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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I went into the theater expecting to see a cartoon for adults and that
is exactly what I paid for.
Guillermo Del Toro is an extremely talented director, producer and above all an extraordinary artist. Pan's Labyrinth gave justice to his talents and "The Strain trilogy" exemplifies his talents as a creator and innovator of interesting mind-grabbing stories/plots.
However, Pacific Rim was a horrible movie not only because it lacked substance (a clear plot, climax, resolution), but because it proved to audiences everywhere that Hollywood no longer requires decent actors and plot-lines to create a blockbuster movie.
The only intricacies and attention to detail that could be found in this movie was in the CG design of the so called Jaegers (Robots). Yet, the movie served to ignore the basic human sense of sight when most of the movie took place in a dark setting. It was a metaphor of how the movie itself was a black hole of cash and talent with all the darkness sucking and robbing people of their investments and experiences.
An episode of Beast Wars that I watched as a young child had more substance and gave more satisfaction to its audience than this movie. Pacific Rim is a destruction to the art of cinematography in that its business model lies in providing the awe-factor, shocking the audience into believing the movie is great with bling. Expensive jewelry doesn't make a woman more beautiful, it just proves that she has the money to afford it, and that is exactly what Pacific Rim accomplished.
The movie is just a failure of epic proportions and the fact that it rates a 7.9 on IMDb just proves that we, the collective audience, have just stopped caring. Movies no longer provide us with mind-blowing catharsis, they are now just a means of blowing off steam.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Pacific Rim" is going to be a hit with fanboys all over the planet.
It's the type of movie that they feel obligated to love because of what
it's about and who made it. In this case we have a movie about alien
dinosaurs (Kaijus) fighting giant robots (Jaegers) directed by
Guillermo del Toro (filmmaker who most Comi-Con attendees think can do
no wrong). Sounds like it should work on every level doesn't it? Yeah,
well it doesn't!
Alien monsters named Kaijus come up through a rift in the Pacific Ocean (Get it, "PACIFIC Rim"). Giant robots steered by military officers are used to battle these ferocious extraterrestrials. Our military must join forces with the world's most annoying scientists to find a way to seal off the portal between our world and the dimension they come from.
Let's start out my review on a positive note. The CGI in "Pacific Rim" looks great. The aliens and robots blend very well with all their surroundings.
And that's the only thing I can come up with positive about "Pacific Rim." As a whole, the movie is absolutely unbearable to sit through. It escapes me how sequences of robots and aliens fighting each other could be so uninspiring that I literally dozed off at points.
The design of the Kaijus are completely unoriginal and nothing we haven't seen before in a dozen other sci-fi movies. The Jaegers are basically souped-up giant robots that resemble what we've seen in "Power Rangers" dressed in "Halo" armor. Booooring.
Now we move into character development. The entire middle of the movie is one big, long, drawn-out attempt at developing characters we will feel emotionally tied to. I completely understand the writer's motivation for doing this.
The problem is that every character in "Pacific Rim" is so annoying you actually want them to die or exit the screen as quickly as possible. Add to this the fact that not a single one of the actors seem to give a crap about their stereotypical role in the film and you have a serious problem. In a nutshell, the acting is absolutely horrid.
"Pacific Rim" is a tired conglomeration of clichés we've already seen in way better movies in the past. There are so many recycled ideas mashed up in it that you could almost put them down on a call sheet as bullet points. Character who lost his brother in a past battle and retired? Check. He's being called back into duty by his old military leader? Check. Military leader gets a chance to be the hero and sacrifice himself in one last battle? Check. Military leader gets to give long rousing inspirational speech just like the one the President gives in "Independence Day?" Check. They're all here for your predictable enjoyment.
Let's just call "Pacific Rim" what it really is. It's Guillermo del Toro's failed attempt at making what he wished was his essential "Ultraman vs. Godzilla" homage. As I was running out of words to use in place of "unoriginal," I came across several synonyms that describe this movie to a tee: dull, unoriginal, corny, heavy-handed, humdrum, ordinary, phoned in, stale, uncreative, unexciting, unimaginative, unimpressive, uninspiring, uninteresting, and uninventive.
I'm giving parents a warning in closing. There's no way any child under the age of 12 will sit through "Pacific Rim." Absolutely nothing exciting happens for 45 minutes in the middle, at which time they will get uncontrollably antsy and beg you to leave. This won't bother you because you'll be ready to run out of the theater screaming by then anyway.
