Flash Movie Review: Pacific Rim

I never understood why monsters would constantly attack Japan. The poor citizens were caught on film as they screamed and ran away from creatures, who had names like Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra. At the age where I would soon realize those horrible monsters were actually humans dressed in costumes; I could be found sitting on the floor in front of our console television, mesmerized by those massive creatures of destruction. Even today I can still hear Godzilla’s roar just before flames would shoot out of his mouth. Writer and director Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, The Devil’s Backbone) has created a beautiful tribute to those old classic movies with this science fiction film. In the fine tradition of Japanese director Ishiro Honda (Godzilla, All Monsters Attack) and American visual effects creator Ray Harryhausen (Jason and the Argonauts, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad), Guillermo honored these 2 men with this visual masterpiece. Earth had been fighting a war against alien beings called the Kaiju (Japanese for strange creature). To combat the massive beings, the government created colossal robots called Jaegers (German for hunters), that were each synched with 2 pilots that were mentally connected. Under the command of Stacker Pentecost, played by Idris Elba (Prometheus, Thor), it appeared the Kaiju were learning to adapt with each battle. Cast in the starring role of Raleigh Becket was Charlie Hunnam (Children of Men, Sons of Anarchy-TV). This was not the best choice because he lacked screen presence. Compare him to Idris or Rinko Kikuchi (Norwegian Wood, The Brothers Bloom) as Mako Mori and you will see what I mean. Details were spent on the special effects and the fight scenes. The monsters were certainly imaginative; but I found myself drawn more to the robots. What was weak for me was the story, particularly some of the cheesy dialog. It did not help having the overly dramatic music accompanying several scenes. I hope they will make a sequel because there were parts to this film that verged on greatness. It just came up a little short in becoming one heck of an exciting thrill ride movie for me. Move over Godzilla, there is a new beast in town. Stay through the first set of credits at least.


2 3/4 stars

About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on July 16, 2013, in Fantasy/Sci-Fi and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. It’s been a while since I have seen a good action movie that actually was worth more than just the ‘splosions.

    • Besides this film may I suggest the latest Star Trek movie if you have not seen it. Friends who are not trekkies enjoyed the movie as much as those who are familiar with the characters.

  2. reminds me of when I used to watch Japanese Anime with my daughter — some like Spriggan which we saw at the Case Western in Cleveland and Spirited Away which we saw at the Cedar Lee were brilliant.

    As to why the monsters always attack the Japanese ? Maybe they are just the right size for snacks ?

    thanks for the review – I will add this to my list.

  3. Your first statement intrigues me. Can I offer some strange reply? 🙂
    I think there’s always the painful memory of Pearl Harbor that lingers still. If you cannot destroy Japan in reality, why not do it subconsciously through films?

    • You pose an interesting question. Since the classic movies from Mr. Honda were made in Japan, do you feel they were a form of punishment for the Japanese people? Thank you for coming by to leave your comments.

  4. Looking forward to checking this movie in the UK – cheers for the thoughtful review.

  5. This is gettings all kinds of good reviews. Some bloggers I read that are typically pretty tough reviewers have given it perfect scores! I can’t wait to see it. Thanks jotlz!

  6. i liked this review..specially the manner in which you could pull in your personal remembrance of films of a similar nature. I want to watch it now!

  7. The Dancing Rider

    I found the “sci-fi” idea of a breach between (worlds?) our world and the Kaiju’s interesting. As it was not the usual “mankind played with bombs and is now being punished by huge bizarre creatures”. I love Idris Elba, so enjoyed seeing him here. The story was a bit thin. What I found the hardest in this movie was following the detail in the action sequences, where the Jaegers are battling the Kaiju. Still, I enjoyed this for what it was. Well worth watching, as I like this genre — and your review!

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