Early Review: Pacific Rim Packs a Wallop! | Movie Review

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Early Review: Pacific Rim Packs a Wallop!

I am not a big a fan of Guillermo del Toro.  While I do applaud him for his direction of creature and special effects, I have never really liked his stories.  I felt his effects took center stage with plot and actors trailing behind.  With this in mind I sat down to my free advance screening of Pacific Rim with moderate expectations.  I preface this review with my unflattering critique of his work because I do not want this review to sound like the hype of a fanboy that thinks everything del Toro touches is gold, but  I was amazed and stunned with Pacific Rim.

Without spoiling this movie I can tell you Pacific Rim takes place in the not too distant future.  Alien contact has been made, not from the stars, but from an Einstein-Rosen Bridge located in a crevasse in the Pacific Ocean.  Giant monsters, called Kaiju, come through the wormhole and attack coastal cities.  The countries of the world strike back with technological monstrosities of our own called Jaegers (pronounced Yaegers).  Technological and physical limitations prevent the Jaegers from being piloted by just one person.  Two must operate half of the Jaeger.  In order for this to work, the pilots must create a rapport and then sync with the Jaeger for direct bodily control.  The easier that two people can cooperate and feel comfortable with one another, the smoother the mental fusion is, and that makes for seamless control with the Jaeger; close bonds between pilots create a deadly weapon.


Well, the Jaegers work and kill the Kaiju almost too easily.  The pilots become something like rock stars and superheroes, with all the fame and swelled egos, but no one is prepared for what happens next:  the Kaiju evolve.  They get bigger, faster, smarter, stronger and more powerful, and start exhibiting new abilities that decimate Jaegers from what used to be in the dozens to a mere handful. The Kaiju are scary for the same reason Jurassic Park was so great.  Instead of just making monsters, del Toro made the Kaiju sentient, very dangerous animals.

Pacific Rim has great characters with great stories and great actors.  Each pilot has his or her own reasons for fighting, as well as demons he or she must battle in order to operate the Jaegers and share minds to effectively co-pilot the Jaeger.  The slightest hiccup could cause a glitch that would spell disaster.  Even the Jaegers themselves seem to have their own personalities.  This, combined with the special effects, make them very imposing and impressive figures in their own right.

The battles between the Jaegers and Kaiju are not slow and dramatic like the big rubber monster movies from Toho Films, or overly flashy and stylishly choreographed, like so many Japanese anime or live action films.  They also aren't as physically limiting as live action Western films.  It is a new genre unto itself.  The Jaegers are not humanly fast.   When they move, you do not forget that they are machines being piloted by two humans, but del Toro was able to more than compensate for their slow reflexes with the utility that only machines can have by having weapons and nigh invulnerable durability.


I also love the fact that this isn't just a movie about hot shot pilots or Rock'em'Sock'em Robots.  The science and research teams play just as big a role in this movie, which is another part of del Toro's brilliance.  Just when you think it might get a little too violent or physical, the science entices you with innovative means of countering the Kaiju insurgency.  Del Toro even manages to squeeze in humour that does not feel forced and does not betray wit for the groundlings.  This movie does what most movies have not done for a long time:  It is the total package that anyone can enjoy, and remains white knuckledly suspenseful until the end!

I haven't felt this way watching a movie since I saw Star Wars. The movie is rated PG-13, but I don't remember a single actor cursing, and there wasn't a single bit of racy or suggestively sexual content in the entire movie.  While it will come out in theatres everywhere, I cannot stress how much I suggest that you see it the way I did:  on an IMAX screen with 3D.  Pay the extra $10.  You will thank me for it.  Also, speaking as a person that usually waits for videos to watch at home on my 42 inch 3D TV, I say RUN to the theatres and see it just like I did.  You will not be sorry.  Go all out.  Even spend the $20 on snacks or food.  You will not be disappointed!

Jason O. N. Roberts
Founder/Owner/CEO | Otaku no Baka, LLC
770.864.1042 | JasonRoberts@OtakuNoBaka.NET | http://www.AllCoolThings.NET/
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