Release: July 12th, 2013
Run time: 131 min
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Official Trailer: Pacific Rim
Giant robots fighting giant monsters? I’m not really sure I need to say much more than that, to convince you to watch Pacific Rim. I mean really, if you don’t like giant robots and giant monsters, you’re probably dead or something. Everyone and their grandmother loves themselves some giant robots and giant monsters, who go up against each other and destroy more cities than Superman going up against General Zod, in the Man of Steel movie (although, I have to say it’s a close race for first place). If you need more convincing, than I suppose I could do my unpaid job and write a little more for you… I hope you’re happy.
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.
Tatlock’s Quick ‘n Dirty Recap: Instead of aliens coming from above, the came from below, deep in our oceans. A breach has been torn open between two dimensions and the monsters, known as a Kaiju, which I think is Japanese for “Big motherfracking monsters,” are rising up from the oceans and destroying our cities. In order to combat this not so small problem, mankind teams together to create the Jaegers, which I believe is German for “Big motherfracking robots”. These giant robots are manned by two human pilots, who are connected via the mind (it’s the future, just go with it) and go up against the monsters and for the most part, win the fights. However, as the years go on, more and more instances of the monsters coming through into are world are happening and judgement day is quickly coming upon us. It’s up to the last remaining Jaegers and a band of Resistance fighters, to take a stand and try to close the breach once and for all.
Tatlock’s Opinion: Even though Pacific Rim clocks in at a hefty 131 minutes, the movie never feels slow or boring. However, I was expecting a little bit more fighting of robots and monsters, so coloured me surprised when a good portion of the movie was dedicated to developing certain characters and relationships, like Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and the ever so beautiful Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi). Unfortunately, it tends to skimp on other characters, like Ron Perlman’s Hannibal Chau, Idris Elba’s man in charge and Charlie Day, who knows how to pull off a neurotic scientist.
Pacific Rim isn’t going to win any awards for being original, as the movie follows all the standard tropes of invasion films (Independence Day instantly springs to mind), with monsters/aliens attacking, us fighting and losing and finally the president/man in charge getting up and rallying our people, with a heart tugging speech about freedom, independence or whatever else that will make you stand up and shout oorah! Then we take that one last stand against the creatures and we come out on top, but not without some casualties along the way. Still, even though we’ve seen it all before, I still got a kick of the movie, which has a good helping of scenes of destruction, humor and freaking huge robots fighting monsters and some wonderful CGI work, that never felt out of place or wonky.
Any complaints? As previously mentioned, I do wish the movie spent a little more time with the monster attacks, especially the beginning invasions. Instead, we quickly skip over those and get to some longer stretches of no giant robots fighting giant monsters. You can never have enough giant robots fighting giant monsters, so when the movie goes more than a minute without some giant robots fighting giant monsters, you can’t help but feel antsy for more giant robots fighting giant monsters (damn that character development getting in the way).
Verdict: Fans of Godzilla and other Japanese monster movies, of which Pacific Rim takes it’s inspiration from, will be in heaven with this movie. Some characters are pushed to the side and there are stretches where there are no giant robots fighting giant monsters. However, in the end, the movie does have giant robots fighting giant monsters. Enough said.
*Note* My entertainment bubble can be fairly small and self contained, so most
of the movies that Pacific Rim is inspired by, I haven’t seen. So I
can’t really dive into the specifics of what inspired director Guillermo
del Toro, besides movies like Godzilla of course, but if you would like
to know a little more, check out Titans, Terrors and Toys review for some of the films that inspired del Toro.