As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.
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Isaac C. Singleton Jr.
When monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity's resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes - a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi) - who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind's last hope against the mounting apocalypse. Written by
Russian surnames take masculine and feminine forms, similar to Spanish. So the female pilot Lt. A. Kaidanovsky should really be Lt. A. Kaidanovskaya. See more »
When I was a kid, whenever I'd feel small or lonely, I'd look up at the stars. Wondered if there was life up there. Turns out I was looking in the wrong direction. When alien life entered our world, it was from deep beneath the Pacific Ocean. A fissure between two tectonic plates. A portal between dimensions. The Breach. I was fifteen when the first Kaiju made land in San Francisco.
By the time tanks, jets and missiles took it down, six days and 35 miles later, ...
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There are no opening credits, with the exception of the movie's title, which doesn't appear until seventeen minutes into the film. See more »
Whilst overambitious, trying to fit a mammoth plot into only two hours, Pacific Rim still delivers.
I was so excited to finally see Pacific Rim. An ambitious idea, carried with big-budget effects, brought to you by master director Guillermo del Toro. I was pumped. I was hoping for brilliance, something to truly give other blockbusters a run for their money. The result, as I had to expect, was not that of a game changing event. Instead, it was more or less, directly in between Greatness and Disappointment. There's a lot to love about Pacific Rim, but where it suffers seems to be mostly through a lack of confidence in it's own premise.
Like last years Les Miserables, Rim makes the unfortunate error of trying to fit in 3-4 hours worth of storytelling into just over 2. Which is unfortunate considering Pacific Rim's all round story is it's strongest element. Though taken from many sources, (and by no means, anything that original) it shapes a very well-throughout premise with detail and conviction. In it's execution of this however, is where the film stumbles. Mainly, the plot feels rushed. Condensing years of devastation and development, into one short montage (the first five minutes of the film covers the entire ark which Pacific Rim is built on: the first encounters of the Kaiju, the initial attempts to stop them and finally, the culmination of the Jaguar program) which contains enough story to fill an entire other movie. The intro then concludes with the untimely destruction of one of, what seemed to be, the human race's final salvation. From there is where the movie actually begins.
Now while that's an interesting (somewhat ballsy) approach, this structure causes Rim to feel much smaller in scope than what it actually is. This story is HUGE as a concept and it should have translated that way. Unfortunately what is shown is both giant in scale and unjustly short. The film is set over a small amount of time, considering the attacks have been going on for years and though it covers many key events in the Kaiju war, it never really feels like you've been delivered the full picture.
Now, on the positive side, if you focus your attention to what is on display, Pacific Rim excels. It flows with both confidence and conviction. Expecting a lot from the maker of Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy 2, del Toro delivers with a lot of what made him great (even if you're mostly getting del Toro, the action director). The design of both Jeagar and Kaiju are brutal and majestic. The world in which Rim exists is one where any previous del Toro film could fit in with comfortably. Beautiful design. As well as that, being this is del Toro's first real entry into mega blockbuster territory (Hellboy 2 was big, but nothing close to this) there was initial concerns that maybe he would be out of his depths in bringing the all-out-brawls to the big screen. Luckily, he delivers there too.
The Jaguar vs. Kaiju assaults are stellar, even if they're not the defining assault on your senses you were hoping for. When the standoffs begin, you are returned to your childhood, reminded of why you loved seeing things go bomb in the first place. It's big, it's exciting, it's unpredictable (well, some what) and it's just so must fun. Delivered, also, with a sense of peril for the characters, which is arguably the most important thing when creating great action. Which, for that, requires a group of characters to which you need to feel like giving a damn about.
Though things have been said about the people of Rim, I found them to be well-rounded and developed. Though not reaching the arks of previous big-screen franchises (The Avengers, The Dark Knight), everyone is given enough to go with, to at least earn the right for us to care about them. The standout being Mako Mori played by Rinko Kikuchi who holds the stand-out scene of the movie, when she first steps foot inside the cockpit and co-pilots the Gypsy Danger...
While on the other side of the hemisphere, Charlie Hunnam, taking leading position, brings the usual tough guy, stands-for-everything-right solider, with a delicacy that makes it feel more realistic than movie realistic. Supporting casts deliver also, with the always great Idris Elba doing well with a small role, while Charlie Day is much less annoying than what you may have previously anticipated and is convincing as the fumbling, genius scientist. And of course the always fun to watch Ron Perlman as shady, black market dealer Hannibal Chau.
If you take Pacific Rim as a great action/adventure story you will find much to appreciate in it's delivery. Though, were it to have the self-confidence to deliver it's premise with more conviction and pacing, it could have been the best action film of the year. For what is on display however, there is very little to hate. Guillermo del Toro has done an exceptional job at bringing this mammoth concept to the big screen and delivering in, close to the way I had hoped. In the end, what you're left with is a great, thrilling experience that confirms that big robots fighting big monsters is actually a great idea for a movie.
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