- 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
Feb 21, 2014Wow, just wow. I give a 10 rating once every 5 yrs or so and this rates that big time! This film is Transformers vs Godzillas on steroids, amped up to the max. The intensity is phenomenal, you'll wish the entire film was just mega-sized fight scenes.Yes, you can criticize this and that about the story, plot, etc but you'll be missing the entire point of the film. Enjoy this for what it is, and it's the best at what it does.… 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
Jul 12, 2013Pacific Rim, WOW? At first, the Jaegers seem like the perfect deterrent for the Kaiju menace; but when the monsters start getting smarter and deadlier and Jaegers begin falling quicker than they can be rebuilt mankind finds itself on the brink of extinction. Our last hope lies with the desperate plan of Marshall Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) and his handful of remaining Jaeger pilots, including war-worn veteran Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and rookie Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), an unlikely pair who may prove to be the best pilot team the world has ever seen. We can make this short and easy: If the spectacle of big robots battling it out with big monsters is all you’re interested in, then Pacific Rim is going to be a five-star experience that you should wholly enjoy in the biggest IMAX 3D theater you can find (earplugs recommended). However, if you require a deeper story and mythos to sell you on all the spectacle? You will get plenty of mythos, but despite a parade of “cool moments,” a mishandled central storyline ultimately makes the experience a hollow one. Director Guillermo del Toro is known for his wonderful imagination and abilities as a filmmaker demonstrated in signature works like Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy movies and Pacific Rim is alive and crackling with some of his best work. From the robot and monster designs, to the well-staged battle sequences and overall concept, Pacific Rim is something uniquely its own within the crowded genre of summer blockbusters. Best of all, there’s a pervading sense of fun and joy that the director has infused his passion project with; the goal is to entertain and entertain it does, for the most part (it does get cartoony, but that cartoon is still pretty fun). On the downside, there are plenty of moments that will indeed seem less like homages and more derivative copy of other films not necessarily even related to the “Kaiju/Mecha” sub-genre. See if you can catch those Independence Day and/or Deep Blue Sea moments and you’ll know the sort of “borrowing” I’m referring to. The script co-written by del Toro and Clash of the Titans scribe Travis Beacham is not impressive. The story is straightforward enough, but an abundance of sub-plots often makes it feel scattered-brained. The emotional core and character development are even more unfocused: this is supposedly Raleigh and Mako’s story we are being told and Hunnam and Kikuchi are both solid leads with solid chemistry but beyond a couple of superficial dramatic moments, there is no real conflict between our central characters, and no real arc for them to complete as individual characters. In short: our protagonists are often the least interesting parts of the film, which inevitably means a sort of detached viewing experience. Oddly enough it is Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost who is the most dynamic character in Pacific Rim, and seems to get the most complete and engaging character arc of the whole ensemble. Elba (by now well established for his talent to stand out even in bit roles see: Prometheus or Thor) walks away owning every one of the many scenes he’s in which is great for him, but is also clear indication that the writers are not driving the story with full control of the wheel. The sound design is awesome and by awesome I mean very, very, loud. Actual dialogue sometimes had a cavernous echo to it that made it hard to make out but whether that was just my theater or the movie itself, I can’t say for sure. This is definitely an IMAX experience to be had; but the post-converted 3D, while very well done, doesn’t feel as necessary. A 2D IMAX experience would be more than sufficient but if you are a big fan of the robot/monster stuff, the extra splurging will be worth it to you. On the whole, Pacific Rim has its creator to thank for elevating it above so many similar and forgettable action blockbusters, through sheer creativity, love and force of will. While the storyline and emotional core aren’t strong, the action and spectacle are, and del Toro builds his world well enough to create plenty of future opportunities for re-visits, spin-offs, multi-media projects and everything else fans (and movie studios) love in a good fanboy franchise.… Expand
Oct 5, 2013You can see a lot of different movies or series here. You can see the old japanese metal warrior (Changemen, Flashman, Jaspion, Ultraman), Transformers, the anime Evangelion and even Lord Of The Rings (The "You canot pass" scene). But you canor see anything new. Tre script is shallow: Giant Robots have to destroy Giant Monsters, but there is a complication, not too complicate.
The movie tries to be an action movie, emotional, dramatic and more... fails in everything. And it"s too long. Seriously, it is a crap full of especial efects.… Expand