Directed by Guillermo Del Toro
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Idris Elba and Charlie Day
On the verge of sounding too cliché, “Pacific Rim” in a word is awesome!
Director Guillermo del Toro gives audiences a fantastic tribute to the monster movie genre, paying homage to it perfectly in every single way from the over top monster battles to the crazy amounts of destruction wrought upon its settings.
Is it more style than substance? Sure, but in a movie like this who gives a shit because it fucking rocks!
(I mean fucking look at that? He used an oil tanker as a baseball bat! That’s awesome!)
This is what Michael Bay’s “Transformers” should have been; a crazy over the top blockbuster but with a heart and a better sense of humor.
Everybody’s inner child should and will be grinning from ear to ear throughout this film and I cannot recommend this movie enough to fans of the genre.
In the not too distant future a dimensional portal opens up in the Pacific Ocean and giant monsters, codenamed kaiju, begin coming out of it and attacking coastal lying cities and countries.
Mankind then creates the Jaeger program, a giant robot task force with two pilots, to combat the threat of the kaiju.
A former jaeger pilot named Raleigh Beckett is brought back after a tragedy involving his brother to combat the giant beasts, as humanity looks to close the dimensional portal to end the kaiju threat once and for all.
To put it lightly, this movie is easily one of the most entertaining films I have ever seen to date.
I’m a bit biased because I did grow up on Godzilla films and giant mech animes but regardless of your interest in those genres, movie-goers who are looking for an epic time at the movie theaters this summer should not miss this.
Where to begin on the list of good to great things about this movie?
For starters, the film is like a candy shop for giant monster movie fans.
It has all that cheesy, cliché goodness of a typical Japanese monster flick, such as the over the top acting, the sets, and the monsters duking it out with the robots while toppling down buildings but it also has lots of modern aesthetics such as high quality visuals and cgi and a self-awareness that keeps the movie from not taking itself too seriously but also not getting overly cheesy too.
It is the perfect homage to the classic giant movie genre that fans like myself have been waiting for since they were kids.
Suck it, “Godzilla” (1998)!
The kaiju and jaeger designs are both impressive and breathtaking at the same time.
Del Toro does a great job of capturing the sheer size and scope of these colossal beasts and robots and sitting toward the bottom of the theater seating, looking up at the screen, really does this justice.
The kaiju and jaegers are fantastic on screen and the fight scenes had me jumping up and down in my theater seat like a giddy school girl.
(I mean, again, fucking look at that?! That is awesome!)
For a film about giant monsters and robots though, it has a surprising amount of heart and charm and it’s thanks in most part to the film’s cast and del Toro’s directing.
“Sons of Anacrhy’s” Charlie Hunnam is a great lead for a film like this; he more or less plays Jax Teller again in this movie but his character is played with plenty of badassery and you could see that Hunnam loves his role.
Rinko Kikuchi does a great job as the lead actress as well.
Her English isn’t perfect in the movie but she makes the most out of it and makes a very believable and tragic character and her scenes alongside Hunnam are touching and entertaining.
Their romance, spoiler, is also done with a great bit of class and subtly.
Films have a tendency to shove romance down a viewers throat just for the sake of having it even if the story has no need for it.
So it was refreshing to see Hunnam’s Raleigh and Kikuchi’s Mako never go over the top in the romance department.
Idris Elba, as the stern hearted Commander Stacker Pentecost, nails his role and plays a great leader of men that anybody could get behind.
Sure, he throws out cliché movie one-liners about “hope” and “believing in each other” but you can’t not get goose bumps when he cries out “Today, we are canceling the apocalypse!”
(When Idris Elba speaks, you listen)
A couple of the most charming characters of the film were “Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s” Charlie Day and British actor Burn Gorman, who play bumbling kaiju scientists Newton Geiszler and Herman Gottilieb respectively.
Day is always a funny act in anything he’s part of but his role alongside Gorman makes a great comic relief odd couple for the film and will have you laughing more than a few times throughout.
Even Ron Pearlman, in his minor role as kaiju parts dealer Hannibal Chau, was both memorable and entertaining.
The film does lack in a few areas of course; the overly cliché dialogue at times leaves a little to be desired and the plot is fairly muddled but at the same time for a genre film like this who cares?
All it needed to do was have giant monster fights and be entertaining and it does that and more.
“Pacific Rim” is not only everything you want in a giant monster flick, it’s everything you want in a summer movie blockbuster.
This is easily my favorite movie of the year, so far, and regardless of if you enjoy giant monster or robot flicks, this is a movie worth seeing.
It packs all the punch of a jaeger elbow rocket and it has all the monster mashing goodness of any great Godzilla movie.
(Yeah, just like that!)
If this film doesn’t make your inner child squeal with joy, when you see this, then you should probably stop going to movies.
So get off your ass and see this movie because if “Grow Ups 2” makes more money this weekend I will lose all faith in humanity.
4.5 out of 5
Do the jaeger!