Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Pacific Rim featurettes: On the set.

Pacific Rim's director, Guillermo del Toro puts it this way, "The action in the movie is what you would have dreamt to see when you were 11-yrs-old. It is really, really a great adventure movie.".

So is it non-stop action and battle sequences throughout? Count on it. Is it wall to wall over-the-top visual and sonic effects? Of course. Do you know the ending? Did you know the ending when you saw Rocky? When you saw Toy Story? When you saw The Wizard of Oz?

Has Guillermo del Toro wandered into Michael Bay territory (the Transformers franchise) and let lose with robots, explosions and destruction without his own vision for what epic action-adventure can be? Should be? Hardly.

If there's only one thing to be drawn from these featurettes it should be the enthusiasm and passion del Toro feels for this project. He's not focused on how big the explosions can be or what famous landmarks can be digitally dismembered. You don't have the sense that the director is a kid in an elaborate sandbox as much as a master filmmaker in complete charge of his craft. (But you'll also sense that that kid is never too far from the director's ideas.)

It's the care and effort expended in creating "practical" on set realities to best capture the movie's unique reality, that is so much a part of his story. He's invited the audience to be immersed in the making-of while being versed in the creative impulses that fuel the "making-why".

The scale of the sets, the detailing, the richness, all service story. And there is a story here. A story that implies a history, a mission to be achieved and the risks of both failure and success. Yes, this is a monster movie. Likely a film already relegated to Oscar's special effects, sound and editing categories only.

It's not a 50's something date night movie. And it's not bound to be the darling of the critics crowd. But oh, if you remember being a kid with a wild imagination, I think it looks like one helluva ride. A ride, as per the times, also available in IMAX and 3D.

Here's the final featurette in this series. Moviedozer will be back with a look at the weekend movies tomorrow.

Thanks to Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures for trailers and poster art.

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