Here in the States, the giant robot sub-genre of science fiction is pretty weak. Only rarely do you get films which feature titanic metal monsters battling it out on the silver screen. Pacific Rim not only has such towering titanium titans, but also brobdingnagian behemoths from a different dimension. Guillermo del Toro for the win!
After cities around the Pacific are attacked by interdimensional monsters called “kaiju”, the Jaeger program is started in order to create giant robots with which to attack the monsters and defend the cities. As the monsters keep getting bigger, the countries of the world opt for building giant walls instead, thinking that will be a less-expensive alternative. They were wrong.
I really enjoyed the stories of the different characters and how they were all woven together throughout the film. Raleigh (played by Charlie Hunnam) is a Jaeger pilot who quits the program after his brother is killed while they were mentally linked as they piloted the same Jaeger together. After being redrafted into the program, he links up with Mako Mori, played by the Academy Award nominated Rinko Kikuchi. The energy and chemistry generated by Hunnam and Kikuchi is excellent and really helps strengthen the film.
Mana Ashida, the actress who played the younger Mako, was very convincing in the flashback scenes telling Mako’s back story. While her appearance was brief, she definitely held her own against any of the more experienced actors, especially since her role was to mainly run and scream. And boy, oh boy, does she ever have a good set of lungs! Some of her screams were absolutely piercing.
The CGI and sound effects used for the Jaegers and the kaiju were exceptional as well, making me really feel the solidness and massiveness of them. These were not flimsy papercraft effects, and it’s obvious the artists and programmers spent a good amount of time getting things right. The music by Ramin Djawadi was another definite positive for the film.
If I can say anything negative about the film, it’s that it felt somewhat rushed in parts, as if there was just too much story and they didn’t have the time to tell it all. I almost think it would have worked better as a two-part film, just to allow a little more time to flesh out the story.
All-in-all, Pacific Rim was a fun ride from beginning to end, and I really enjoyed it. I only wish I had seen it sooner, so I could go back to theaters and see it again. It’s worth seeing on the big screen.
Release Date: July 12, 2013 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Alcohol/Drugs: 0 (description)
Language: 2 (occasional expletives, including deity)
Sexuality: 1 (minor innuendo)
Violence: 4 (giant robots and monsters fighting, some fisticuffs, massive destruction)