BIG ROBOTS, SPECIAL EFFECTS, AND FUELED WITH AWESOME!
By Nico Beland
Movie Review: A (3 ½ stars)
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Gypsy Danger getting ready to fight giant monsters in Pacific Rim
What do you get when you put Godzilla and Transformers into a blender? One hell of a sci-fi flick, Pacific Rim, directed by Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy II: The Golden Army) is not only blasting with state of the art special effects and epic battles, but it’s also well casted, good character development, and an amusing premise.
We always thought aliens came from the stars, we were wrong; they actually came from deep beneath the sea. Long ago a portal to another dimension was created in the Pacific Ocean, unleashing a legion of giant monsters known as the Kaiju, and destroying the world.
The humans started a defense program to defeat the Kaiju called the Jaeger Program, where two pilots simultaneously operate giant robots, called Jaegers to battle the Kaiju. The Jaegers are controlled by the pilots’ minds and memories, the bigger the memory is, the stronger you fight. The humans must battle the Kaiju and save humanity from being destroyed by these massive beasts, in a series of Godzilla/Transformers-like fights.
Pacific Rim might very well be the definition of “Summer Blockbuster”, with its impressive special effects and intense robot on monster action. Remember the battles between the Autobots and Decepticons in the Transformers movies? Picture those battles, but replace the Decepticons with an army of Godzilla monsters.
Besides the action and special effects, the casting was very good, Charlie Hunnam (Children of Men) as the leading pilot of the main robot, Gypsy Danger, typical underdog hero kind of character, but he’s good, Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Horrible Bosses) is funny as the scientist, Dr. Newton Geiszler, Rinko Kikuchi (The Brothers Bloom, Babel) is very enjoyable as the Gypsy Danger co-pilot, Mako Mori, Idris Elba (Thor, Prometheus) is great as the commanding officer, Stacker Pentecost with a great speech before the big climax, and Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Drive) is awesome as the black marketer, Hannibal Chau. I was expecting Perlman to have an awesome role in this film; he’s always cool no matter what movie he’s in.
The movie as a whole is hugely entertaining, I’m serious giant robot and monster battles, a powerhouse of special effects, pretty much everything sci-fi geeks love, my favorite kind of action is always the giant style where everything is up close and in your face, especially when viewing the movie in 3D. Besides great directing, Guillermo Del Toro is also a master at designing creatures, I mean look at how creative everything was in Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy movies, this guy really knows how to design awesome looking creatures and the monsters in Pacific Rim are certainly no exception, these things are cool looking, vicious, and put up a great fight against the humans.
Sorry Man of Steel, but I’m gonna have to put Pacific Rim at the #3 spot now on my Top Summer Movies of 2013, I wouldn’t consider it to be better than Star Trek Into Darkness or Iron Man 3, but it holds up well with its action, visual effects, direction, and cast. It has a very strong spot at #3 while Man of Steel is now at the #4 spot, that’s still an enjoyable movie too.
If you were to go see Pacific Rim, you may end up asking yourself, why can’t Guillermo Del Toro direct the fourth Transformers movie?