Plot in 4 Sentences…
Giant monsters called Kaiju come out of a portal in the Pacific ocean. We fight them with big robots called Jaegers. They begin beating our big robots. We decide to make one final stand against the monsters or else become extinct.
My Small, Non-Spoiler Review…
“Pacific Rim” was a great movie. Now, don’t get me wrong. Is the story original? Not really. Did it pack a helluva punch? Oh, yes. This was like an old fashioned summer blockbuster. There were no superheroes. This was not a remake or a reboot. It was simply an in your face action packed thrill ride with giant awesome looking monsters battling it out with giant awesome looking robots. It was loud. It was exciting. It was the movie that I went in looking for and was pleased to get. If you go in looking for something deep and poetic, you will be let down. Leave your brain at the door and strap yourself in.
Those Who Would Be The Cast…
Charlie Hunnam. Okay, let me get this out there. I am a HUGE “Sons of Anarchy” fan. When I heard Guillermo Del Toro signed him for the lead, I was excited because I think he’s a great actor who should (once the show is over!) get into feature length films. Now, was he good in “Pacific Rim”? He got the job done with what he was given. He was emotional when he needed to be. He was hardcore when he had to be. The only downfall is that because of the fact that I know him primarily as Jax on SOA whenever he did something that reminded me of that character it kind of pulled me out of this movie. Nothing huge, just how he stood in some shots and he spoke in others. Again, nothing huge, but enough to cause a slight stutter. Regardless, he did a great job in a movie about giant robots fighting giant monsters.
Idris Elba. Is there anything on this planet that this man can not do? Every movie I have seen him in he has owned the movie. He was fantastic in “Prometheus”. He is great on the show “Luther.” Hell, he was even good in “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (which I actually really liked… get over it!). Again, he owns the show here as Pentecost. Honestly, if giant monsters were attacking our cities and Idris Elba began barking orders at me, I would listen. The man has charisma.
Rinko Kikuchi. I have never seen anything that Ms. Kikuchi has been in before so I didn’t know what to expect from her. Thankfully she didn’t disappoint. She played the role quite well. She brought a great deal to the character in terms of emotion and depth. I also thought that she had a lot of chemistry with Charlie Hunnam. Was it like watching Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in “Sleepless in Seattle”? No, it wasn’t that deep, but it was deep enough to get me emotionally involved in the two of them and to believe that they could grow to be something more.
Charlie Day and Burn Gorman. This duo worked well in the movie. Charlie Day has a schtick and he does that schtick well. He talks fast and he yells a lot. Kind of like Hunnam at times I was taken out of the movie a bit by his schtick simply because he does the same thing in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” The only difference is that he is a complete moron in that show and a brilliant scientist here. I still dug it though. Burn Gorman was his counterpart in the film. The first time I saw Burn was in “Layer Cake” but I honestly forgot her was in there. The next movie to actually make me realize he was an actor was when he was in “The Dark Knight Rises.” I can say that the character he plays in “TDKR” and in “Pacific Rim” are completely different, which made me happy that he was able to do something different and become someone else.
Ron Perlman. Yes, I am going to give Ron Perlman paragraph despite not really being in the movie simply because he is Ron Perlman. He was great. Like I said, he wasn’t in it for that long but he brought some fun to the character who was simply just a slimeball who sells dead Kaiju parts. He didn’t have much to do in terms of plot, but it was fun to see him on screen being awesome. Good for you Mr. Perlman!
…and here… We… Go… (Spoilers)
“Pacific Rim” was a fantastic movie. Now, I’m not just saying that because I am a huge Guillermo Del Toro fan. The movie was simply a great movie. It didn’t try to be anything it wasn’t. It was robots fighting monsters with some emotional human development in between. The best part about it was that it wasn’t anything like a Michael Bay film. The action, loud like his, was interesting to watch and didn’t give you a headache because you were just trying to follow along. Unlike Bay films, his characterization was well done and you actually cared about the characters. When have you ever cared about a character in a Michael Bay film? Exactly.
The movie begins with an overview of the Kaiju attacks. The prologue is simple in introducing us to to the Kaiju, to the Jaegers and to Raleigh. When we first meet him he is a young hotshot Jaeger pilot. Both he and his brother are “Drift Compatible” which basically means they can mind meld and not freak out. The Jaegers are so big that it is impossible for a single person to be able to control them, so they develop a way for the pilots to “drift” with one another, which basically means the two pilots become one mentally and they are then able to run a Jaeger. We are given a huge battle in the first few minutes of the movie. The Kaiju and the Jaegers are beautifully done by ILM. I really felt the CGI was flawless in this movie. They both felt real to me. Anywho, back to Raleigh. During the fight, the Kaiju gets the upperhand and kills Raleigh’s brother while they are still in the drift, which royally screws up his head since he felt everything his brother felt. After he defeats the Kaiju, Raleigh retires and we jump ahead five years where he’s a nomad, being depressed over his brother’s death until Pentecost comes and asks him to become a Jaeger pilot again. Shocking plot twist? Nah, it’s been done before, but its done well here.
I won’t give you a point by point of the movie, but I felt the setup was the most important part. Now that the characters were set up, we could get the show on the road. Of course, when all hope is seemingly lost, Pentecost brings in two scientist (Day and Gorman) to figure a way of destroying the Kaiju. They come up with a way, which of course is the wrong way but is only realized until the end of the movie when they are able to change their plan of attack and perform the real plan that will destroy the opening between the two worlds. Of course a lot happens between the opening and the closing, but I won’t bore you with the plot points. Just remember that there are a few big fights in between and they are awesome. There is a great deal of carnage and a lot of buildings are destroyed (not “Man of Steel” level, but good enough). Women will have Charlie Hunnam without his shirt. Guys will get Rob Perlman because he’s awesome. The movie ends on a high note and doesn’t really set up for a sequel, which I was happy with not because I don’t want a sequel but simply because I feel it takes away from the experience. I want to enjoy this movie right now. If you make a sequel, that is great, but for now, let me stew on this one!
Gripes? I had a few. There is one character in the movie who is made to be macho and annoying. He is the quintessential 80s bad boy who thinks his shit doesn’t stink and thinks he can be an asshole the entire time because he thinks he is the greatest. I thought it was stupid. It took away from the “realism” of the movie. I don’t know. Maybe I’m an optimistic. I just think that if the world is going to hell because if giant monsters that egos won’t be so bloated to the point you just want a Kaiju to eat him, spit him out, eat him again and then poop him out alive so he can do it again. We will see. A final gripe would be the fate of Pentecost. Not that his death wasn’t awesome, but the setup was just played out. I have seen a wounded warrior get back on the saddle for one last showdown before. Yes, it was done well here, but I’ve seen it before and I knew what was going to happen before it happened.
“Pacific Rim” reminded me of the days when you would pay a few bucks (I won’t say how much so not to give up my older age), sit down and just enjoy a great movie. It was like the first time I saw “Jurassic Park.” There were no underlying tones. There were no hidden meaning. The monsters did not represent communism attacking our capitalistic beliefs. It was just simple fun. It was a fun rollercoaster ride that left you satisfied in the end and wanting more.