Pacific Rim Movie Review
Kidzworld reviews the eye-popping new sci-fi action flick Pacific Rim!
By: Lynn Barker
What do you do when humungous monsters from the sea attack Earth? Attack ‘um back with ginormous robots, of course!!
The Kaijus are Comin’!
In a quick backstory opening sequence we see that, in our future, a bigger-than-Godzilla monster called a Kaiju came out of the ocean and destroyed San Francisco before our planes and bombs could stop it. Knowing that more were coming from a “Breach” at the bottom of the ocean linking us to a parallel universe, humans built just-as-big fighting robots called Jaegers operated by two brain-synched human “pilots” inside them. Those pilots became pop heroes until too many and more powerful monsters kept coming!
Top Team Down!
Now, more of the Jaegers are being defeated. Top pilot team Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and his bro Yancy (Diego Klattenhoff) fight a Kaiju off the coast of Alaska resulting in Yancy’s death and Raleigh’s near escape. Destroyed by his bro’s death, Raleigh just disappears. Five years later with the Jaegers failing, the powers that be decide to just build a big-a** wall around the world’s coastlines to keep the gigantor critters out. Yeah…..right.
Becket Back Into Action
Seems Becket has become a lowly builder on one of these giant walls and the fighter/pilot corps is basically being disbanded. Whoops! An even bigger Kaiju busts through an Australian wall and destroys the Sydney Opera House! Raleigh’s old boss Stacker (Idris Elba) finds him and wants him back to pilot an old but restored Jaeger dubbed Gipsy but, he’ll need a new partner. Best for the job is hot-looking martial arts kick-butt chick Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi). She and Raleigh have a strong mutual attraction but Stacker has raised her since her parents were killed by Kaijus and won’t put her in as a pilot.
Scientists to the Rescue!
Meanwhile, two socially-inept scientist guys keep telling the brass that more, bigger and smarter Kaijus are coming and that Stacker’s plan to take the last Jaeger to the ocean Breach to lob a nuclear bomb into it, won’t work! One (very funny) scientist named Newton (Charlie Day) has the remaining chunk of a Kaiju brain so he links with it as the pilots link brains and, after a long quest to acquire another Kaiju brain, learns that these guys came out of the sea before as dinosaurs and they are “run” by a roving alien race that will wipe us out with their Kaijus and reform and take over Earth. Somebody has got to go inside the Breach to destroy the actual alien “bosses”.
Just in Time
Stacker has to relent and let Mako be Raleigh’s partner pilot so, inside Gipsy, they and two other remaining Jaeger crews are about to drop the bomb into the Breach when they get the word that some lucky crew needs to actually take a Jaeger into the Breach and attack from there. Of course two mondo-ginormous Kaijus (one with wings!) attack until only our unlikely heroes in Gipsy are left to destroy the aliens. Can they succeed?
All I can say is “Wow!”. If you thought a game of Wi was fun or you liked the more downscaled fighting-robot-mimicking-a-human’s-every-move movie Real Steel, then you should love Pacific Rim! The Jaeger robots in the movie make director Michael Bay’s Transformers look like teeny toys and the giant Kaiju monsters could set Godzilla and his pals running for the hills!
It is also very cool that a human element is added to every eye-popping, robot/monster fight since the robots are controlled by the kick butt but still vulnerable human team inside them. In this respect, Pacific Rim has what Lone Ranger lacked.. true heart! Using basically unknown international actors is a plus since the audience can more easily believe they ARE these characters.
Okay, it’s true that the film’s basic story elements have been tried and true for eons; Good guy hero, drops out due to some emotional crisis but has to come back to save the day. Stalwart but still human mentor/boss has to make big sacrifices to aid the hero and, yep, the hot hero guy falls for the hot hero girl. But, hey, it works and the human story makes us care enough for the characters before they go into battle to build a little rooting interest. Nerdy scientist humor gives us the comic relief we need.
The theme of the movie, that we all must learn to work together if we are to survive is a great lesson and it’s also gratifying that women are equal to men in the film and brainy scientists/math nerds can also help save the world!
Very cool Japanese-influenced music accompanies the battles and the computer effects guys, referring to talented artist/director Guillermo Del Toro’s artwork, way outdo themselves with monsters, robots, ocean depths, cityscapes and great moody lighting.
Bottom Line: You’ve gotta go see this movie! You won’t be sorry. It’s a little long and nothing is perfect so we go 4 out of 5 stars.
Pacific Rim Movie Rating:
PACIFIC RIM is in theaters now!