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Pacific Rim is an American science fiction film directed by Guillermo del Toro and co-written by Travis Beacham. Produced by Legendary Pictures, Pacific Rim is set the future of 2025 and follows the story of humanity on the brink of destruction after a fissure in the Pacific Ocean creates a portal that allows giant sea-dwelling creatures to wreak havoc across the Pacific Rim. At war with the Kaiju, humanity unites to create the Jaegers, gigantic humanoid mechas each controlled by at least two pilots, whose minds are joined by a mental link. At the end of days, Raleigh Becket, a washed-up Jaeger pilot, is called out of retirement and teamed with a rookie pilot, Mako Mori, in a last-ditch effort to defeat the Kaiju. Pacific Rim is regarded as a homage to classic monster movies in Japanese cinema, a genre known as "Kaiju". Pacific Rim was released in North American theaters July 12, 2013.

Plot

In 2013, huge alien monsters called Kaijus emerge from an interdimensional portal called "The Breach" at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Over the course of three years, the Kaiju wreak havoc upon coastal cities along the Ring of Fire, such as San Francisco, San José del Cabo, Sydney, Manila, and Hong Kong. Humanity responds by constructing massive robotic machines called Jaegers, to combat the alien threat. Each Jaeger is piloted by two or more people, who are connected by a neural bridge in a process called "drifting" to share the mental stress of piloting the machine.

In 2020, Gipsy Danger, piloted by brothers Raleigh and Yancy Beckett, defends Anchorage from a Kaiju codenamed Knifehead. They both engage in combat, with Gipsy gaining the upper hand and defeating the Kaiju. Unknown to them, the Kaiju is still alive. The Kaiju ambushes them, critically damages Gipsy and throws Yancy out of the cockpit, killing him. Raleigh manages to pilot Gipsy alone, activating the remaining plasma cannon and killing Knifehead. Traumatized by Yancy’s death, Raleigh quits the Jaeger Program. In 2025, the world governments decide to end funding for the continuous construction of Jaegers, in favor of building massive coastal walls, as the Kaijus are growing more powerful, their attacks more frequent and Jaegers are being destroyed faster than they are built. The remaining Jaegers are relocated to Hong Kong under the command of Marshal Stacker Pentecost, who plans to destroy The Breach using a nuclear weapon.

Pentecost tracks down Raleigh at a wall construction site to persuade him to rejoin the program. Traveling to the Hong Kong base, the Shatterdome, Raleigh is introduced to Mako Mori, director of the Jaeger restoration program and Pentecost’s adoptive daughter. Four Jaegers remain in operation – the refurbished Gipsy Danger, the Russian Cherno Alpha, the Chinese Crimson Typhoon, and the Australian Striker Eureka that will carry the bomb, and piloted by father and son Herc and Chuck Hansen.

To find a new co-pilot, Raleigh participates in tryouts, assuming Mako is "drift-compatible", despite Pentecost's protests. During their first test, Raleigh is distracted by the memory of Yancy’s death. Mako, in turn, is lost in the memory of the Kaiju attack on Tokyo that orphaned her, and nearly fires Gipsy's plasma cannon. Mako is promptly relieved of piloting duties, and Raleigh confronts Pentecost and tells him that he is being overprotective of her.

Pentecost consults Kaiju experts Newton Geiszler and Herman Gottlieb. Hermann claims that the Breach will stabilize and the Kaiju will increase in number, but it will allow the assault to succeed, while Newton suggests drifting with a Kaiju’s brain to learn more about them. Newton goes ahead with his plan despite Herman's protests and discovers that the Kaiju are bioweapons grown by alien colonists who plan on wiping out humanity. With Pentecost's permission, Newton searches for black market dealer Hannibal Chau to obtain a fresher Kaiju brain to drift with. However, he soon figures out that since drifting is a two-way link, the Kaiju hive mind gained access to his knowledge just as he did theirs. Soon after, two new Kaijus, Leatherback and Otachi, emerge simultaneously to find Newton.

All Jaegers except Gipsy Danger are dispatched to intervene. Otachi destroys Crimson Typhoon, while Leatherback destroys Cherno Alpha and paralyzes Striker Eureka with an EMP blast. Out of options, Pentecost reluctantly allows Mako and Raleigh to pilot Gipsy Danger. Gipsy successfully kills Leatherback and Otachi, while almost destroying Hong Kong in the process. Examining Otachi's body, Newton and Hannibal find out that it is pregnant. The infant Kaiju bursts out and devours Hannibal but soon dies from being strangled by its own umbilical cord. Newton and Hermann drift with the infant’s brain, discovering that The Breach can only open in the presence of a Kaiju's DNA.