We all carry a great sense of wonder. It seems to hide away as we get
older, but was always strong and persistent when we were children. We
could sit down and really make something out of nothing physical, or
tip our toy-box all over the floor and just go mad. Pacific Rim is
Guillermo Del Toro at his most unleashed. He's been given the toys for
his sandpit and has gone completely bonkers, but he has also created a
sense of wonder from completely nothing.
The plot is simple. Kaiju (monsters) from another dimension break through to ours and wage war on the planet and us humans must do what we can to stop them. So we build giant machines called Jaegers. General audiences are doing the worst thing by comparing this to Transformers or Battleship simply because of some simple image traits. Well I'm here to tell you that you're way off and also working comparisons in the wrong league. Del Toro has crafted an insane amalgamation of Sci-Fi, old-school thrills, special effects and brilliantly entertaining set pieces that all meld together in beautiful harmony, with just enough satisfying human moments and arcs that carry a nice balance of emotion and camp. It all blends well with the loopiness of it all. Its Guillermo Del Toro's trademarks turned up to 11, all while going nuts and having fun with his toys.
There's just so much to love, that not even some minor pacing problems or a couple of sub-par performances can destroy the experience. Mainly its in the lesser background characters, but for me I'd say that Charlie Hunnam doesn't quite shine in the lead. He's certainly more than commendable, but he just doesn't break out here. Idris Elba steals the spotlight with a look and a bellowed delivery and its amusing to watch and Rinko Kikuchi has such an incredible skill with her mannerism and in her eyes, that's its a shock that she isn't in more films. Ron Perlman comes and goes and works his usual incredible moments.
Pacific Rim is triumphant above the rest of the blockbuster herd. It knows what is missing from the norm and just goes crazy with it. Its a big, giant load of awesome fun. Prepare your jaw muscles, because you'll be smiling throughout.
(Hint: Stay a couple of minutes into the end credits for an awesome additional scene)
Within the opening 15 or so minutes Charlie Hunnam's voice-over
establishes the reality of a future where monsters (the Kaiju)
repeatedly invade earth, to stem this humans have created giant robots
(Jaegers) to combat them in increasingly badass iterations. This
opening does a great job in conveying the scope of a film which is big,
not just regular big, but like, Jason Biggs in 1999 bigg. entering the
cinema from a world where these events rarely occur is initially a lot
to throw at the audience, but it's handled so effectively and without
tongue in cheek that it quickly becomes a world I had a blast
experiencing. Maybe it was the incredible effects shots of robot
related destruction used as a throwaway shots, but what I think really
sold the opening sequence and the film as a whole is the enthusiasm Del
Toro clearly has for the story he's telling.
The cast is essentially a rogues gallery of TV's better dramas playing variations on roles they've nailed in the past (see: Elba, Hunnam and Klattenhoff) and some inspired casting of It's Always Sunny's Charlie Day who, as should be expected provides some effective comedic relief. Added onto this the score comes courtesy of Ramin Djawadi who's masterful use of themes on Game of Thrones is carried over to this film for some great emotional cues and many a rad motif courtesy of Tom Morello on guitar.
It's appropriate Del Toro has a Frankenstein adaptation lined up as a follow up project as Pacific Rim can at times can feel stitched together from all the sources of inspiration the film has. This comes from many areas such as Japanese manga, the personalities of the actors from previous films and the imagery of robots destroying buildings which transformers ran into the ground. But Del Toro succeeds time and time again at allowing these disparate elements to fit together believably by way of some very confident filmmaking. I could easily take issue with the oft hammy dialogue and macho relationships but where the film succeeds in other areas and revels in creativity trumps the dissatisfaction one could take from these scenes. I also found Hunnams character a tad lacking in charisma and internal conflict but whatever, it's not the end of the world. Oh wait, yes it is hahahaha
The films successes go beyond its imagery and continued invention within battle scenes as the script is very economical when it comes to pacing. The films battle scenes are so engaging and exciting due to clearly established stakes present which left me devoid of the "action fatigue" transformers loves to throw my way. And although the Kaiju battles seem to never be in short supply, the film essentially follows the rule of three when it comes to battle sequences and left me oh so satisfied.
In conclusion, I give it points for being one of the funner summer blockbusters in recent memory, for being an original property and for its sheer tenacity to exist which all amount to what is just a darn good time at the movies.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is the worst movie I have seen in a long time. Sure it has crazy
creatures battling it out in the oceans which is just fine with me but
so many elements just let the movie down. It could have been so much
Why did the drivers of the Jaegers need to actually be in the Jaeger at all? and why are the controls linked to massive mechanical devices, surely this would be electronic. And the head is fired onto the Jaeger via some massively complicated lift type procedure? Yet they can clearly just get out the head when needed?
