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'GODZILLA' ('PACIFIC RIM') RISES AGAIN

       

For Hicksflicks.com, July 19, 2013

I went to "Pacific Rim," aka "Transformers Meet Godzilla," with the intention of writing about all the great robot movies that have been made over the years, "Metropolis," "Forbidden Planet," "Westworld," "The Stepford Wives," etc.

But after seeing it, I realized "Pacific Rim" is less about the robots and more about the monsters they battle.

The robots are hulking metal behemoths that have no minds of their own but are instead operated entirely by humans, two pilots per 'bot working in sync after a kind of mind-meld that enables them to act as one in making the giant machines walk, run, fight and fire weapons. The monsters they battle are weird, ugly creatures of varying sizes and shapes, some standing erect, all glowing and twitching and darting around as fast as any superhero, thanks to the miracle of CGI, of course.

With cheaper effects and men in rubber suits instead of so much computer animation, "Pacific Rim" would actually fit quite comfortably in the "Godzilla" oeuvre with its myriad remakes, ripoffs, sequels and mash-ups that include or relate to the character of Godzilla.

Like Godzilla, the creatures in "Pacific Rim" rise out of the sea as amphibious reptiles, stomping their way into major metropolitan coastal areas and wreaking havoc. In "Godzilla" it is Tokyo that is destroyed; in "Pacific Rim," it's Hong Kong. And there are repeated many iconic moments, such as a creature munching on a person and close-ups of a huge foot crushing automobiles or landing with force to leave a mammoth imprint on the ground. And, as with "Godzilla," a sequence has scientists comparing the creatures to dinosaurs.

"Pacific Rim" also has obvious references to lots of other movies, ranging from "Independence Day" to "Men in Black" to James Bond. No kidding.

Hey, I can see a film festival in the future that would be showing "Godzilla," "Godzilla Raids Again," "Ghidorah," "Destroy All Monsters," "Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla" and "Pacific Rim." And, by then, perhaps "Pacific Rim II," "Son of Pacific Rim" and "Pacific Rim vs. King Kong." Why not?