Action Movie Fanatix Review: Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim banner

To Fight Monsters
We Created Monsters

Starring: Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Ron Perlman, Clifton Collins Jr., Max Martini, Burn Gorman, Robert Maillet

Director: Guillermo Del Toro

2013  |  131 Minutes  |  PG-13

“Today we are canceling the apocalypse!” – Stacker Pentecost

What action movie fan wasn’t excited when they heard that Guillermo Del Toro was making a giant robot vs. kaiju movie?  It’s like a dream come true.  In fact, it seemed too good to be true.  He couldn’t have actually sold a studio on this crazy idea, had he?  Well, he did and they spared no expense in creating some awesome monsters and even more awesome robot monster killers.

When monstrous creatures rose from the sea, a war began between the humans and the monsters, known as Kaiju.  The humans devised a weapon to battle those monsters – giant robots, called Jaegers, each controlled by two pilots whose minds are bridged.

Pacific Rim intl banner

Pacific Rim is what happens when a little kid grows up and makes a movie about the toys he grew up playing with.  Luckily that little kid grew up to be Guillermo Del Toro, one of the best, most imaginative directors alive today.  It’s a shame the guy doesn’t do more movies than he does.  I love just about everything he does.

The details of this world are amazing.  Just like Del Toro did in Hellboy, he blends practical effects and amazing CGI to create a fully realized world.

As amazing as the CGI is on the Kaiju and Jaegers in Pacific Rim, things look a little too crisp and perfect.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the designs of both the kaiju and the jaegers but in action they felt a little too video gamey.  I also found myself quickly annoyed with the way the battles bounced back and forth between views of the actual fight and views of the pilots acting out the fights from inside the jaegers.

Aside from those two, somewhat minor, quibbles the Kaiju vs. Jaeger battles are pretty awesome.  It’s exactly what you’d expect and look forward to with a movie like this.  Plus there’s little unexpected bonuses like a shipping freighter being used by a Jaeger as a makeshift sword.

Playing a major part in the believability of this world is Ron Perlman’s Hannibal Chau… and his gold toed boots.  He’s a black market Kaiju parts dealer.  Read that again.  OK, how incredible is that?

Pacific Rim Hannibal Chau

Then you have Charlie Day’s hilarious Kaiju groupie, Dr. Newton Geiszler.  Well, it’s Charlie Day so it’s hysterical.  I mean literally every scene he is in has me laughing out loud.

Pacific Rim Charlie Day

Last and certainly not least… and easily my favorite character of the entire movie, Idris Elba is Stacker Pentecost.  Idris Elba delivers one of the best movie pre-battle speeches of all time.  Way better than the darn good Bill Pullman speech from Independence Day.

Pacific Rim Idris Elba speech

This is a nerd’s dream come true.  Pacific Rim was just too much fun.  I mean, it’s giant monsters fighting giant robot mechs.  How can you go wrong?

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