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Pacific Rim Film Review
Warning: This review contains spoilers.
Sometimes, it's just great fun to watch a bunch of things explode, watch buildings fall to the ground, watch giant monsters and giant robots punch each other out, and gleefully watch the ridiculous cheese dripping down the screen in epic fashion. Such was my experience watching Pacific Rim. It was nothing more than a great ride filled with robots and monsters crashing through anything and everything for two hours.
In the not too distant future, a race of giant alien monsters called the Kaiju emerge from a portal in the pacific ocean and wreak havoc on the world. The human race responds by pooling it's resources together and creating the Jaegar program, giant robots piloted by two people connected by a neural link. Charlie Hunnam's character, Raleigh Becket, and his brother take on a massive Kaiju and Hunnam's brother dies in the ensuing battle. Becket successfully takes down the Kaiju on his own, but the death of his brother causes him to quit his life as a Jaegar pilot. Five years later, the Jaegar program is being dismantled and Becket is approached by his former commanding officer, played by Idris Elba, to come back and join the last Jaegar outpost left standing in Hong Kong. There he meets his future co-pilot, played by Rinko Kikuchi, who has an unknown connection to Idris Elba's character. After they devise a plan to destroy the portal once and for all, the Kaiju stage more devastating attacks leading to a final confrontation at the portal itself.
There's not much to discuss with this movie in terms of substance because there really isn't any, except for Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi's characters who have to reconcile past demons in order to successfully pilot Hunnam's old Jaegar. This movie is all about the robots vs. the monsters and it totally delivers. This movie is spectacle filmmaking the way it's supposed to be. There isn't a deeper message to be had here. The premise is simple, the characters are right out of any old sci-fi action monster movie we've ever seen, and it's pulled off in expert fashion. That credit goes to director Guillermo Del Toro, who crafts an old school monster flick with the skill few guys can pull off. He manages to make things that we've seen a thousand times seem fresh. He continues his great track record with genre work with this film and I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for Del Toro. The simplicity of this movie is why it works so well. Del Toro took something very simple and made it interesting with good characters and action that all seems ridiculous, but is so entertaining that the ridiculous is embraced.
The special effects and action that drove the movie were fantastic from beginning to end. The Kaiju and Jaegar effects were simply awesome. They gave me a lot of hope for next years return of Godzilla. If that movie is anything like Pacific Rim, then I can't wait to see Godzilla crush cities, trample humans, and fight other giant monsters in more city crushing action. The Hong Kong action sequence where three Jaegars take on two massive Kaiju stole the show in one of the most epic and badass action sequences I have ever seen. The nerd joy came pouring out as cities fell, boats were used as clubs, and a Kaiju was cut in half with a giant sword that came out of nowhere. The final action sequence at the portal was pretty awesome too, but it didn't top the Hong Kong fight.
If you want two hours of simple and well crafted sci-fi action, then you'll be perfectly satisfied by Pacific Rim. It doesn't try to be something it's not. There is no deeper message or story. It's just giant robots vs. giant monsters in live action Japanese anime style aimed at entertaining. Nothing more, nothing less.