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Pacific Rim
3 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Guillermo del Toro

Written By:
Travis Beacham, Guillermo del Toro

Charlie Hunnam, Diego Klattenhoff, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Max Martini, Robert Kazinsky, Clifton Collins Jr., Ron Perlman, Brad William Henke, Larry Joe Campbell, Santiago Segura, Joe Pingue, Milton Barnes, Brian Frank, David Fox, Jake Goodman, Robin Thomas, Julian Barnes, David Richmond-Peck, Robert Maillet, Heather Doerksen, Joshua Peace, J.C. Kenny, Robert Morse, Duncan McLeod, Louis Paquette, Matthew G. Taylor, Farzad Sadrian, Mishu Vellani, Clive Walton, Peter Kosaka, Mark Baldesarra, Timothy Gibbs, Derek Herd, Phi Huynh, Justin Major, Alan Tang, Joe Vercillo, Neil Whitely, Emerson Wong

Pacific Rim (2013)
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Movie Review by Mike Thomas
July 13th, 2013

Independence Day, Asian-Style

Favorite Movie Quote: "Today, we are CANCELLING the Apocalypse!"

Because a rift at the bottom of the ocean opened a trans-dimensional portal, the skyscraper-sized Kaiju have emerged, wreaking havoc all over the Earth. Earth, in an atypical show of global unity, build skyscraper-sized Jaegers to battle these creatures. On one specific mission brothers Raleigh and Yancy Beckett (Charlie Hunnam and Diego Klattenhoff, respectively) are assigned to battle a particularly nasty Kaiju, and in the process, Yancy is ripped out of the Jaeger to his death. Now, because the two are "linked" by a technology called "drifting," Raleigh is scarred by the event, as he feels everything his brother experienced.

Fast forward five years later, and the Kaiju war continues. The Jaeger program is all but scrapped, and the "committee" decides to build a wall around the coastal cities to protect them. Side note: wasn't that tried with a 30-foot primate seventy-five years ago? How did that work out?

Back on point. Raleigh, washed out of the program years earlier, is a construction worker for the wall project, when his old commander, Marshal Stacker Pentecost (THOR'S Idris Elba) calls him back to duty, despite his past. The aforementioned Jaeger program is merely a ragtag group of resistance fighters, working with refurbished Jaegers, and using pilots from the original program. Raleigh is needed, because he was the only person to successfully navigate a Mark IV Jaeger, and is needed once more, despite his personal issues.

Roll Credits

As this reviewer sat in the theater watching the events unfold, one gets a feeling of deja vu. An impossibly gigantic threat to destroy mankind, a washed-out hero, and later on in the film, an organic solution where machines failed. There was even a Bill Pullman-style speech just before the final battle.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Not only did the film very closely resemble one of Will Smith's last blockbusters, but PACIFIC RIM suffers from acute "Love Boat Syndrome," a condition this reviewer uses to describe a plot so paper thin, that one can figure out the entire movie in the first fifteen minutes. One thing the film had in its advantage, though, was a wealth of supporting character actors. Aside from Elba, we have Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori, the scientist charged with restoring the Jaegers, and has also successfully passed the program as a pilot, but is denied by the Marshal (and not because she's a gurl - there were several female Jaeger pilots). You have the "Laurel and Hardy" comic relief of Drs. Newton Geiszler and Gottlieb ("Sunny in Philadelphia's" Charlie Day and "Torchwood's" Burn Gorman) the brilliant biologist and the mathematical analyst, both with the social skills of a savant, and Ron Perlman (he did get the "and" in the credits), the black market Kaiju body parts dealer (Kaiju bone good for virility!), Hannibal Chow ("named for his favorite historical figure and his favorite Chinese food place in Brooklyn.") Those surprises made the movie more watchable than suffering through the cardboard acting of the principals.

Onward to the monsters: Industrial Light and Magic must have phoned in the creature effects, as they used the standard-issue monster template found in every Guillermo del Toro production, the cover of darkness and extreme close-up filming to mask any anomalies in the rendering. There were few "beauty shots" of the creatures, as well as the robots, making the battles a blur of colors and movement. Of the movement you could see, the fighting style of the Jaegers very closely resembled the 70's Godzilla movies. Watch for it. No 3D effects were evident, though the film touted it use.

On my personal rating scale of with "5" being drop everything and see the movie now; if you're female, bear the producers' children and "0" being burn down the theater, murder the movie staff, and violate their dog, this movie earns a "3.5." PACIFIC RIM is a flawed special effects extravaganza, with a paper-thin, "Love Boat" storyline, big, loud explosions, and an ending that this reviewer found very familiar. So it is the perfect summer blockbuster movie. It was an American film, shot in Canada, in a Hong Kong setting.

PACIFIC RIM is Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief language, so you can send out the kiddies to get them out of your hair for two and a half hours without worrying about they're imitating any of fighting scenes, of the ones you can actually see.

Because of the final resolution of the core cast, talks are now in progress for PACIFIC RIM 2: Bigger, Louder, and more Monster-y (this reviewer has GOT to stop adding tag lines to potential sequels, but man, they are funny!)

It is in theaters now. Don't waste your money for 3D, as it does nothing for the film.

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