'Pacific Rim' Review: Top-Notch Giant Monster Movie (Light Spoilers)

Still of charlie hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi in Pacific Rim, a movie review
Pacific Rim was so much fun, I left the theater exhausted!  I grinned from ear to ear through most of this "slug fest" between humanity and the Kaiju.  But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.

First off, for the critics who called Pacific Rim a mere 2-hour slug fest was wrong.  I don't know why they would say that unless they were telegraphing their review in.  Second, if you've ever had any inclination towards Godzilla, Transformers, Voltron, Jet Jaguar, Johnny Sokko's giant robot, you will have a blast with this movie.

The movie opens showing us the history of when the Kaiju started showing up, and how humanity responded by building the Jaegers.  The movie tells us that Jaeger is German for hunter.  It tells us about Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and his co-pilot, brother, Yancy (Diego Klattenhoff) in the early days of the fight.

Charlie Hunnam in Pacific Rim
But eventually Raleigh lost his brother, and was connected to him when he lost him, and that had a strong impact on him.  He went off to be a construction worker for five years.

(This was a very different Charlie Hunnam, compared to his dour role in Sons of Anarchy.  It was a good different.)

At first, in the fight against these alien invaders, humanity was kicking the Kaiju's asses, but then the Kaiju got smarter and started kicking our asses back.  They seemed to be evolving.

But things got bad and the man in charge of the Jaeger Rangers, Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), went and found Raleigh to get him back into the program because they needed pilots.

Rinko Kikuchi in Pacific Rim

They have Raleigh test with other pilots to see who he might meld best with in "the drift," but eventually ends up beig paired with Mako (Rinko Kikuchi).  Her production stills don't do her justice.


And the movie goes from there.

Ron Perlman and Charlie Day in Pacific Rim

Other supporting cast the filled out the movie includes Charlie Day (the Kaiju scientist), Burn Gorman (his assistant), Max Martini (Jaeger pilot), Clifton Collins Jr. (a Jaeger team engineer), and Ron Perlman as the Kaiju black market parts seller.

Despite some reviews I read that said that this movie was all giant robots fighting giant monsters, they left out the bit about the middle act and the story that develops between characters to help get the third act going.


Idris Elba in Pacific Rim

When I first heard about the movie and the co-pilot scenario where pilots are mentally joined in "the drift" to operate a Jaeger, I wasn't fond of the premise.  But it all made perfect sense in the scope of things.  In fact having a two-pilot system made perfect sense at times.

Director Guillermo del Toro must have had fun making this movie and he loves his rainy atmospheres, and awesome music.  There were even times that the music reminded my somewhat of the old Godzilla films.

You don't need a large format screen to see the movie, because in the opening act, del Toro makes it abundantly clear how huge these robots are with how he pans the camera and shows the Jaegers.  But I did see it in 3D. 

I tend to watch movies I really want to have fun at, in 3D.  It's good for CGI-heavy movies and makes them a bit more of a novelty than seeing them in 2D.  In this case, I think seeing it in 3D rocked it beyond novelty. (I can't believe I'm recommending seeing a movie in 3D!)

I had NO ISSUE dropping the bucks to see it in 3D.

If you're a fan of giant monster/robot movies, this film knocks it out of the park.  As a popcorn flick, there were some tiny flaws that buggered me a bit about a few scenes, some dialog and what not, but it was nothing huge.  On the popcorn movie scale, this was a 9 out of 10.

And most fan-boy movie sites that saw the movie on Thursday, all are giving the movie high praise as a popcorn movie.  We get it, it's not a dramatic entry for the Oscars, it's just a total blast of a sci-fi movie.

Rumors were that there might have been a Godzilla 2014 trailer attached.  Not at my theater if that was the case.

Also, the other day Ron Perlman had tweeted to stay to the end of the credits because something big was there.  Well, it was halfway through the credits that a quickie bonus moment shows up, and when you see it, you'll get why Perlman tweeted that.

Additionally, at the time of this posting, news reports are suggesting that Pacific Rim could bust a $40 million weekend, giving Grown Ups 2 a run for its money.

I hope so.  This movie deserves the box office take.  I mean hey, they get enough attention, enough money, we get a sequel!

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