Directors: Guillermo del Toro
Writers: Travis Beacham, Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Clifton Collins Jr., Ron Perlman
Stepping out of the theater after the credits for Pacific Rim started to roll left me speechless. It could very well be the best action film I’ve seen since The Avengers, and for all the right reasons.
I will say this first: The movie has flaws. In fact, from a critical standpoint Pacific Rim has a lot of problems in regard to plot, overuse of stereotypes, random…seemingly inappropriate events of humor, and uneven acting. There is a significant portion of the movie between the first big battle we get to experience and the next that things felt very…weak. After a few scenes however, it dawned on me that many of these were likely done on purpose as homages to the classic Kaiju monster movies (Godzilla, etc), animes, and mangas that (from my perspective) were such obvious influences on the film itself!
While that’s all well and good for fans of such media (like myself), this might unfortunately leave the general movie-going audience feeling disappointed during the occasionally awkward lull. If you fall into this demographic, trust me when I say that these scenes are in no way insulting to your intelligence nor are they over-complicated. Rather, they are a series of simple but smart plot devices and character building that lead to what I would consider to be THE MOST GORGEOUSLY ASS-KICKING MONSTER BATTLES YOU HAVE EVER SEEN IN A MOVIE THEATER (capslock = appropriate)!
The trailers don’t do any of these battles justice, and it is something that must be seen in theaters. Do you hear me? MUST-BE-SEEN-IN-THEATERS! Unless you own a 70″ 3D HDTV with surround sound in your house (by the way, 3D is not necessary for this movie), you will not get the full experience that this movie demands if you wait until it’s out on DVD!
I get it. Money is tight, and you have to be selective with what you go see in theaters. This movie is worth it. Every single penny. The issues I mentioned before about the plot, etc? COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN! I know it sounds ridiculous, but these scenes literally made me forget about any of the movie’s shortcomings. They’re that good.
Did you ever watch a movie or TV show as a kid that had you on the edge of your seat, eyes open wide like Agnes in Despicable Me? That’s how I was in every single battle of Pacific Rim. Especially once things get back into gear during the 2nd act.
Bottom line: Go see this movie in a theater. Do *NOT* wait until it’s on DVD if you are a fan of action movies, because you will be depriving yourself of an amazing film-going experience! It’s certainly an uneven movie and may not please all moviegoers, but its strengths by far outweigh the flaws.
Final Rating: 4/5
But don’t just take my word for it! If you’re looking for a 2nd opinion (or 3rd…or 4th, etc) take a look at these reviews:
1) Mark Hobin of Fast Film Reviews: “The pleasures are pure and simple. I appreciate this much in the same way I get a kick out of Congo or Anaconda.” (Full Review)
2) Arcturus101, Billy Quick, Prof Marvel, & Token85 of MGCTv: “The BEST Summer blockbuster in a while! …for a certain generation” (Full Podcast Review)
3) The Movi3 Lounge: “Guillermo Del Toro brings what is perhaps a lifelong dream to the big screen. Bring out your popcorn!” (Full Review)
4) Mark Saldana of True View Reviews: “I enjoyed the film enough to want to see more adventures of the monster-stomping machines, but Beacham and Del Toro really need to step up their game when writing the next one. I believe they have the talent to do so, they just fell a bit short with this first movie.” (Full Review)
5) Filmigos of Filmigos.com: “Pacific Rim = awesome! What a cool throwback to old Japanese b movies! So much fun to watch!” (site currently down, will post link to review once available)
6) Adrienne P, via Facebook: “I enjoyed it! It was a tad predictable towards the end with who was gonna die etc, as its that typical plot line, but action was very good!”
7) boo Jay, via Google+: “Loved the action, wasn’t too keen on the failed attempts to make me care about the characters. I’m not sure if it was poor casting or just bad writing, but I’m disappointed [redacted for spoilers] at the end. One thing Pacific Rim has shown us is that mecha can be done on the big screen. I want to see Evangelion live action, it would be so epic!”