- Starring: Charlie Day, Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi
- Summary: When 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. [Warner Bros.]… Expand
- Director: Guillermo del Toro
- Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
- More Details and Credits »
If I were nine years old, I would see the monsters-versus-robots adventure Pacific Rim 50 times. Because I'm in my forties and have two kids and two jobs, I'll have to be content with seeing it a couple more times in theaters and re-watching it on video.
Pacific Rim is, hands down, the blockbuster event of the summer — a titanic sci-fi action fantasy that has been invested, against all expectations, with a heart, a brain, and something approximating a soul.
Of all this year’s loud, over-long summer action movies that, in various ways, simulate the experience of having a tin bucket placed over your head and being struck repeatedly with a stick, it must be said that Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim is by far the most entertaining.
Del Toro’s robots have weight and mass, and their epic, Hong Kong-smashing fights with the four and six-legged, clawed and horned monsters are visually coherent, unlike the messy blur of the “Transformers” movies. There’s a light, humorous feel to “Pacific Rim” because the science is silly and logic takes a flying leap.
It is possible to applaud Pacific Rim for the efficacy of its business model while deploring the tale that has been engendered — long, loud, dark, and very wet. You might as well watch the birth of an elephant.
Jul 13, 2013Disclaimer: I loved this movie. I watched it twice, back-to-back, in 3D.
I loved the action and the spectacle. The battles, despite the one absurdity of giant robots fighting alien invaders had sense of realism that was rather unnerving. Everything but that (minor detail) was eerily plausible. I also liked the other messages found throughout. Mostly, though, I loved how it all came together as a kind of celebration of the value science and technology when coupled with human courage, ingenuity, innovation, self-sacrifice, individualism (when appropriate), and cooperation (when appropriate).
It's the many minor messages within the movie that made it stand out from mindless summer action movie fare (which are fine, on occasion).
First, what I like the most: I liked abiding theme of science and technology being tools for human salvation. There are literally no scenes without some object of human ingenuity in view. The giant robots are man-machine saviours that aid humanity in fighting against grotesque organic monsters.
(As an aside: I like nature. I was raised in a rural area, and I enjoyed camping. But make no mistake, nature can be brutal, and it is only human scientific, technological, social, and other developments that can keep the monster at bay. If you doubt me, try surviving alone and without man-made equipment for a week in virtually any natural environment. You may not be dead, but you'll almost wish you were. Where I live (just outside a city of 1 million), you’d be dead in less than 5 hours without winter clothing, six months a year. Nature can be subservient to us, but it must never again be our master. Precambrian humans had an average life expectancy of 31 years. Also, like the monsters in this movie, any number larger wild animals would kill a human without a second thought. A bear will rip a child to shreds. Wolves (prior to their gradual domestication by killing the more violent ones over the centuries), were a particularly large threat in Europe. An elephant will gore a grown man. And so on. **It is solely our scientific, technological, and social advancements made possible by an appropriate mix of individual initiative and group cooperation that keep the nightmare at bay.** The movie Pacific Rim acknowledges this. Unlike the technological luddism of, for example, the Terminator movies or Avatar [which both partially denigrate technology and science], this movie celebrates human achievement and progress. And movies could use more of that.)
I liked that movie (unlike almost all American blockbusters) takes place in several locations, none of which are large American cities. The United States comprises about 5% of the global population, and it’s nice to see that represented in an American blockbuster. And how many times do you really want to see New York destroyed, for instance?
I appreciated the message that both cooperation and individual initiative are prudent and necessary. The fight against (for instance, there are several instances of insubordination and deviations from military procedure, but they mostly involve serving the greater good).
I liked the love story component. The lead man was not a handsome male Brad Pitt lookalike, and the female love interest was not the typical American supermodel of action flicks. Rather, she was an English-speaking Chinese national who models the very best traits of many females from that culture. She is polite and respectful, yet stands up for her beliefs non-confrontationally, and she is obviously intelligent. She is "equal but different" from the main male protagonist.
I appreciated the cursory mention of the cause for the alien invasion: global environmental degradation, the (spoiler) reason for the alien invasion.
Although there is much "apocalyptic porn" (hey, I like it too), the body count is actually quite low. While we see entire skyscrapers destroyed, because civilians are evacuated in shelters, the number of civilian casualties is less than 100. (Contrast that with "Man of Steel", which had a casualty count of six or seven figures).
It was nice to see scientists portrayed are heroes. The two scientist characters literally risk their lives to test a theory and gain evidence that is crucial to a positive outcome. This world needs more scientists and technologists. Even the characters' stereotypical eccentricity is endearing: they have their foibles, but they are each aware of it. Sometimes, human foibles are unavoidable, and condemning people for (relatively) harmless quirks that they cannot change serves no purpose.
I did like that movie avoids many Hollywood clichés (for the above reasons).
If I had one complaint, it's that the movie is too short. It's 2 hours and 10 minutes. However, there is less action than I would have liked. It's not that there is too much "non-action" content. It's just that another 30 minutes or so of giant robot battles would have been swell.
