Running Time: 2 hours 12 minutes
In Guillermo Del Toro’s new sci-fi offering Pacific Rim, gigantic monsters known as Kaiju have emerged from a rift on the ocean floor that connects our world to another dimension. Reeling from the destruction caused by the Kaiju, the nations of the world unite and pool their resources to stave of the threat of extinction by creating weapons called Jaegers. Jaegers are enormous robots loaded with incredible firepower and piloted by pairs of soldiers who have become the last hope for the survival of mankind.
The Jaegers were successful for years against the Kaiju, leading people to believe that the world was no longer in danger, but the Kaiju have now evolved and turned the tide. With only four Jaegers remaining, Major Pentecost (Idris Elba) has decided it is time to stop playing defense and launch an attack in the hopes of closing the rift for good. Jaeger pilot Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam), who has been adrift since the death of his brother, is brought out of retirement to be a part of the final assault and paired up with a rookie pilot (Rinko Kikuchi). If they fail, there will be nothing left to stop the Kaiju.
This movie only exists for one reason: the spectacle of giant robots fighting giant monsters. Del Toro has long been a fan of Japanese monster movies like Godzilla and Pacific Rim is his homage to those films. A lot of the concepts and designs in this movie are incredibly inventive and I was wowed by the creativity behind it. Both the Kaiju and Jaegers are impressively detailed and the fight sequences between them are on an epic scale that truly belongs on the big screen.
In order to load the film with action, there isn’t much in the way of plot or character development and, aside from a wacky turn by Charlie Day as a Kaiju researcher, stoicism seems to be the order of the day for all of the actors in Pacific Rim. The movie takes itself a tad too seriously and would have benefitted from giving the actors some swagger and allowing them to have more fun as they get to play with these marvelous toys. I enjoyed this film, but I felt like with a few small tweaks it could have made the jump from good to great. B-
I had no desire to see this movie and so the one good thing I can say is that I enjoyed it more than I expected. Pacific Rim takes itself very seriously. Dialogue is at a minimum, and is only used to move from one action sequence to another. I found the relentless battle sequences to be creative at times, but because they are so numerous the overall impact is lessened by the end of the movie. There is a time and a place for action sequences, but without a compelling story, and some characters to root for, it makes it difficult for me to feel much for this film at all. The movie desperately needed an emotional center to showcase the calamitous nature of the Kaiju. Although action movies work well on the big screen, I would not recommend paying money to go to the theater and just wait to rent it on DVD. C-