It took 8 days of tanks and planes to take down a Kaiji but one shot into the eye from an auzi clearly causes it some distress? ONE SHOT?
The oceans are about 4 stories deep, which seems to change or the size of the Jaegers adjusts during the movie.
What's with every bit of steel needing to be rusty except for Ron Perlman's shoes? and massive bulkhead doors being used for the living compartments.
The acting, sooooo bad.
Let's send the helicopters to go and pick-up the two survivors, but lets send 20 helicopters, that makes much more sense, especially since this is a military program that has been shut down so ready access to dozens of helicopters becomes easier.
They can build Jaegers with some sort of amazing sword device that comes out of nowhere but forget to tell the drivers?
Charlie and the professor, just random cast choices there!
It's set in the future, some things are hi-tech others are retro rusty junk, it doesn't make any sense.
There's just so much more. How this movie gets a 7.8 is beyond me. Don't waste you life and avoid at all costs.
"Pacific Rim" is a highly explosive, exhilarating, exuberant,
energetic, and exciting hell of a ride. When I saw the trailers, I knew
the action sequences would be massive in scale, but the film just blew
me away because the scale was just incredibly enormous. Every action
sequence in this film was just mind-blowing.
Unlike "Transformers", this movie has a real sensible plot. Giant monsters (known as Kaijus) are the extraterrestrial beings that are currently ravaging Earth. However, they don't come from above the atmosphere, instead they come from beneath us. A portal in the bottom of the ocean serves as the method of transport these Kaijus use to reach us. These Kaijus are arriving one by one, and as they do, they increase in size. They're so massive in size (I reckon they're bigger than Godzilla) and the amount of destruction they cause is just indescribable.
But the humans don't stand around doing nothing. They build their own monsters, gigantic robots known as Jaegars, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked by a neural bridge. This allows them to synchronize their movements. However, despite these mighty Jaegers, the seemingly bright future for the humans turn dim as they begin to lose the war against the Kaijus. All of this was clearly covered in the prologue, quickly but properly.
Now that seems like a basic plot, but I can tell you that there's actually more than that and the story is deeper than it looks from the outside. "Pacific Rim" provides sensible explanations for the phenomenons that occurred in the film. Now I'm not a genius or a scientist, but the explanation is logical.
The characters. Our protagonist is Raleigh Becket. He's had a bad time after his partner and older brother Yancy died in a battle against a Kaiju before. But he's recruited by Marshal Stacker Pentecost to pilot one of the four remaining Jaegers. His new partner is Mako Mori, a Japanese girl who wants to be a pilot to avenge the death of her family. Becket's and Mori's Jaeger is the American-made Gypsy Heart.
The cast behind the characters were great too. Charlie Hunnam was terrific as Raleigh. Idris Elba gave a commanding performance as Stacker. Rinko Kikuchi rocked as Mako Mori. The chemistry between Hunnam and Kikuchi was excellent too. But I have to give special credit to Ron Perlman (who previously played in del Toro's "Hellboy" films) as the black marketeer Hannibal Chau who makes a living by dealing with Kaiju organs. He has style and charisma. I also loved Burn Gorman and Charlie Day as Dr. Hermann Gottlieb and Dr. Newton Geizler, respectively. Their chemistry was absolutely perfect and these two were just amazing.
The visual effects were undoubtedly incredible. Everything was mind-blowing and the gigantic scale of the action sequences allows you to be fully immersed into the scene. And the sets were extremely magnificent and glorious. I did not feel any sense of boredom when I was watching this film. Even the drama scenes were enjoyable too. The scenes where explanations were uncovered were exciting too and the music is a prominent part of this.
Guillermo del Toro also did a great job in his directing because I gradually became supportive of the Jaegers and every time they fought, I rooted for them to win. I became immersed into the movie. Every time a Jaeger was in trouble, I was rooting for them to get back up and fight back again. I wanted them to smash the Kaijus to pieces.
"Pacific Rim" is just simply awesome. Now, it may not be for everyone, but if you love action, giant monsters, and giant robots, you'll definitely love this. Or if you're just trying to have some fun, watch this. It's got both brains and brawn.
Final Verdict: "Pacific Rim" is an amazing and explosive ride that is plenty of fun to watch, accompanied with dazzling visuals and a coherent plot.