As Herc was injured during the previous fight, Pentecost pilots Striker Eureka with Chuck. Along with Gipsy Danger, they approach The Breach. Three Kaijus emerge from The Breach to defend it, one being the largest ever encountered. The Jaegers kill one Kaiju and injure the others, but Striker is immobilized by the largest Kaiju. Pentecost and Chuck decide to detonate the bomb, as they were easily overwhelmed, depending on Gipsy's nuclear reactor to seal The Breach. After the explosion leaves the largest Kaiju alive, Gipsy kills it and rides its corpse into The Breach. Raleigh overloads the reactor and ejects Mako and himself using escape pods. The reactor explodes, killing several alien creatures and destroying The Breach. Herc, now the Marshal, orders the war clock to stop, indicating mankind's victory.

Raleigh and Mako's escape pods surface in the Pacific Ocean, where they embrace as rescue helicopters arrive.

In a scene at the beginning of the credits, Hannibal cuts his way out of the Kaiju infant, and looks for his lost shoe.

Cast

  • Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh Becket
  • Idris Elba as General Pentecost
  • Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori
    • Mana Ashida as young Mako
  • Charlie Day as Dr. Newt Geiszler
  • Max Martini as Herc Hansen
  • Robert Kazinsky as Chuck Hansen
  • Ron Perlman as Hannibal Chau
  • Clifton Collins, Jr. as Ops Tendo Choi
  • Burn Gorman as Dr Gottlieb
    • Drew Adkins as young Gottlieb
  • Diego Klattenhoff as Yancy
    • Tyler Stevenson as young Yancy
  • Ellen McLain as Gipsy AI

Production

Development

In February 2006, it was reported that Guillermo del Toro would direct Travis Beacham's fantasy screenplay, Killing on Carnival Row, but the project never materialized. Beacham conceived Pacific Rim the following year. While walking on the beach near Santa Monica Pier, the screenwriter imagined a giant robot and a giant monster fighting to the death. "They just sort of materialized out of the fog, these vast, godlike things." He later conceived the idea that each robot had two pilots, asking "what happens when one of those people dies?" Deciding this would be "a story about loss, moving on after loss, and dealing with survivor's guilt", Beacham commenced writing the film. On May 28, 2010, it was reported that Legendary Pictures had purchased Beacham's detailed 25-page film treatment, now titled Pacific Rim.

On July 28, 2010, it was reported that del Toro would next direct an adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness for Universal Studios, with James Cameron producing. When del Toro met with Legendary Pictures to discuss the possibility of collaborating with them on a film, he was intrigued by Beacham's treatment—still a "very small pitch" at this point. Del Toro struck a deal with Legendary: while directing At the Mountains of Madness, he would produce and co-write Pacific Rim; because of the films' conflicting production schedules, he would direct Pacific Rim only if At the Mountains of Madness were cancelled. Tom Cruise was attached to star in the Lovecraft adaptation.

On March 7, 2011, it was reported that Universal would not proceed with At the Mountains of Madness because del Toro was unwilling to compromise on the $150 million budget and R rating. The director later reflected, "When it happened, this has never happened to me, but I actually cried that weekend a lot. I don't want to sound like a puny soul, but I really was devastated. I was weeping for the movie." The project collapsed on a Friday, and del Toro signed to direct Pacific Rim the following Monday.

Del Toro spent a year working with Beacham on the screenplay, and is credited as co-writer. He introduced ideas he had always wished to see in the genre, such as a Kaiju birth and a Kaiju attack seen from a child's perspective. The script also received an uncredited rewrite from Neil Cross, who previously created the Idris Elba-starring drama series Luther and wrote the del Toro-produced horror film Mama. Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan were enlisted to perform uncredited rewrites when their spec script Monstropolis caught the filmmaker's attention. Drew Pearce also carried out uncredited work on the script.

Principal photography

Principal photography began on November 14, 2011 and continued in Toronto into April 2012.[21] Del Toro gave an update after the second week on filming finished. The film was referred to as Silent Seas and Still Seas during production.