In short: see it.… Expand
Jul 14, 2013It was, I believe, 1999 when I sat in darkened theater and beheld what I felt was the first true live-action anime done by Hollywood. It was The Matrix, and it stands alone as a classic of the genre (Sequels? WHAT sequels? *AHEM*) Well, today I got to experience that giddy, geektastic sensation all over again. Pacific Rim is a love letter to giant monster and anime fans the world over. The story is nothing you haven't heard before its us against an alien foe of unbelievable power. Everything from Independence Day to Evangelion gets cherry picked for ideas, and some of the references feel like intentional nods to del Toro's sources of inspiration. The acting is more than passable particularly Elba's and what little comedy relief there is comes mostly from secondary (but still important) characters played by extremely talented folks. One of them is essentially a national caricature, but its still quite endearing. I could go on and on about specifics but more eloquent voices than mine have already hit most of the high points. The bottom line is that Pacific Rim and del Toro absolutely delivered. This movie helped remove the awful taste left by Man of Steel and is in my opinion the first true summer "event" film worth seeing. Oh, and ILM absolutely knocked it out of the park on the visuals. You will believe a giant robot can fly (even if its being kicked across town by an angry monster). Oh, and did I mention that the PG-13 is a *mild* PG-13? Except for a very small amount of language with nary an f-bomb to be heard, this is a family-friendly movie. It might scare a few of the younger kids but with the stuff on Cartoon Network these days its pretty unlikely. See it. See it again. Reward this director/producer who probably had to call in every marker he had to get this film made. There aren't even Pacific Rim toys in the stores around here. Supposedly you can get them online and I assume in bigger cities, but that tells you something about how little regard the industry has for this kind of material in live-action form. My fear now is that the film, which has a nicely wrapped-up ending, will do well enough that the studio will demand a sexed-up sequel. If that happens and del Toro resists they'll push him aside. Should this come to pass, nerds the world over should grab their torches and pitchforks.
* Most similar films: Independence Day, Transformers, Godzilla vs Megalon. My score: a solid 7.5 if MC would allow it, but I'll go with an 8 for devotion to the genre, solid if unimaginative story and mind-boggling visuals and audio. I was humming the music when I left the theater if that tells you anything.… Expand
Jul 14, 2013Pacific Rim is a pretty decent summer blockbuster flick about giant robots fight over Kaiju monsters in the city. Guillermo del Toro takes his creative idea of making a big gigantic monsters and robots that references to B-movies and Japanese television series into a perspective way. The movie takes place in the futuristic world of big monsters from beneath the ocean (known as Pacific Rim) start to demolish the city in each continent and the government plans to make gigantic robots to stop all Kaiju beasts and to save all the citizens in the world. So they hire recruits for joining up to fight over monsters, and they need to find the way to stop all monsters that keeps going up from the ocean and to destruct the Pacific Rim's hole. The characters are very memorable in this movie and it's nowhere very cliché like most characters from these terrible Transformer series, but they stay strong and likable. The robots fight over monsters are nice to look at and they have cool scenes where they keep going to smash every monsters with their missiles, fists, and dodging. The visuals and the effects are astounding and nice digital sets of making a monsters and robots to be realistic and very bright. Pacific Rim is a fun popcorn flick and makes a very creative idea that reminds us for watching Godzilla, Power Rangers, and other big gigantic monster flicks to enjoy. Thumb Up.… Expand
Jul 17, 2013For more info, visit B-TEN.com Bullogna Score: 7.0/10! Very good. Personal Score: 9.0/10 Based on the hype the Godzilla-esque science-fiction Guillermo Del Toro film received, I had expectations for Pacific Rim. Honestly, I’m not sure whether they were good or bad expectations, but I expected this film to be significant compared to the recently lackluster Hollywood releases found throughout the Summer. Optimistically, I entered the theater with an open-mind, which is always a rewarding experience. When standards are set high, a moviegoer is likely to be disappointed, but in the case of Pacific Rim, I was far from it.
The movie begins with an appetite for disaster. It immediately immerses you in this beautiful CGI world in which Earth is being attacked by an “alien” race called the Kaiju which actually derived from none other than our planet’s own Pacific waters. Then the movie prematurely establishes its largest flaw: the human characters. Raleigh and Yancy Becket are two over-confident ‘dude-bros’ piloting an older Jaegar (a gigantic humanoid mecha which requires two human controllers to mend in spirit in order for the bots to properly function) who provide awful first impressions for the films’ viewers, but perhaps this was a move made intentionally by Del Toro.
As the film progresses, especially after the death of the irritating Yancy Becket, it gets better. Raleigh, however, is now alone and in desperate need of a new co-pilot, which in turn becomes the much more suitable Mako Mori who is forced to fight the terror of her near-death experience as a child during the mending process, but expectedly arrives at a more confident state, allowing for much more fluid Jaegar maneuvering.
In an interesting side-story featuring Charlie Day as Dr. Newton Geiszler, a scientist who attempts to control the minds of Kaiju as pilots have done with the Jaegar, and nearly dies in the attempt. Day adds plenty of excitement and mild humor to an otherwise serious tale, and ultimately serves as a similar character to his role in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, failing to truly fit the context of Pacific Rim. After nearly dying in an attempt to control a Kaiju brain, Geiszler, tends to the matter once again, in need of a second brain to experiment on. He then contact Hannibal Chau, a black marketer who makes a living selling Kaiju organs.
The movie ends predictably with many giant Kaiju defeated and all the important cast still living, including Hannibal Chau, who was eaten by a Kaiju but who reappears after the end credits with an unexpected one-liner. Overall, the film is best seen on a much larger scale such as IMAX or RPX, but at the very least seen in stereoscopic 3D. Pacific Rim will probably go down as the best 3D film of the year, with the added dimension complementing the larger-than-life combat between Kaiju and Jaegar, and that alone is worth the $10 or so admission fee. It’s a fun action movie with a lacking storyline, but a proficient CG design that will leave you breathless with its flawless homage to Japanese pop culture.… Expand