Movie review: Pacific Rim (2013)


There is something of robots here (imagine Transformers but this time is controlled by human). There is something of gigantic monsters here (imagine Godzilla or something more epic than the one you see attacking Ultraman in olden days’ series). Combine them both and you got this ‘Pacific Rim’, a 2013 science fiction film directed by Guillermo del Toro. This is one of my most anticipated films of the year once I had first seen its trailer many months ago. It has been a long time since we last saw huge massive beasts attacking the world on big screen. So far, I only remembered the most recent one is 1998’s Godzilla.

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‘Pacific Rim’ film is set in 2020s, when Earth is under attack by Kaiju, colossal monsters which have emerged from a portal on the ocean floor. To combat the monsters, humanity unites to create the Jaegers: gigantic humanoid robots, each controlled by two pilots whose minds are somehow connected. The story then follows Raleigh, a washed-up Jaeger pilot called out of retirement and teamed with rookie pilot Mako in a last-ditch effort to defeat the Kaiju and save the world from apocalypse. Whenever Kaiju appears, I wouldn’t want to miss a second.

The first thing I would highlight would be the awesome graphics offered from this film. The visual effects, the CGI are superb and magnificently done which is very essential for movie like this. I think basically everything, every major scenes in this film is heavily edited as it includes the robots, the monsters, the places under damage and attack from the monsters. It’s a very important element, and the film nailed it perfectly well. As for the story, I find the idea is interesting for the whole battle stuff between kaiju and human-controlled robots. However, the story development is quite poorly executed. There are too much unnecessary scenes, dialogues that are wasting time, and inappropriate emphasis on certain parts like the revelation of a part of childhood memory of Mako.

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All these contributed to boredom and plenty of dull scenes in between. I was first surprised that the kaiju appeared right away as the movie just started, and I thought there would be a lot more coming. But I was wrong. I have to wait a long way before we see a serious battle again between kaiju and Jaegers at Hong Kong. There is too much of nonsense for boring story flow in the middle. However, I have to stress that the battle or fight scenes are spectacular and amazingly delivered. Those are very intense and exciting and got me at the edge of my seat. Well, this is a plus point.

But maybe I am too greedy. I am expecting for more crazier attack or battle sequences. I was hoping that the fight with the only one Category 5 monster (biggest of all) beneath the ocean would be tough and long, but it’s just too short. But this movie still hits a very high level on this particular aspect of actions. My personal favourite would be the jaeger using a ship to punch a kaiju, and also the jaeger operating the sword to defeat the kaiju up at the outer space (that part only took few seconds). For acting performance, I had no issue with Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh and Idris Elba as Stacker, the commanding officer. Rinko Kikuchi, a Japanese, had put her best effort but I find a Japanese lady character is not suitable here (someone she is paired up with Raleigh).

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Generally, it’s a solid piece of entertainment that got us back into affection with something of our favourite childhood cartoon, but blown up to a much epic scale to please both younger and older audiences. But the story involving the characters are not engaging enough and is too long. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Pacific Rim’ a total of 7.2. Slightly lower rating from what I am expecting to give to this film. To be honest, those kaiju can be defeated easily by heavily armed military planes, or just by putting a nuclear bomb to the portal. Why go the hard way by creating massive and expensive robots that each is so heavy, slow to work in, and has to be controlled by two persons. Hmm..just my thought.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web).

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