Friday, July 12, 2013

Movie Review -- Pacific Rim

If you've ever wanted a more realistic version of Power Rangers, Pacific Rim is for you! Guillermo del Toro's love letter to kaiju stars like Godzilla and Ultra-Man has all the insane robots-versus-monsters action you could ever want.

In the near future, an inter-dimensional rift opens at the bottom of the Pacific. A giant rampaging beast emerges and levels a good portion of California before the military manages to stop it. Unfortunately, that's only the beginning. One Kaiju after another pops out of the rift and humanity now has a full-scale epidemic of massive invaders on its hands. In response, the governments of the world come together and pool their resources to create the Jaeger[sic?] units, giant bipedal humanoid wrecking machines. These mechs are piloted by teams of two or three people who sync minds via the Drift System. Brothers duo Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) and Yancy (Diego Klattenhoff) enjoy great success piloting their unit Gipsy, and it looks like the army of robo-brawlers has the crisis well in hand. However, they soon grow complacent and are defeated by a stronger breed of Kaiju. Raleigh loses his brother and the project dwindles down to just four machines. The project's commander, Stacker Pentecost (the always intense Idris Elba) has all remaining units retreat to Hong Kong for mankind's last stand. Raleigh finds a replacement partner in Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), but she may have too much emotional baggage to effectively sync with him. Can this internationally diverse band of pilots work to together to cancel the apocalypse?

This movie is pure awesome. It has a strong cast, powerful visuals, a wicked sense of humor and a rocking soundtrack to go with all the action. del Toro and co. borrow strongly from Japanese TV, movies and anime to create a film that puts the Transformers movies to shame. Honestly, I haven't seen anything even remotely like this in live-action movie form since Robot Jox back in 1989. For crying out loud, how many movies show a giant robot using a fishing vessel as a baseball bat? Pacific Rim does. Oh, and Ron Perlman being Ron Perlman certainly doesn't hurt.

If there  is any criticism I can level against this movie, it's the fact that the Jaeger units don't have a whole lot of variety aside from the three-armed one. In anime there's always at least a super plane or super tank to back up the mechs. Hell, even Power Rangers mixed it up with different animal types.

Still, that's a very minor complaint and one that doesn't diminish my enjoyment of this film. Shut down your computer and go see Pacific Rim!

"We can stay here and die, or we can grab these flares and do something stupid."


  1. Good review Scott. It was a good movie that allowed me to have a bunch of fun while I was watching monsters and robots beat the heck out of one another.

  2. Thanks. I look forward to seeing if they make a sequel.