Del Toro had never shot a film in less than 115 days, but had only 103 to shoot Pacific Rim. In order to achieve this, del Toro scheduled a splinter unit that he could direct early in the day, before main unit, and on his off-days. The director worked 17 to 18 hours a day, seven days a week, for much of the schedule. Del Toro took a new approach to directing actors, allowing "looser" movements and improvisation; the director maintained tight control over the production: "Everything, 100% goes through me sooner or later. I do not delegate anything. Some people like it, some people don't, but it has to be done that way."

The film was shot using Red Epic cameras. At first Guillermo del Toro decided not to shoot or convert the film to 3D, as the effect would not work due to the sheer size of the film's robots and monsters, explaining; "I didn't want to make the movie 3D because when you have things that big... the thing that happens naturally, you're looking at two buildings lets say at 300 feet [away], if you move there is no parallax. They're so big that, in 3D, you barely notice anything no matter how fast you move... To force the 3D effects for robots and monsters that are supposed to be big you are making their [perspective] miniaturized, making them human scale." It was later announced that the film would be converted to 3D, with the conversion taking 40 weeks longer than most. Del Toro said: "What can I tell you? I changed my mind. I'm not running for office. I can do a [Mitt] Romney."

Del Toro cut approximately an hour of material from the film. The unused footage explored the characters and their arcs in greater detail, but the director felt it was necessary to strike a balance, stating: "We cannot pretend this is [Henrik] Ibsen with monsters and giant robots. I cannot pretend I'm doing a profound reflection on mankind." Each character's arc was edited down to its minimal requirements. The director wanted to keep the film around two hours, particularly for younger viewers. Alejandro González Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuarón helped with the editing; Iñárritu removed ten minutes of footage, while Cuarón removed "a few minutes" and rearranged several scenes. Iñárritu and Cuarón receive a "special thanks" in the film's credits, as do James Cameron and David Cronenberg.

Design

Del Toro wanted to "honor" the Kaiju and mecha genres while creating an original stand-alone film, something "conscious of the heritage, but not a pastiche or an homage or a greatest hits of everything". The director made a point of starting from scratch, without emulating or referencing any previous examples of those genres. He cautioned his designers not to turn to films like Gamera, Godzilla, or The War of the Gargantuas for inspiration, stating: "I didn't want to be postmodern, or referential, or just belong to a genre. I really wanted to create something new, something madly in love with those things. I tried to bring epic beauty to it, and drama and operatic grandeur." Rather than popular culture, he drew inspiration from works of art such as Francisco Goya's The Colossus and George Bellows's boxing paintings. The film's designers include Wayne Barlowe, Oscar Chichoni, monster sculptors David Meng and Simon Lee, and Hellboy II and The Hobbit designer Francisco Ruiz Velasco. Del Toro has acknowledged that some designs created for his cancelled At the Mountains of Madness adaptation may have been used in Pacific Rim.

Kaiju

Approximately a hundred Kaiju and a hundred Jaegers were designed, but only a fraction of these appear in the film; every week the filmmakers would "do an American Idol" and vote for the best. In designing Kaiju, the film's artists frequently drew inspiration from nature rather than other works. The director commented: "Kaiju are essentially outlandish in a way, but on the other hand they come sort of in families: you've got the reptilian Kaiju, the insect Kaiju, the sort of crustacean Kaiju... So to take an outlandish design and then render it with an attention to real animal anatomy and detail is interesting." Del Toro avoided making the Kaiju too similar to any Earth creatures, instead opting to make them otherworldly and alien. Del Toro called the film's Kaiju "weapons", stating that they are "the cleaning crew, the cats sent into the warehouse to clean out the mice." Certain design elements are shared by all the Kaiju; this is intended to suggest that they are connected and were designed for a similar purpose. Each Kaiju was given a vaguely humanoid silhouette to echo the man-in-suit aesthetic of early Japanese kaiju films. While del Toro's other films feature ancient or damaged monsters, the Kaiju lack scars or any evidence of prior culture, indicating that they are engineered creations rather than the result of an evolutionary system.

Knifehead, the first Kaiju to appear in the film, is a tribute to the plodding kaiju of 1960s Japanese films, and is intended to look almost like a man in a rubber suit; its head was inspired by that of a goblin shark. Leatherback, the bouncer-like Kaiju which spews electromagnetic charges, is a favorite of del Toro, who conceived it as a "brawler with this sort of beer belly"; the lumbering movements of gorillas were used as a reference. The Kaiju Otachi homages the dragons of Chinese mythology. The director called it a "Swiss army knife of a Kaiju"; with almost 20 minutes of screen time, it was given numerous features so the audience would not tire of it. The creature moves like a Komodo dragon in water, sports multiple jaws and an acid-filled neck sack, and unfurls wings when necessary. It is also more intelligent than the other Kaiju, employing eagle-inspired strategies against the Jaegers. Onibaba, the Kaiju that orphans Mako Mori, resembles a fusion of a Japanese temple and a crustacean. Slattern, the largest Kaiju, is distinguished by its extremely long neck and "half-horn, half-crown" head, which del Toro considered both demonic and majestic.

