Pacific Rim is the movie that Michael Bay wishes he could direct. It's the ultimate summer blockbuster popcorn flick. Director Guillermo Del Toro breaks out all of the toys for his giant monsters versus giant robots epic. He knows exactly what kind of audience he's going after. 14-year-old boys and 14-year-old boys at heart are going to eat this up.
We dive straight into the action, as Charlie Hunnam's Raleigh Becket excitedly wakes his older brother so they can fight a monolithic beast. They pilot a giant robot, known as a jaeger. The jaeger's were created to take on the enormous monsters, known as Kaiju. We soon learn the jaegers require two pilots. That's because their brain is directly linked to the robot, and one person's mind isn't strong enough to control it. They have to link their brain to their co-pilots in what is called a "neural handshake." This is all before the opening credits.
Because Raleigh's pre-credit battle ended in tragedy, he quits piloting jaegers. We catch up with him 5 years later, working on a construction team that builds walls to protect cities. However, he's quickly convinced to come back by his former commanding officer, Stacker Petecost, played excellently by British actor Idris Elba. This is also where the movie starts to drag a bit. We are treated to numerous montages while waiting for Raleigh to be assigned a new partner. And by the time he is assigned one, the half-baked romance is one of the few parts of the film that doesn't quite work. There's also some painfully clunky dialogue in parts.
Another big highlight that should be mentioned is the humor. Much of the comic relief comes from the superbly cast Charlie Day and Ron Perlman. Day plays a doctor who's trying to understand the mind of the Kaiju in a very unorthodox way. He has to rely on Perlman's black marketeer who deals in Kaiju organs to get it.
Overall, the mix of tense action, mind-blowing special effects and some great character actors getting their chance to shine, Pacific Rim is hugely successful. Besides the epic scope and nail-biting action, there's also plenty of heart, humor and hope throughout the film. And with all of the mid-blowing effects, this movie is actually worth checking out in IMAX 3D if you get a chance.
This review is separate from the video review by Eric Melin with scenestealers.com.
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