- 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
Jan 2, 2014There's no way you can't love this movie. Being a fan of Gundam and the original Godzilla movies, seeing those two things together was like my dream becoming true. The plot is amazing with a major focus on the humans, the actors playing the characters are pretty good, but sometimes, they feel a bit generic in personality. The Kaiju x Jaeger scenes are this movie's selling point, and oh boy, it is amazing. The soundtrack is also amazing. I can't wait to see the sequel. 10/10… Expand
Jul 12, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Guillermo Del Toro is the Man! Pacific Rim was as good as I had hoped. I was thoroughly entertained and it went by rather quickly. I wasn't sitting in my seat all tired and ready to go like some other of the summer movies I've seen so far. I liked that the story was original as were the monsters and robots. I also liked that it was explained why the monsters are attacking. The entire subject of "the drift" and controlling of the Jaegers was completely original and I appreciate everything about it. The CGI was top notch and the use of colors was amazing.
The only issue I have with this movie is that I had hoped to see more fighting between the other Jaegers....not just Gypsy Danger. Spoiler Alert...the only scene where we see multiple Jaegers fighting two Kaiju pretty much went the way I had worried it might go. You have (3) Jaegers fighting one Kaiju and they two get their asses handed to them in short order. It reminds me of Iron Man 3. At the end of the movie, he has all of these suits that come to help, but they don't last more than a minute when fighting the enemy. What is the point of having all of those cool suits if you don't get to enjoy them being used for an extended amount of time. The same thing happens here with the Jaegers. In any case...that is a small issue of mine, but not a deal breaker.
Aside from that malarkey of mine, I'd like to point out that the cast is fantastic. I never really cared for Charlie Hunnam before, but I liked him in this. Idris Elba is a great actor and I hope to see more of him in the coming years. I didn't care for the movies he's been cast in before, but this was a great role for him. I've never heard of Rinko Kikuci before, but she really grew on me. I hope to see more of her in the future. Lastly, Charlie Day has been on fire the past string of movies he's done. I really liked his character. When Charlie Day and Ron Pearlman are on screen together, it's nothing but gold.
I hope that there's a sequel in the works. I enjoyed this one so much I didn't want it to end. I was surprised at how fast it paced along. It's over two hours long, but it flew by. I highly recommend you see it. Great flick!… Expand
Feb 11, 20142013’s most surprisingly awesome film was Pacific Rim. How did I miss this? Well…
Even though it was directed by Guillermo del Toro, who has to date made only excellent films, the trailers and the marketing for Pacific Rim did not do the film justice. There was only a bare-bones connection linking del Toro’s star power to this film. For the average person who may know del Toro’s other films, Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy 1 & 2, but not his name, the little “directed by” box at the bottom of the promotional poster would not have rung any bells, at least not in the same way a giant “From the Director of…” promotion would have. Still, I know del Toro by name and I still didn’t realize this was his film. Wayyy after it was already out of theatres I watched it on a plane. It was great.
Not only did the marketing not exploit any of the film’s star power, it didn’t even really give us any idea what it was about. The trailer just showed huge metal warriors battling Godzilla-like creatures, much in the fashion of recent mindless action movies such as Battleship (I did actually enjoy Battleship) or anything from the recent Transformers franchise. I hypothesis that this complete disconnect must have been intentional. In this way Pacific Rim attracted the same audience as the previously mentioned movies. A huge audience base that is easily swayed and turned on by special effects, battle scenes, and stuff blowing up, but they are potentially turned off by something that could be considered “cinema,” or too arty. This audience needed to be brought in from the beginning.
As for the more savvy movie-goers, although turned off by the meat head marketing, they are generally more inquisitive than the average Transformers fan, and so it seems the producers relied on these movie-goer’s inquisitive nature. Since it’s an actual good film, the savvy will find their way to it eventually. This film’s crappy marketing was actually a ploy to lure multiple demographics in subliminal ways, and thus mucho bank was made. Just a hypothesis.
FYI: According to Slashfilm.com, Transformers2 was the highest grossing, most negatively rated film in history, so getting the Transformers audience was just good business. The fact that the movie is also good is just a rare and wonderful freak, but not accidental, occurrence for the Transformers audience.
What makes Pacific Rim so great? Using a montage
sequence and voiceover, in the first five minutes of the film we learn all about the world that Earth has become. Monster Kaijus have invaded from a dimension shifting portal in the ocean, humans have built fighting machines called Jaegers to combat the Kaijus, and this on-going threat, the conflict between the two entities has eventually just becomes a routine part of common culture. Then suddenly things change.
The set designs are spectacular. Hong Kong is specially tailored here to fit a Kaiju bashing society. The encampments where the machinery and pilots are based is a gloomy complex that looks like the inside of a submarine. Being a big budget action film, Pacific Rim relies heavily on computer-generated graphics and spectacular special effects for its visual telling. Truthfully I have no idea how any of these action scenes would have been shot as almost every one is an epic between giant monsters, earthy and not. But it is not the visuals alone that make this a great movie. Transformers has great visuals.
It is the script that is so awesome. Co-written by Travis Beachman and del Toro, it is a sci-fi monster movie, but it is the nuances that make the film so much fun to watch. All the intricacies of the world. For instance, two people whose brain functions combine in a process called “the drift” pilot Jaegers. Pilots’ ability to drift effectively in unison is what creates great pilots. The drift is probably the single coolest thing about this film, and the idea is used later for purposes even crazier.
The Kaijus become so powerful that mankind is forced into a final standoff using all the remaining Jaegers against multiple super strong Kaijus. The prospects for humanity’s survival look grim. In final act of the film a spectacular twist takes place thanks to some unlikely scientists, and the fate of all humanity hangs on their wild hunch, the functioning of the aging military machinery, and the drift between the last two standing Jaeger pilots. I wish I had seen this film in theatres.
Let's see if Pacific Rim 2 ever makes it from the hard-drive on Travis Beachman's desk to the screen. This time, I'd give it a chance.… Expand
Jul 12, 2013Pacific Rim is a solid sci-fi film that mightn't stand out from the rest but at the same time is not the same thing you've seen a million times. Although the flow of the film suffers a bit, it makes up for it with memorable characters, creative ideas and an interesting plot. The acting is fairly good and the special effects are no less than amazing. It's not revolutionary, nor is it incredible, but it's not a failure either. It's worth seeing if you like the look of the trailer, if you don't however, you may still find that you like the characters, otherwise the trailer sums up most of what to expect. In short: Solid movie, not amazing, but not terrible either. 7/10 from me.… 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