Jaeger

Gipsy Danger, the American Jaeger, was based on the shape of New York City's Art Deco buildings, such as the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, but infused with John Wayne's gunslinger gait and hip movements. Cherno Alpha, the Russian Jaeger, was based on the shape and paint patterns of a T-series Russian tank, combined with a giant containment silo to give the appearance of a walking nuclear power plant with a cooling tower on its head. Crimson Typhoon, the three-armed Chinese Jaeger, is piloted by triplets and resembles a "medieval little warrior"; its texture evokes Chinese lacquered wood with golden edges. Striker Eureka, the Australian Jaeger, is likened by del Toro to a Land Rover; the most elegant and masculine Jaeger, it has a jutting chest, a camouflage paint scheme recalling the Australian outback, and the bravado of its pilots.

Costumes

The film's costumes were designed by Shane Mahan and Kate Hawley, who spent several months on the costumes of the Jaeger pilots. The Russian pilot suits are old-fashioned and echo cosmonaut space suits.

Visual effects

Industrial Light & Magic was chosen to create the visual effects for Pacific Rim. Del Toro hired Academy Award winners John Knoll and Hal T. Hickel, both known for their work on the Star Wars prequel trilogy and the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Legacy Effects was hired to do the special and practical effects on the film. Shane Mahan, known for creating the armored suits for Iron Man, was hired on as effects supervisor. John Rosengrant was also brought in for his work on Reel Steel. Oscar winner Clay Pinney, known for his work on Independence Day and Star Trek, was also brought on board. Hybride Technologies, a division of Ubisoft, and Rodeo FX also contributed to the visual effects.

Del Toro conceived the film as an operatic work: "That was one of the first words I said to the entire team at ILM. I said, 'This movie needs to be theatrical, operatic, romantic.' We used a lot of words not usually associated with high-tech blockbusters … We went for a very, very, very, very saturated color palette for the battle for Hong Kong. I kept asking John to tap into his inner Mexican and be able to saturate the greens and the purples and the pinks and the oranges." The classic Japanese woodblock print The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai was a common motif in the ocean battles; Del Toro recalled, "I would say 'Give me a Hokusai wave' … we use the waves and weather in the movie very operatically."

The director asked that Knoll not necessarily match the lighting from shot to shot: "It's pretty unorthodox to do that, but I think the results are really beautiful and very artistically free and powerful, not something you would associate with a big sci-fi action movie." Del Toro considers the film's digital water its most exciting visual effect: "The water dynamics in this movie are technically beautiful, but also artistically incredibly expressive. We agreed on making the water become almost another character. We would time the water very precisely. I'd say 'Get out of the wave [on this frame].'"

The film also features extensive miniature effect shots provided by 32TEN Studios, under the supervision of ILM VFX Producer Susan Greenhow and ILM VFX Supervisors John Knoll and Lindy DeQuattro. Shot using RED Epic cameras on 3D rigs, the scenes produced by 32TEN involved the creation of a ¼ scale office building interior which was destroyed by the fist of a Jaeger robot which was on a separate pneumatically controlled rig, as well as a sequence which depicted several rows of seats in a soccer stadium being blown apart as a Jaeger lands in the stadium, which was created by using ¼-scale seats blown apart by air cannons. Additionally 32TEN provided several Practical effects for ILM’s compositing team including dust clouds, breaking glass and water effects.

Video game


Pacific Rim is a science fiction film with two related video games: one for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and the other for smartphones.

Pacific Rim: The Video Game

Pacific Rim: The Video Game is a video game published and developed by Yuke's for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It is a fighting game where players choose between the film's Jaegers and Kaiju.

It was delisted from both digital stores in 2016.

Gameplay

In single-player mode, the player engages in several one-on-one melee battles to earn achievement points and upgrades for their characters. Jaegers have two health bars (as they require two pilots) while Kaiju have one. Each character has its own set of special attacks. For example, Gipsy Danger can fire its plasma cannon or use its chain swords, while Leatherback can disrupt a Jaeger's mobility by firing an electromagnetic pulse.

