Rating : 6/10
Release Date : 12th July, 2013
Time : 132 minutes
Director, Co-Writer : Guillermo Del Toro; Co-Writer : Travis Beacham; Music : Ramin Djawadi
Starring : Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Max Martini, Robert Kazinsky, Clifton Collins Jr. Ron Perlman, Mana Ashida, Diego Klattenhoff
Humans Vs Aliens, Hollywood version #5732
Golden Gate bridge is destroyed. Yet again (definitely the bridge to have suffered the most at the hands of Hollywood special effects
This time they, nicknamed Kaiju (Japanese word for alien), come from under the Pacific (still not clear how they got there but that’s not the only logical inconsistency). They are reptilian in nature, amphibian and out to destroy humans / habitation though not to eat or any other discernible purpose. They are conveniently, based on size etc (much like those gaming trading cards), graded into various categories – category 4 bigger than category 1 and so on…
The human response, after trying the usual tanks / aircraft / guns, is to build giant, robotic fighting machines, called Jaegers (German word for hunter, the use of the Japanese / German lingo indicating the laudable desire of the makers not to be too America-centric). These are controlled by neural contact with the humans who fit inside them. They are too big to be controlled by just one, so two humans have to connect neutrally (ie they have to be drift compatible – apparently not everyone is) and then control the Jaeger.
The battle enters different phases. And the Kaiju’s get smarter. And now it seems they are going to win…world destruction is well on nigh…and it all boils down to a few individuals manning the last few Jaegers in Hongkong…
The whole film is imbued with a rockstar feel – the pulsating musical score, the personality of the Jaeger pilots, the high levels of testosterone, the action sequences, the fights between the reptiles vs the robots. Some of the pilots have a story – one (Charlie), lost his brother. Another, a girl (Rinko) who lost her family to the Kaiju…Idris is the man who heads the pilots and the Jaeger effort, and he has his own story.
This has all the clichés – the impending apocalypse, the underdog who comes good, the conflict between the suits (politicians) and the men on the ground, the rousing speech, some scientific mumbo-jumbo and two nerds who lead the effort on that front, the ultimate sacrifice, and pilots who strut around cockily, as if they are God’s gift. It all has some cool action and a half-decent story tying it all up. Watch it only for the former…