Imagine if you will, a Michael Bay film. Ok, now, add a storyline that’s not only cohesive and entertaining, but logical while still being grandiose. Now, insert some great effects that are extremely well designed and executed while also allowing you to see the action. Finally, let’s put in characters that are not vacuous or inherently annoying and that actually have some character development along the way. Basically Pacific Rim is like a Michael Bay film but without all the pretentious crap that often weighs his films down.
Directed by Guillermo Del Toro (one of my favorites) Pacific Rim takes us a bit further into the future when a tear or “rift” has emerged in our ocean floor and an invasion of sorts has begun. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away here but suffice it to say that giant creatures (Kaiju) are emerging from the depths to attack our fair lands for their own nefarious purposes. In response to said attack, the world unites and starts producing giant combat robots dubbed Jaeger to defend us. Bottom line – giant robots vs. giant monsters = great fun!
The storyline is well constructed with some nice backstory to fill in the blanks while moving us forward at the same time to establish what’s going on currently. The dialog flows naturally between the characters with nothing seeming out of place. While the concept is definitely a bit epic, the film is too but it never feels ridiculous nor does it jar you of out of the suspension-of-disbelief mentality.
Most of the actors are great. The only character that’s a bit weak here performance wise is the lead, Charlie Hunnam whose range seems a bit limited in terms of how he’s reacting to his circumstances. He’s not terrible, but he is mediocre. The rest of the cast is pretty tight with Idris Elba and Rinko Kikuchi as the standouts for me. The cast also includes Charlie Day and Ron Perlman. Be sure to stick around through the credits here as there’s something that happens to Ron Perlman’s character that’s a nice surprise and pretty damn funny.
Del Toro does his usual outstanding job at the helm. The film looks amazing and is huge in scale while paced well and including strong characters to keep it interesting as well as exciting. Try to catch this one in the theater if you can!
reviewed by Sean McKnight