadly free fall from miles above the Earth.
In a movie made up of massive scenes, this battle is our One Big Scene, the sequence that absolutely needs to be experienced on the biggest possible screen.
Do the critics agree?
What Critics are Saying:
“A titanic sci-fi action fantasy that has been invested, against all expectations, with a heart, a brain and something approximating a soul.”
- Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"Pacific Rim creates its own language and its own mythology, and the result is one gloriously entertaining vision that leaves us in wide-eyed wonder.
- Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News
“I was having so much fun I lost track of where the line between good-stupid and bad-stupid might lie.”
- Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com