Friday, July 12, 2013

Pacific Rim

If you've already told yourself, "Man, 'Pacific Rim' looks horrible," then disregard that preconception. I was a disbeliever who walked away completely satisfied. Made for fans of big, loud, entertaining, special effect-driven and all-out fun summer blockbusters.

Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief language.

Pacific Rim

I’m worried that Pacific Rim is going to be critic-proof, that no matter how many good reviews you read (of which there are many; it currently resides at 73 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with 132 reviews) you still will not be inclined to see it. Like many people, I’ve been skeptical of this FX-laden rock-em’ sock-em’ monster punch-out, but I surprisingly enjoyed every single minute of it. I want everyone to see it because I know that the masses will enjoy it, but I fear that no one but the die-hard fans of Guillermo del Toro will see.

The plot to Pacific Rim is a simple one: on the deep Pacific Ocean floor, a portal has opened between another dimension that allows gigantic and powerful monsters to pass through and wreak havoc on Earth. What’s the best line of defense that mankind can come up with? Equally monstrous robots that are dually piloted by trained professional monster fighters. When the monsters start growing in size, passing through the portal with higher frequency and adapting to deal with the robotic attacks, the robot initiative becomes outdated.

The main storyline takes place in 2020. The final four existing robots are being phased out for a new line of defense – but before they go, with the help of a very successful retired pilot (Sons of Anarchy‘s Charlie Hunnam) the leader of the program (Thor‘s Idris Elba) decides to plan one last mission to stop the monsters for good.

Believe me or not, Pacific Rim has a lot of greatness working in its favor. It literally contains everything that you expect and hope for from a summer blockbuster – action, excitement, tension, great FX and visuals, comedic relief and the coveted “wow” factor. This summer has been full of duds. Very few titles has been won over the masses, but anyone seeing Pacific Rim this weekend is going rank it amongst those great few.

Is it perfect. No. The lack of characterization from the primary character is utterly evident when we meet and see the backstory of the secondary lead (played by Babel‘s Rinko Kikuchi). Some of the film’s few intricate details are glazed over while much more time is cleared for the lightweight fun stuff (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). Flaws exist, but they don’t ruin a thing.

Coming from a naysayer, I’m hoping that I can sway opinions. Seriously. Forget about what you already think and give Pacific Rim a shot. It’s a much more satisfying blockbuster than it appears.

4 out of 5

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