FILM REVIEW: “Pacific Rim”

Review by Galen Garner

DIRECTED BY:  Guillermo Del Torro
STORY BY:  Travis Beacham
SCREENPLAY BY:  Travis Beacham & Guillermo Del Torro
STARRING:  Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, and Charlie Day

Warning – Spoilers!

Giant robots fight giant sea monsters!

Last night, I decided that it was time for me to go see Pacific Rim in the all and powerful IMAX Experience. I am usually a major snob when it comes to IMAX movies and reserve them for superhero movies, so I felt like I was walking on broken glass going into the theatre.

My hopes have not been that high for Pacific Rim since the trailer came out towards the end of last year. I just don’t know how many more movies I can take where there are aliens and/or monsters that take over the world. I feel this way mainly because I compare every movie in this genre to the horrors of Cloverfield, Godzilla and Monsters. I have had my heart broken too many times by these monsters, so I didn’t think I was going to be able to make room for Pacific Rim.

In Pacific Rim, the massive sea creatures from another dimension are known as the Kaiju and they have been sent to our world to take over. It just so happens that their point of entry is conveniently located near Hong Kong City. They enter the world through a rift portal deep in the Pacific Ocean and the only effective way that the Kaiju have been defeated is by a Jaeger.

The Jaeger (meaning hunter, German) program has been established by the governments of the world to destroy the Kaiju and keep them from destroying the planet as a last resort. A Jaeger is a massive robot with advanced weapons and defensive tactics that give them the extra grit to take down a Kaiju. To pilot a Jaegar requires two individuals to share brain patterns to control the right and left hemispheres of the machine because the power is overbearing for one person to handle.

Raleigh Becket is a Yaegar pilot that has been haunted for five years since losing his brother to a battle with one of the world’s largest Kaiju to ever attack the planet. After disobeying orders and engaging the Kaiju, Becket is released from the Jaeger program and left in the cold of Alaska to build an intercoastal wall to keep Kaiju from entering North America.

The governments of the world scrap their individual Jaeger program and that forces the leftover machines off the coast of Hong Kong City close to where the rift is located. Marshal Stacker Pentecost (played by Idris Elba, Prometheus) brings Becket back into the game to pair up with Mako Mori (played by Rinko Kikuchi, The Sky Crawlers) and make one last attempt of setting off a device within the rift that will destroy the bridge to keep the Kaiju from entering the Pacific Ocean.

The film also features Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as the crackpot mad scientist, Dr. Newton Geiszler that is obsessed with the Kaiju and wants to figure out how to make a connection with their brainwaves to learn more about why the Kaiju have come to earth in the first place. Without giving the entire movie away, I will say that this connection is vital in understanding how to successfully destroy the Kaiju.

This follows one of the most epic battle scenes that a moviegoer could ever ask for. Forget about The Avengers and Man of Steel, this movie has so much fighting and devastation that one can only ask why anything is ever rebuilt. A construction worker would have an endless supply of work available in the world of Pacific Rim. The battle sequences feature great combat scenes that include rockets, underwater fighting, inner city brawls, monsters jaws ripping off, monster infants eating humans, and even robot sword fighting!

Being a skeptic when it comes monster movies, I was absolutely blown away by Guillermo Del Toro’s production of this film. I would easily say that last night I saw the Oscar Award winner for Special Effects and possibly Sound Editing. In most monster films, the audience has to wait for half of the movie before getting a glimpse of the monster. In Pacific Rim, monsters are available right away in some of the greatest special effects details that I have ever seen.

My only disappointment with Pacific Rim has been the response by the general population. In the first week of this film, it has been outperformed by Grown Ups 2 and Despicable Me 2. Come on people! What do you want to see – a bunch of old men that use to be funny or a bunch of robots fight galactic sea monsters? The answer should be pretty obvious here and I do believe that the second and third week box office numbers of this film will improve significantly.

There is still time to see Pacific Rim and I would only recommend seeing this on the IMAX stage because this movie in 2D would really limit the extensive special effects that you get from seeing metal robot fist smashing into thick fatty skin of carnivorous sea monsters.

For my first review of a film as a member of the Bag and Bored team, I proudly give Pacific Rim a “BAG IT”! Seriously, who cares what I think! Go see this movie and watch giant robots fight giant sea monsters! That should really be all the help you need.

Pacific Rim: The IMAX Experience show times can be found at www.imax.com. A special thanks goes to the Wells Fargo IMAX Theatre in Raleigh (www.imaxraleigh.com) for allowing us to view this film.

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Follow Galen Garner on Twitter:  @bamaredsox

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