Written by / 7/16/2013 / 1 Comment / , ,

PACIFIC RIM

year: 2013 cast: Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Idris Elba, Diego Klattenhoff, Ron Perlman rating: **
If you think this is gonna be just like TRANSFORMERS, since the giant robots resemble the popular shape-shifting toy turned Michael Bay franchise, think more along the lines of GODZILLA meets INDEPENDENCE DAY as giant alien sea creatures rise from the depths and, every couple months, give the earth’s population quite a beating. So mankind has created robotic monstrosities that, guided by two humans in a cockpit joined by mutual memory-sharing brainwaves, take on the aliens in massive apocalyptic smack downs.

This information is covered within the first ten minutes through a flowing expository narrative, and once the words PACIFIC RIM appears the real story begins when Raleigh Becket, a former war hero who lost his brother/partner in battle, is brought back to guide an important defensive robot. The sea creatures, bizarre hybrids of lizards, sharks and the RETURN OF THE JEDI Rancor monster, have upped a few notches and mankind has only days to exist.

Much of the film takes place in the underground compound where head honcho Stacker Pentecost, provided his own melodramatic score after saying something important, gives Raleigh several opportunities to redeem himself a worthy warrior again. The twist comes in the form of lovely Asian Mako Mori who, having survived a creature attack as a child, works behind the scenes until she's brought to the forefront as Raleigh's partner.

The two leads have decent chemistry – the lithe Asian beauty attracted to the reluctant American rogue. The training scenes leading up to Mako’s first fight are involving, bringing the quiet girl out of her shell and revealing a true Martial Artist. Meanwhile, outside the box, immense battles are filmed to be experienced: up close and jarringly personal. Thankfully director Guillermo del Toro doesn’t revel in shaky camera too much and the 3D is impressive. This is a spectacle made for a theater audience, that’s for certain... You’ll be knocked around with the massive contenders.

But after a couple would-be climaxes the movie goes on much too long. Each fist-pounding battle starts looking all too familiar, and when we’re not at war there’s an overabundance of scientific theories and tactical plans on how to take out the creatures for good. When we’re not underground discussing the action we’re experiencing it in droves.

What’s really needed is some kind of middle ground. Call it character-development… but the characters on board, played capably by B-list actors, have potential. They just aren’t given enough room to breath beyond all the (literally) Earth shattering noise.
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1 comment:

  1. I finally got around to watching this on Friday night. I went into it not expecting too much but I assumed that since it is Guillermo del Toro in the Director's Chair it wouldn't suck completely.

    By the end of the movie my eyes were burning and I felt like I had gotten pummeled by one of the monsters from the rift.

    On a positive note I got pretty much what I expected out of the movie. On the negative, I'm just getting too old for overly loud bombastic science fiction "event" films. By the way, is it just me, or is the volume in movie theaters just cranked up WAY TOO LOUD, especially on weekends. Half the time nowadays I walk out of the movie theater with my head ringing. Is everyone just plain deaf? Damn kids, get off my lawn!

    Great review sir.

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