I have been following this movie for a while now. Largely because of
the two main actors Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba and I have to say I
was not disappointed at all. Watched it in 3D (I have always strayed
away from 3D before because I just didn't think it was worth spending
the extra cash) but this time I do not regret my choice at all. It was
a visual feast.
Action was on point. The story flowed well (this is a blockbuster after all, we aren't going to compare it to an art house film). For me the actors embraced their roles very well and the visuals were magnificent (thank god once again for the 3D). Everything just felt right!
Being familiar with Guillermo's past work I would say this is his best yet. His imagination is wicked. So if you are looking for great entertainment and a little something to wow you, this is the movie for you.
Bravo. Two thumbs up.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As far as summer blockbusters go, 'Pacific Rim' has probably the most
unabashedly uncomplicated premise - giant robots versus giant monsters.
How much you enjoy Guillermo del Toro's robot-monster smackdown
ultimately depends on whether you expect the movie to be any more than
that. If you did, then you're probably going to walk away disappointed
at how simplistic this apocalyptic spectacle will turn out to be; but
if you're satisfied simply with watching huge-ass monsters and robots
go up against each other, then you will enjoy every bit of this epic
(and yes we do mean it literally).
Indeed, the draw of del Toro's monster of a movie has always been to witness the monumental series of battles between massive lizard-like monsters (referred to in the movie by the Japanese word 'Kaiju' as a tribute to the science fiction films from the country which featured such giant beasts, e.g. Godzilla) and 25-story high robots (known as Jaegers, or 'hunters' in German) operated by humans. And in this regard, let us assure you that nothing in your expectation will prepare you for what del Toro has managed to accomplish on screen - not even comparing it to a 'Godzilla' meets 'Transformers' movie does it any justice.
Let's start with the basics. First and foremost, the action is shot cleanly, meaning none of them shaky-cams nor extreme close-ups that diminish the scale on which it is unfolding. It is also coherent - thanks to some impressive work from del Toro regular Guillermo Navarro as cinematographer and John Gilroy and Peter Amundson as editors - rather than just a mashup of scenes that don't flow well into one another. We'll add one more before we start gushing - it is also beautifully choreographed, with just the right mix of medium and wide shots to place you right into the heart of the action.
If that description above seems too clinical, then how about this - these setpieces are superb; in fact, they are worthy of every superlative that you can think of. Working on a gargantuan scale, del Toro executes the action with magnificence, whether the fleeting shots of the destruction of the Golden Gate Bridge at the beginning or the more detailed sequences in the middle and at the end - in particular, a simply jaw-dropping one begins at sea just off the waters of Hong Kong and then continues seamlessly inland where both the port and the very city centre gets decimated by two Jaegers battling two Category 4 Kaijus.
It isn't just about how colossal it gets; it is also the sheer mesmerising quality of the images, starting from the amazing level of detail of the Jaegers and the Kaijus. Even though it seems to be raining a little too conveniently every time one of these battles happens out at sea, there's no denying just how real and majestic each of them feels. On the other hand, the cityscapes are arresting in their neon hues, and the combination of the futuristic look with which del Toro paints these familiar cities with the bioluminescent appendages and venom of the Kaijus make for a particularly appealing visual palette.
Now that we've finished with the savoury bits, it is only fair that we get to the (ahem) less than wieldy parts, which is in actual fact just about everything else we have yet to talk about. At first, the science- fiction mythology sounds rather intriguing - instead of coming from the skies, the threat to our planet came from a rift deep within the Pacific Ocean, a portal through which the Kaijus emerged and necessitated an equally massive response in the form of the Jaegers. Ditto the functioning of the Jaegers, which given their size, have to be operated by two pilots who sync up their minds via the neural handshake, otherwise known as the "drift".
But del Toro and his fellow screenwriter Travis Beacham (who is also credited with this original story) uses these elements too mechanically. The rift is no more than an excuse for an underwater climax where the Jaegers aim to close the portal from which the Kaijus emerged, a resolution not quite different from that in 'The Avengers'. More significantly, the melding of minds isn't quite exploited for enough dramatic possibility, particularly given its significance in enabling our two lead pilots, Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) to bond so seamlessly with each other.
Equally clunky is the characterisation, which has as much poignancy as a piece of metal. Raleigh's scarred Jaeger pilot, still reeling at first from the death of his brother Yancy (Diego Klattenhoff), heals too quickly for us to make much of an emotional connection. Mori's own traumatic near-death experience as a child that continues to haunt her also rings hollow and is equally quickly forgotten. Idris Elba plays his Jaeger commander Stacker Pentecost in suitably macho fashion, but is largely one-note and engineered simply to deliver the rallying cries at suitable intervals - like the oft-heard "Today, we are cancelling the apocalypse" in the trailers.
