This robots-versus-monsters action flick will satisfy every fan of mecha, anime or the old ‘Kaiju’ Japanese monster movies.
In short: A small, but elite, group of pilots dare to pull off one last, desperate attack against an invading army of building-sized alien monsters. (watch the trailer)
‘Pacific Rim’ is a loving valentine to devoted fans of ‘mecha’ anime (such as ‘Evangelion’ or ‘Escaflowne’) and the classic ‘kaiju movies’ (such as ‘Godzilla’ and ‘Rodan’). This summer blockbuster simply would not exist without these two genres of cult entertainment.
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Not surprisingly, ‘Pacific Rim’ is at its best when robots brawl with monsters and it tends to slow down quite a bit during the non-fighting scenes. Thankfully director Guillermo del Toro uses this down time to move the story along nicely, revealing a world tired of fighting and a pocket resistance serving as mankind’s last hope.
Del Toro’s world of Kaiju is a magnificently fleshed out and realized. Every detail of his world points to a global society that has focused virtually all its efforts in defending against the monsters and their devastating toll.
The same attention to detail is also invested in the fight scenes – and let’s face it, the whole story is a simple excuse to watch skyscraper sized beasts throw down. These robotic behemoths operate with a logic and reality that makes sense for this world – while also offering fans great moments, such as rocket-powered punches, cool alien abilities and one robot uses a full-sized tanker ship like a baseball bat in a fight.
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Unfortunately, the dialogue, acting and main story are of questionable quality. Some lines of dialogue are wince-inducing in their sheer corniness and some performances are equally cheesy. Idris Elba and Charlie Day deliver the two best performances – their characters could very easily be transplanted into an anime or classic monster movie. Ron Perlman’s character, while slightly amusing, could have been cut or written around completely – it’s a tangent that doesn’t help the movie’s momentum at all.
Last piece of advice – ‘Pacific Rim’ is definitely worth the upgrade to 3D. Much of the movie is dark, which makes some fights difficult to see, but this monster movie is worth the few extra bucks spent for the 3D premium.
Final verdict: While this is by no means Del Toro’s finest movie, ‘Pacific Rim’ is a fun and totally entertaining summer blockbuster.