The great thing about Guillermo del Toro–what makes him so endlessly interesting as a writer and as a director–is that he never forgot what it’s like to be a kid. He’s got all these years of filmmaking experience and accumulated knowledge on a vast array of obscure subject matter, nestled alongside the uninhibited creativity of a precocious child. I can’t decide if that sounds insulting or not, implying that a grown man has a kid brain, but I’m sticking with it. There’s just no other way to describe it. Nearly everyone has an amazing mind as a child, and it’s only after years of exposure to words like “impossible” that those parts of the brain die off and we resign ourselves to the mundane. Del Toro somehow held on against all odds, and like Billy Batson and Captain Marvel now enjoys a full and equal creative partnership with his inner child. Pacific Rim is the latest fruit of that unique work ethic, a wholly unironic film about giant robots punching giant monsters for the survival of mankind. And I want to you to know that I’m being completely serious when I say that it’s pretty much a masterpiece.
Released in June 2008, one month prior to the theatrical release of Hellboy II: The Golden Army, one might reasonably expect that Hellboy: The Science of Evil might fall into that lowest caste of the video game heirarchy: The Movie Tie-In. After all, it features voiceover work from the film franchise’s three principal actors, not to mention FREE HELLBOY MOVIE CASH INSIDE. Surprisingly, it’s not a movie tie-in at all, but sadly this is one case where that may have actually been preferable.