No thanks to the plotting and character issues, the pacing of the movie sags considerably after a prolonged prologue establishing the necessary backstory of the robots-versus-monsters war and Raleigh's own past. It only picks up at the halfway mark when the deep-sea monsters finally clash again with their mechanical counterparts, which will either be stimulating enough (if you're an adolescent fanboy) to make you wet your pants or leave you numb. Our opinion? It is del Toro's most ambitious, most imaginative and probably most groundbreaking movie ever, but we wish there were more of the warmth and character that have defined some of his best work.
I just watched Pacific Rim on the first day/time slot of premiere in
3D. Yes, I am a geek. But that is not the whole point. If you had the
excitement of watching anime movies of robots vs monsters in childhood,
this is perfect movie for you. The Kaiju monsters design reminds me of
Godzilla's villain monsters combined with Cloverfield monster,
xenomorph (Aliens), and TRON. As for the Jeager robots, I'll let you to
decide whether they are good or very good. :)
To watch this movie I needed to change my mindset to be like a 10 ten year old robot geek child, like 29 years ago. Because if not, you will feel a lot of question marks and disappointment through this movie. The story is quite predictable. The plot and pace are simple enough for children to understand. And the nerd and geek professor appearances are a bit annoying for me. But hey, that what is all about: to celebrate the childhood memory of robots vs monsters.
Overall, the movie is great for robot vs monsters anime fans. It's not even close to that horrible Michael Bay's Transformers.
Pacific Rim takes inspiration from the elements of any material that
involves giant creatures and robots. It shows a simple concept about
piloted robots, Jaegers, fighting against sea aliens, Kaijus. This idea
alone would already make a fantastic blockbuster. The surprise we get
is it features more than just endless explosions. There are plenty of
innovations to root for which it can almost be a new popular classic.
The only less intriguing parts however are the clichés that are too
known in many big sci-fi action movies. Despite of that, it kept the
promise of being gigantically awesome. It's not completely
groundbreaking, but it's still quite an experience.
Aside from the large scale battles, the film amazingly creates an innovating futuristic alternate universe. It tells the origins of the Kaijus and how the Jaegers work, shows what society and the media have become, and throw some satires of the genre. The exploration of the vision is so absorbing, it feels like you went to it as a trip. But what somewhat halts this from being larger than life is when it takes the generic elements of any typical blockbuster, like the hero's motivations, the main robot is somehow an underdog in one scene, there's an arrogant team member, sacrifices, and so on. It's hard to not notice them since they are the central points of the story. The intriguing stuff about the Jaegers and Kaijus still took over the experience. At least it embraces its own fantasy tastes without being "dark" and emo like today's blockbuster trend.
Charlie Hunnam's performance is fitting to a graphic novel based movie, which is kind of appropriate as his role. In the battle scenes, he gives genuine human emotions as he punches and fall. Idris Elba remarkably brings heart to the picture while being awesome at the same time. Rinko Kikuchi makes her character more than just a partner of Raleigh. Charlie Day and Burn Gorman delightfully serves more energy to the story, while Ron Perlman appears in a short screen time but satisfying enough.
Now the real highlight of the picture, the visuals are overall shiny and snazzy. The designs of the creatures and robots are palpably marvelous. As the special effects move these heavy giants, the action did something better than just blowing up stuff. Although explosions and loud noises are not actually flaws(It's about giant robots, c'mon!), but a real good set piece needs a decent and genuine fortitude. In the midst of the noises, you will always get the sense of danger to the Jaegers, mostly because there are human pilots beneath the ravaging machines. It effectively made those sequences electrifying and the monsters terrifying than you would expect.
Pacific Rim will have its own fans. It feels like a self-indulged blockbuster that people will end up loving. Besides, this film is said to be Guillermo del Toro's dream come true coming from his childhood. And seeing all that, there's plenty of things to explore and to be intrigued. If only the plot can break some points from the mainstream storytelling, it would have been less predictable and much extraordinary. But physically, it is extraordinary. It's both big and eye candy which is the snazziest merit you will see. Also in the action scenes where it's more into the thrills than the fireworks, because it's all about iron fists hitting on monsters' face. Again, the story may be familiar, but the setting and the action keeps everything looks fresh and amazing.
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