‘Pacific Rim’ rouses the child within

Karen Kunawicz

Karen Kunawicz

NEW YORK: My main reason for watching Pacific Rim was: Guillermo del Toro. I liked his work on Blade 2, Hellboy and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. I read The Strain (co-written with Chuck Hogan) and I loved Pan’s Labyrinth.

I’ve also had a chance to see him several times in person in San Diego. If there’s any one thing I’ve taken out from those experiences, it’s that part of him is still very much a child.

Even if he is already in his late 40s and has seen and experienced much violence in his younger years in Mexico—he still maintains a sense of childlike wonder about the world.

When he talked about Pacific Rim IN 2012, his excitement for bringing “kaiju” (monsters) from the depths of the sea and “jaegers” (hunters) in the form giant robots together was not only palpable; it was infectious. Del Toro grew up watching monsters and robots as a child and it was obvious he has not outgrown his genuine marvel and fascination for them.
I’ve also seen how he interacted with a 10-year-old boy who lined up at the Pacific Rim panel to ask him questions about the sea monsters. Guillermo smiled and constantly referred to the young man as “my friend” as he took his time to answer the boy’s questions in detail.

In a movie with humungous monsters and enormous robots, I wondered about how Guillermo would bring about the human aspect of it all but somehow, he managed throw in heart and humor and hit that sweet spot inside of grownups that is 10 years old.

For the adult side of the Philippine audience, it seems the movie brought back the days when we’d come home from school and watch our Japanese robots—Daimos, Mazinger Z, Grandaizer, Mekanda and probably the most beloved one, Voltes V. Unless of course our parents forbade it, this all became moot of course after late President Marcos eventually banned it.

In addition to its touted extra large-scale creations, Pacific Rim has heroes, characters seeking redemption, lovable scientists, and Ron Perlman. Mr. Perlman didn’t need to do anything but show up on screen to get applause from the first screening audience in New York and from what I hear, at the IMAX press screening in Manila.

As I finish up this piece, I read the status messages of friends on Facebook talking about their second viewings of the movie. I am happy for Guillermo del Toro’s success and with this, I finally take a break from watching big blockbusters. I just made the exception for Mr. Depp and Mr. del Toro.

Pacific Rim opened in Manila on July 11 and is available in 3D and IMAX 3D.


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