In the future, the world is plagued by attacks from sea monsters known as the Kaiju. In response to this threat of total annihilation, we create our own monster machines, Jaegars, which are capable of killing the Kaiju. These Jaegars are controlled by a pair of human pilots/operators who connect telepathically, known as ‘drifting’. The Kaiju are then relegated to the status of large but completely manageable pests…..so much so that they spawn toys, jokes and even game shows. The Jaegar pilots become the new rock stars of the planet, lauded and feted wherever they go.
But then the Kaiju evolve and the Jaegars become all but useless defence weapons. The world is on the brink of disaster and humans will be hunted to extinction. Governments spring into action and, naturally, the Jaegar program is given notice that it will be shut down within months.\
Unwilling to accept defeat and the government’s decision to shut it down, the Jaegar program is now rogue….
Raleigh (Hunnan) is an ex Jaegar pilot who left the program after a personal tragedy. He is recruited back onto the team and is immediately drawn to young assistant Mako (Kikuchi) who has talents well beyond her current position in life. Throw in a couple of sparring scientist types, Geiszler (Day) and Gottlieb (Gorman) who believe they have (separately) discovered how to destroy our alien visitors and we have an interesting mix. Which should make an interesting movie.
Well no, not really …..
As one would expect from a hugely budgeted sci-fi movie, the special effects, CGI etc etc are amazing. The colours and designs inside the pilot’s area of the machine reminded me of TRON….or a Daft Punk video. It was bright and shiny and contrasted brilliantly to the ugliness and desolation of the monsters and the deep blue sea. The monsters were just scary enough but….well we’ve seen it all before.
The story was a great idea… very War of the Worlds or Godzilla…. which I love…. but it lacked any kind of depth. It has been explained to me that the movie draws heavily on Anime…..from the triplet pilots to the Russian brother & sister duo…. all obvious nods to the Japanese genre. And while that may attract many, it simply wasn’t enough to engage me.
But my real gripe with this movie comes down to one thing…. fake Aussie accents. Two main characters were Aussies, so we’re not talking walk on or bit parts here. That’s the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the poster up there! *sighs*
Now…… we live in a world full of Aussie actors. A lot of them good. Great even. So why…… WHY …. do we still need to have some foreign actor slaughtering our accent when they could employ an Aussie and save themselves the embarrassment? And it was embarrassing. When the 10-year-old in front of me comments on it…..it’s embarassing. I have yet to hear anyone get our accent right. Meryl Goddess Streep did alright in Evil Angels but that’s it. So why?
Having got that off my chest, if you are not a fan of monster vs mankind movies, this is not the movie for you. Great for the kidlets or the fan boys and girls but the rest of us should go see something else.
Love Flick x
Director : Guillermo del Toro
Starring : Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Diego Klattenhoff, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Robert Kazinsky, Max Martini
Running Time : 132 minutes
Release Date : In cinemas now