Divulgation

The game was first announced by the Australian Classification Board. A NeoGAF user posted several screenshots from the game, showing the monsters and robots of the movie battling in a number of environments. On July 7, 2013, a teaser trailer was released.

Reception

The game was met with mixed to negative reviews. It has a Metacritic score of 39 out of 100, based on 14 reviews. Jake Magee of IGN gave it a mediocre rating of 5.3, calling it "a flimsy movie tie-in that chooses to concentrate on repetitive and nonsensical story missions." Ben Rayner of Xboxer360 gave it a score of 60 out of 100, calling it "a 'freemium' game disguised as an XBLA game."

Pacific Rim: The Mobile Game

Pacific Rim: The Mobile Game is a video game developed by Reliance Games and Behaviour Interactive for iOS and Android smartphone platforms. According to Reliance Games' chief executive Manish Agarwal, the game is set before the events of the film, and the company worked extensively with director Guillermo Del Toro in the game's design and testing.

Gameplay

During battle, the player uses the on-screen buttons to block or dodge a Kaiju attack. Once the Kaiju gives an opening, the player swipes the screen to execute an attack. The campaign spans 30 missions, with the player earning cash to upgrade their Jaeger by changing parts or buying single-use power-ups. Cash can also be collected to buy more powerful Jaegers.

Reception

Much like its console counterpart, Pacific Rim: The Mobile Game did not fare well with critics. The iOS version has a Metacritic score of 48 out of 100, based on 12 reviews. Mike Fahey of Kotaku criticized the game for its lack of innovation, saying it "isn't a bad Infinity Blade-style mobile game. It's just another one." Scott Nichols of Digital Spy gave the game two out of five stars, commenting that it is "priced at a premium, making the free-to-play structure rather insulting to fans."

Music

Pacific Rim is the soundtrack to the film of the same name. It was released on digital download from Amazon.com on June 18, 2013, and CD June 25, 2013. The physical version of the soundtrack was released on July 9, 2013, three days before the theatrical release of the film itself.

The film's score was composed by Ramin Djawadi, with guest musicians Tom Morello and Priscilla Ahn. In addition, the orchestra for the soundtrack consisted of over 100 musicians, including a Russian choir.

Director Guillermo Del Toro selected Djawadi based on his work on Prison Break, Iron Man, and Game of Thrones, stating: "His scores have a grandeur, but they have also an incredible sort of human soul." The director also stated that some Russian rap would be featured in the film.

Marketing and promotion

Release

Box office

Critical response

Accolades

Home media

Sequel and Cinematic Universe rumors

Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018)

Pacific Rim: Uprising is an American science fiction monster film directed by Steven S. DeKnight and written by DeKnight, Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder, and T.S. Nowlin from a story by DeKnight and Nowlin. It is the sequel to the 2013 Warner Bros.' film Pacific Rim, and stars John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny and Jing Tian, with Charlie Day, Burn Gorman and Rinko Kikuchi returning in their roles from the original film. It is scheduled to be released on March 23, 2018, distributed by Universal Pictures, unfortunately, Warner Bros. have no involvement as they ended their partnership with Legendary Entertainment after the release of Interstellar, but returned on 2017 with the film Kong: Skull Island. It's similar to animated television series Xiaolin Showdown (has a continuation Xiaolin Chronicles).

Pacific Rim Uprising is a springboard for a cinematic universe, where DeKnight revealed "If enough people show up to this, we’ve already talked about the plot of the third movie, and how the end of the third movie would expand the universe to a Star Wars/Star Trek-style [franchise or series] where you can go in many, many different directions,” he said. “You can go main canon, you can go spin-offs, you can go one-offs. Yeah, that’s the plan". However, DeKnight talked about the possibility of a crossover with the MonsterVerse.

Gallery

Trivia

  • The working title for Pacific Rim during production was "Still Seas".
  • Guillermo del Toro expressed an interest in seeing a crossover with Godzilla and Pacific Rim.
  • When asked, Travis Beacham confirmed that Legendary Pictures's Godzilla was not in the same continuity as Pacific Rim.
  • Prior to Pacific Rim, the visual effects company, Imaginary Forces, worked with del Toro in 1997 on the Mimic opening title and later in 2002 to produce the opening title of Blade II.
  • The film's budget was estimated to be $200 million according to Variety.com.

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