Monsters Vs. Robots
First off, yes, this movie really does boil down to robots vs. monsters. However, instead of being all spectacle, director Guillermo Del Toro, who also did Hellboy 1 & 2, Pan’s Labyrinth and Blade II, has created one of the few completely original films to come out this summer and filled it to the brim with likable characters and created a world that not only feels real but also lived in. And it’s the lived in part that really helps Pacific Rim succeed.
The film wisely begins years after the initial monster attack, with the world already accustomed to the existence of these monsters and putting forth an effort to fight back with the use of giant robots controlled by two pilots. It’s a bold move that forced me, as a viewer, to hit the ground running. It’s refreshing honestly, and it helped me get used to a pace that was almost lightening fast.
Pacific Rim is filled with interesting and entertaining characters. Charlie Hunnam, from the TV show Sons of Anarchy, Charlie Day from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Idris Elba from The Wire and Luther are just a few of the familiar faces peppered throughout the film and they all do good work.
By having such reliable actors, director Del Toro is better able to set up this unique sci-fi environment in a way that feels more human and familiar.
Idris Elba does especially good work as the man in charge of the fight for humanity’s survival. Elba is a supremely confident performer, and he knows how to sell humor, toughness, leadership and genuine emotion at the drop of a hat and if any one person steals the show, it’s him.
FUN, Above All Else
I know I’ve made it sound like Pacific Rim is some sort of humanistic science fiction drama centered around monsters and robots, but that’s really not the case. The movie takes time to build its own world and does offer some really great characterizations that help make the film’s apocolyse stakes feel real.
But above all else, Pacific Rim is FUN.
There is a weird and quirky sense of humor that runs throughout that fans of Del Toro’s previous films will instantly recognize. Best of all though, the action on display here is absolutely mind-boggling. Like I said before, the action resembles that of a 10-year-old in a sandbox, except realized by a meticulous and detailed director who has the budget of almost $200 million. It sounds ridiculous yes, but it’s a blast.
Pacific Rim: Take the Family
What’s even more surprising, is despite being PG-13 and filled with monster vs robot violence, Pacific Rim is actually quite family-friendly. The film is constantly reminding us that when united, people can accomplish the impossible. It’s a point that’s driven home in the most entertaining way possible.
I understand if you think Pacific Rim looks silly or stupid. If you are even the least bit curious, give it a chance, and see it on the biggest screen possible.
Pacific Rim is one of the few movies coming out this summer that is not a sequel or a movie based on a pre-existing property. The film makers go to great lengths to set up an entire world and they never forget for a second that their audience isn’t just Sci-Fi geeks, but also 10-year-olds who love to play in the sandbox.
Review by Jordan Hunt. See more CaryCitizen movie reviews.