Pacific Rim is the latest film directed by Guillermo Del Toro who is known for other fantastical movies like Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy series. Pacific Rim is a sci-fi story set in the not-too-distant future. It tells the story of a time when the Earth is being besieged by gargantuan creatures from another dimension called Kaijus. Of the actors involved in the film, the only one I recognized was Ron Perlman who had a minor, supporting role. All the others were new faces to me.
Anyway, the story begins with an introductory preamble that describes the first assault on planet Earth by the first Kaiju. One lone creature destroys three cities and nearly exhausts the U.S. military. But it was dead and defeated, and life moved on. Then, six months later, another appeared. And another after that. Realizing that more drastic measures must be taken, the countries of the globe unite to build a series of weapons to use against the Kaijus: massive robots called Jaegers that stand as tall as buildings and required but two people to pilot through a neural link. The main character, Raleigh Beckett, played by Charlie Hunnam, is one of the first Jaeger pilots. He is teamed up with his brother, Yancy, and they are sent out to destroy an impending Kaiju. In the ensuing battle, Raleigh’s brother is killed, leaving him devastated and barely able to destroy the horrid creature. Once the battle is over, he leaves the service and begins a life in construction. Someone has devised a new method of defense: an enormous coastal wall will be built to protect humanity from the Kaijus in the sea. Then, his old commander, Stacker Pentecost (played by Idris Elba), comes looking for him with an opportunity to get back in the action. Can Raleigh overcome the trauma of his brother’s death and once again rise to the occasion? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out.
Strengths: the acting was good, the storyline was engaging, and the special effects were superb. I recall no logical loopholes nor do I remember any other kind of glaring flaw. It was a good smash-em-up movie. Basically, if you like watching humongous creatures getting in fistfights in the middle of cities, you’ll like this movie because there was plenty of that. But there was also a decent storyline about handling personal difficulties and overcoming trauma. Weaknesses: I can think of no huge weaknesses, although there were one or two quotes that came direct from Star Wars. That said, it was an enjoyable movie, just not fantastic. It lacked something. Maybe I’m just outgrowing smash-em-up movies.
Overall, I’ll give Pacific Rim three and a half stars out of five.