Pacific Rim (2013)
Review by Bryan Mero
As a kid there was nothing better than a Saturday afternoon Godzilla movie on TV. I also enjoyed watching Ultraman. Both were fun, straight forward and good guy vs bad guy. Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labryinth) had an idea to take the “man in suit” monster idea and turn it into something spectacular.
Deep in the Pacific Ocean a rift opened up and let through enormous monsters known as the Kaiju. They attacked the shorelines of the Pacific and caused huge amounts of damage and loss of life before each one was brought down by the military. To fight these monsters mankind rallied together to build giant robots called Jaegers. The Jaeger is controlled by two pilots, connecting their minds called “the drift” in order to control its actions. The stronger the bond between two pilots the stronger the drift and better control of the Jaeger. The Jaeger program was going strong until one day the Kaiju started adapting and destroying the Jaegers faster than they could be constructed. One last ditch effort of the remaining Jaegers is all that mankind has left.
As a comparison, I would say that Independence Day (1996) would be the closest. Both are an alien invasion movie, both have likable characters and inspirational speeches. It also has some weak dialogue and relationships in common also. But that really isn’t the point of this movie. Pacific Rim goes out of its way to show you the size and vastness of the Jaegers and the Kaiju and the devastation that one or both can create. The SFX of the Jaegers and Kaiju are awesome. At times it is so good that you forget that it is all digital effects. With the combination of practical effects of the pilots inside the Jaeger and the digital effects make for some spectacular fights scenes in the ocean and in the cities.
There are homage’s to the old Godzilla movies…the crazy scientist, the city destruction, the running masses and probably much more. I’ll be looking for more the next time I see it. I also saw it in 3D. Ok, we’ve been going back and forth about 3D. The 3D effects were very smooth but not really necessary. At times I found myself wishing it was in 2D so I could see the fight scenes better. If I had my choice I would have rather of seen it in 2D.
Overall, this movie will not win any awards (except for SFX). The story is simple and straightforward. The characters are a bit 2-dimensional but likeable. Idris Elba and Ron Pearlman stand out in their roles. Stay for the mid-credits for an extra scene that will make you laugh. There are quite a few laughs throughout the movie that give just the audience a wink and a nod as if to say, “yeah, we know, this is fun.” Grab some popcorn and a drink and sit back and just enjoy the monstrous fun…this is nothing more than a good time. Pacific Rim doesn’t pretend to be anything else.
UPDATE: Ok, so I have to admit, this is still one of my favorite movies. I know it's corney, I know the story is weak...but there's just something about it...I think it reminds me more and more of the old Godzilla movies. Those movies barely had a story but made up for it with giant monsters fighting and in Pacific Rim it happens again but with great CGI that still stands up today. I hope they make a sequel...I'll be there!