Evan Burkey

Review: Pacific Rim

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I expected Pacific Rim to be good. Really good, in fact. I love Guillermo Del Toro, I love giant robots, I love monster flicks… to say I had high hopes would be putting it lightly. And yet, in spite of the giant hypetrain I rode in on, Pacific Rim still managed to blow me away with how awesome it was.

Now I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for this kind of film. My obsession with mecha anime not withstanding, I love anything featuring giant monster movies. As a kid, I used to watch all the great kaiju films of old.

So, let’s pretend I’m not obsessed with the source material. Even in that case, Pacific Rim stands on its own as a great summer action film, though it does admittedly suffer the same issues that most “big dumb action” films have. The overall plot is pretty standard: Escalating battles between the giant robot Jaegers and the massive monster Kaiju occur while our hero sorts out his sordid past. Some have compared the script to a Transformers film, and I have to agree in regards to the formulaic plot. The script itself is also pretty hokey at times. I counted 3 or 4 big motivational speeches to rally humanity, and there were several lines that made me roll my eyes. However, I love this kind of hokeyness, and I think it fits well for the feel of this movie. It’s about giant robots and monsters, I’m not expecting Shakespeare here.

This film is gorgeous, and Del Toro’s cinematographic prowess really shines here. The set design is fantastic, especially a neon-lit quasi-future Hong Kong that was a real visual treat. The robot designs are really neat and each robot’s design is a delight. The kaiju are also well designed, and though we see around ten or so of these giant monsters, each one manages to be unique and interesting in its own way.

I feel that Charlie Day merits special mention. His performance as a kaiju-obsessed scientist is a mix of supernerd and his Charlie character from It’s Always Sunny In Philidelphia. Day pulls off a character that manages to be interesting and relatable while also being the comic relief, which is no easy feat.

So yes, I loved Pacific Rim. I think it’s a fantastic action film that looks great and manages to entertain from start to finish. If that wasn’t enough, Del Toro manages to throw some references that will make any mecha fan happy (there is a rocket punch. ENOUGH SAID). My verdict? Go see Pacific Rim.

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