by: J.D. Cook
An Action-y Action Film for Action-y Action Fans. At least that was my strong belief before I decided to head to the theater to feast on what my friend’s had dubbed (the Gundam’s VS Godzilla movie). It’s a fitting title since Anime seems to influence the plot of this film a bit. There is even a girl who has blue tips to her hair because as Anime fans know it isn’t Anime without a girl with brightly colored hair! Ok here’s what I loved. The bigger than life action scenes had heart unlike the Transformers films. Maybe that’s because the big robots weren’t sentient in this film but it just felt like there was some real emotion when one of the robots, dubbed Jagers after the German word for hunter, suffered damage. This was probably because the audience knew every piece of damage done brought the pilot inside one step closer to death and death there was. This is not the ‘everybody lives’ happy ending most summer popcorn films give you. Instead some of the pilots of the Jagers go down hard. There was also the lack of a love story which is refreshing since every summer action movie adds one into the movie and bogs down the plot in the hopes of attracting female viewers. Instead we got a platonic story about two Jager pilots (Mako played by Rinko Kikuchi and Raleigh played by Charlie Hunnam) becoming pals although they are opposite sex. It’s just refreshing to see two opposite sex protagonists having a bond that goes beyond simple I love you dynamics. It was a dare I say feminist portrayal of a female character who is presented simply as a character and not necessarily a ‘female’ character. In order to pilot Jagers two pilots must combine brains in a Neural Handshake. This was probably the most excellent part of the film as the two pilots meld minds and must then help each other through their various psychological issues setting up that raw human element. Most of the issues they deal with are cliche war movie type stuff but the film is still entertaining. Idris Elba is awesome as the Jager General who goes back in for the last battle. Charlie Day is the extremely entertaining comic relief as he is the scientist obsessed with studying the Kaiju, aka the Japanese word for strange creature. I should also add that most of the film looked fantastic in 3D and Jager V Kaiju battle scenes were fantastic. Still it’s Ron Perlman’s final scene of the film that really steals the comedic show, stay past the first bit of credits to see it! Anyway I immensely enjoyed this film and I have to say it’s the best movie I’ve seen in this horribly underwhelming cinematic year. It doesn’t take itself too seriously it’s fun and for once the Government / humans aren’t the true evil behind a misunderstood monster menace.