‘Pacific Rim’ gives audiences the first flat-out badass entertainment of the summer.
‘Pacific Rim’ has succeeded where other summer movies have faltered. Director Guillermo del Toro has delivered an action fantasy that thoroughly entertains from start to finish.
In the near future, Earth has been invaded by “Kaiju”, which are giant monsters who have entered our world through a portal at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
To combat these destroyers, the global community has pooled its resources to create “Jaegers”, giant piloted robots designed to thwart our monstrous attackers and save Earth from destruction.
“Jaeger” pilots are two-person teams who mind-meld into each other to operate the enormous fighting machines. In the opening sequence of ‘Pacific Rim,’ we are introduced to Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and his brother Yancy as they attempt to defend civilization against one such “Kaiju.” The resulting battle costs Raleigh’s brother his life and leads to a “mothballing” of the Jaeger program when it is believed that the monsters have been eliminated.
When the Kaiju return to wage war against humanity, the Jaegers and their pilots are deemed obsolete solutions to the newly evolved and more dangerous monsters. The leader of the Jaegers, Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) has continued to pursue the program through private means and with limited resources.
Once the magnitude of the Kaiju threat becomes understood the world learns that the mostly abandoned Jaegers are our only hope. Pentecost must assemble a heroic team of pilots to man the remaining four Jaeger models and save the human race from annihilation.
‘Pacific Rim’ is an action comic come to glorious life. The film is bursting with color and style and filled with heroes whose resolve is almost as large as the Jaegers themselves.
The battle scenes in ‘Pacific Rim’ are impressively rendered, exciting, and fun. The giant Jaeger “robots” going mano-a-mano with the menacing Kaiju beasts are pure action eye-candy.
There are some storyline choices that are a little formulaic, but the visuals, energetic pacing, and actors convincingly draw us into the film.
Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) as Raleigh is suitably roguish while Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) as Mako Mori proves to be tough and sexy as his new co-pilot. The duo have good screen chemistry, however hints at a romantic subplot don’t really develop.
Idris Elba (Prometheus, Thor) as Marshall Pentecost steals the show along with frequent del Toro collaborator Ron Perlman as black market crime boss Hannibal Chau.
While Perlman gets to really chew some scenery, it is Elba’s strong and charismatic performance that binds ‘Pacific Rim’ together. His Marshall Pentecost is the heroic and emotional force that inspires the Jaeger pilots to attempt to save humanity. Elba was equally good in ‘Prometheus’ as Captain Janek and in ‘Pacific Rim’ displays a strong screen presence and charisma.
‘Pacific Rim’ is easily director Guillermo del Toro’s most mainstream work yet. Known for ‘Hellboy’ amongst Flixnerds and fanboys and for ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ amongst Oscars voters, del Toro’s vision of ‘Pacific Rim’ is vibrant and explosively colorful.
For more on del Toro, click here for our July article profiling the internationally famous director.
‘Pacific Rim’ is the first movie this summer to exceed my expectations. The images explode with vibrancy and energy and are meshed with a positive tone, energetic pacing, and terrific performances by Elba, Perlman, and the special effects team.
‘Pacific Rim’ is a monster knockout at the movies. Where’s my sequel?
Pacific Rim Rating: Five out of five stars!