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‘Pacific Rim’ Movie Review

Review of Pacific Rim starring Charlie Hunnam

 

Pacific Rim isn’t Transformers versus monstrous creatures. It also isn’t incredibly challenging plot-wise. What Pacific Rim is is one great big in-your-face action extravaganza that’s more fun than you’d ever guess from simply watching the trailers and clips. Guillermo del Toro channels his inner teenage boy to deliver a film that harkens back to the old Godzilla/Mothra/Gamera movies while at the same time feeling fresh and new. Del Toro’s a nerd who knows his audience well and yet isn’t afraid to challenge them a bit with something like Pacific Rim that, on the surface, seems to be more along the line of what you’d expect from Michael Bay.

Del Toro pays tribute to the monster movies of the ’50s and ’60s, bringing to life on the screen new Kaijus sent to Earth to clear out the human population starting with cities that line the Pacific Rim. The beasts emerge from a portal that allows them to leave their hideout under the Pacific Ocean to terrorize and destroy coastal cities. The military isn’t effective enough against the Kaijus and the fate of the world is eventually put in the metallic hands of gigantic robots (Jaegers) commanded by two human pilots whose minds are connected via a technology referred to as ‘drifting’. Channeling their skills, the two-person human teams engage in combat with the Kaijus using brutal robot strength as well as powerful weapons.

However, when it appears we may have gotten the upper-hand and could win the war, it’s discovered the Kaijus are evolving and learning from their past mistakes. They’re also speeding up their ascent to the surface and even working in pairs. The Jaeger program is all but abandoned as the world turns to building towering walls (apparently they didn’t watch World War Z) to keep the Kaijus out. Yeah, right, you know that’s not going to turn out well, don’t you? It’s a good thing there’s a rebel Jaeger program still secretly underway or else we’d all be reduced to nothing but Kaiju food.

The Bottom Line

Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim looks gorgeous in IMAX and 3D, and if that’s a screening option in your neighborhood definitely pay for the upgrade and catch it in those formats. Del Toro’s wild imagination comes to life vividly on the screen via some of the most visually impressive CG work in recent memory. And the budget was well spent, with every cent appearing onscreen.

What Pacific Rim also has is an engaging cast filling out the key roles. Led by Sons of Anarchy‘sCharlie Hunnam as a disgraced Jaeger pilot who’s called upon to save the day, Pacific Rim‘s ensemble is up to the task of not being completely overshadowed by the digital effects. Idris Elba gets his Bill Pullman in Independence Day moment and Ron Perlman chews up and spits out scenery. Charlie Day and Burn Gorman provide the comic relief as two diametrically opposed scientists who have gone so far as to paint an actual line on the floor of their lab that neither allows the other to cross.

Pacific Rim, above all else, is just plain fun. It’s the sort of popcorn-chomping, cheer for the good guys movie Hollywood normally takes a swing at and misses. The character development’s on the skimpy side (other than the sprawling backstory revealed for Mako Mori, played by Rinko Kikuchi) and we don’t necessarily need the love story, but when it comes to the action set pieces, Pacific Rim more than delivers the goods. Yes, there’s a clear line between the heroes and villains, but who cares about silly things like logic and sharp dialogue when you’ve got Charlie Day mind-melding with Kaiju and Jaegers using ships as clubs to swat down the nasty beasts.

GRADE: B+

Pacific Rim was directed by Guillermo del Toro and is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief language.

Theatrical Release: July 11, 2013

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July 27, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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