- Starring: Charlie Hunnam (Children of Men), Idris Elba (Prometheus), Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) and more.
- Directed by: Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy)
- Synopsis: “When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes—a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)—who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.”
- Rated: Rated PG-13 for intense sci-fi action and violence.
- Must-Watch Trailer:
Two Thousand Five Hundred Tons Of AWESOME!!!
That is EXACTLY how I felt after watching Guillermo del Toro’s summer blockbuster film Pacific Rim. How would mixing giant robots, giant monsters, great visuals, Idris Elba, the direction of Guillermo del Toro and the voice of Ellen McLain (Portal 2’s computer) been anything short of awesome?! Pacific Rim ramped up its promotional marketing as the release date neared and several movie lovers held reservations as comparisons to Transformers, Godzilla, Power Rangers and more came to mind.
And the marketing did not disappoint. I eagerly went to the theater to watch giant robots punching the lights out of giant alien monsters for a couple of hours and hear Idris Elba (thankfully not Tom Cruise who was considered for his role) say the lines I have been running around imitating and quoting all over my house and at work for the past few weeks (in impressive impersonation fashion might I add):
Today at the edge of our hope, at the end of our time. We have chosen to believe not only in ourselves but in each other! Today we face the monsters that are at our door and bring the fight to them! Today we are cancelling the apocalypse!
The wait to see it was worth it. Has Guillermo del Toro given us the best film of the summer? That question has been asked on the web over the past few days and I’d have to answer the question with one simple word: ABSOLUTELY!
Complaints about Pacific Rim have ranged from “no plot” to “shoddy acting” to “too unbelievable.” I disagree with all of those and, even if they were major issues with this film…who cares? It’s giant robots taking on giant monsters! And it’s super sweet!
(1) “no plot”- There is a plot. And it is far more memorable than that of The Lone Ranger, Grown Ups 2, After Earth and other such hopeful yet lackluster summer films. Elements similar to Armageddon, Independence Day, The Avengers and such like films where the survival of humanity rests on the shoulders of a few good warriors are present and yet there is still more. Subplots of the supporting characters and their storylines allow for the appropriate response and connections to the events that take place and make Pacific Rim more than just an adrenaline-pumping exciting action thriller the likes of which Iron Man 3 needed to be.
The science and futuristic setting of the film also makes it easy to believe/accept that all that is going on could/should be possible. While simple, the plot is satisfactory and allows for the focus to be on the action, the aliens and the awesome accompanying visuals. A few exceptions are to be had (such as the government/armed forces’ involvement or lack thereof, a bit of predictability, etc) but it is nothing major. I wanted the movie to go on longer.
(2) “shoddy acting”- Allow me to put this to rest immediately. With a cast that includes Ron Perlman, Charlie Day, Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam and more, each of the characters are appropriately cast and the portrayal of those characters is rather flawless and believable. They made the serious moments powerful enough without dragging the drama out and allowed the story to stay focused on the fight against the kaiju.
(3) “too unbelievable”- Well…who cares? It’s giant robots against giant aliens mixed with just enough science and science fiction to make it acceptable without going overboard. It’s some of our childhood cartoon and anime favorites brought to the big screen. From Big 10 to Evangelion to Power Rangers to Voltron to Transformers to Godzilla and more, Pacific Rim packs all of the action and excitement that I wanted into a couple of hours and satisfies in being exactly what I wanted out of this film. The film remains contained in and of itself and I appreciate del Toro leaving the film available for a sequel but not allowing the focus of the film to be a setup for one necessarily.
All I wanted to do during the film was stand up and cheer and fight right alongside the jaegers. I want one of my own. They are great. Each one unique and the enormity of their grandeur is rivaled by their size alone. The graphics, special effects, soundtrack (I can finally say that I liked something that RZA produced [along with Game of Thrones composer Ramin Djawadi]. You can listen to the entire soundtrack here), storyline, characters, action, destruction (that rivals that of Man of Steel) and more make this one Colossal Cinematic Experience that is not to be missed. It is, indeed, “two thousand five hundred tons of AWESOME!”
(Oh, and mid-way through the final credits there is a scene to enjoy. so…stay for that.)
My Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars for Pacific Rim
But…you don’t have to take my word for it:
Ruth @ Flixchatter.net “Can’t believe I’d say this but I actually like Pacific Rim more than Man of Steel! Thrilling action/effects but NOT without heart.”
Max @ Filmoria.co.uk “Pacific Rim is the summer’s biggest success story…When countless blockbusters are going darker, its refreshing to see something that’s worth cheering for. Isn’t that what blockbuster movies are all about?”
(Remember, to read this review of mine and over 250 more, check out THE ARCHIVE of movies I have reviewed anytime. Know before you go…or rent…or buy!)
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
–T, The Focused Filmographer