‘Pacific Rim’ Review

Published 1 year ago by , Updated November 15th, 2014 at 12:24 am,

Jaeger Gypsy Danger in Pacific Rim  Pacific Rim Review

While the storyline and emotional core aren’t strong, the action and spectacle are, and del Toro builds his world well enough to create plenty of future opportunities.

In Pacific Rim we are greeted by an imminent future in which humanity has been besieged by giant monsters known as “Kaiju,” which emerge from a dimensional rift deep beneath the Pacific Ocean in order to wreak havoc on humanity. To combat this threat, humanity comes together to create “Jaegers,” giant robots controlled by two mind-linked pilots.

At first, the Jaegers seem like the perfect deterrent for the Kaiju menace; but when the monsters start getting smarter and deadlier – and Jaegers begin falling quicker than they can be rebuilt – mankind finds itself on the brink of extinction. Our last hope lies with the desperate plan of Marshall Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) and his handful of remaining Jaeger pilots, including war-worn veteran  Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and rookie Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), an unlikely pair who may prove to be the best pilot team the world has ever seen.

Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi in Pacific Rim1 Pacific Rim Review

Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi in ‘Pacific Rim’

We can make this short and easy: If the spectacle of big robots battling it out with big monsters is all you’re interested in, then Pacific Rim is going to be a five-star experience that you should wholly enjoy in the biggest IMAX 3D theater you can find (earplugs recommended). However, if you require a deeper story and mythos to sell you on all the spectacle? You will get plenty of mythos, but despite a parade of “cool moments,” a mishandled central storyline ultimately makes the experience a hollow one.

Director Guillermo del Toro is known for his wonderful imagination and abilities as a filmmaker – demonstrated in  signature works like Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy movies – and Pacific Rim is alive and crackling with some of his best work. From the robot and monster designs, to the well-staged battle sequences and overall concept, Pacific Rim is something uniquely its own within the crowded genre of summer blockbusters (this is no Transformers – and I mean that in the best way), while still (borrowing?)(Paying homage to?)(Stealing from?) a laundry list of other American and Japanese movies and TV series. (Read about a few of those possible inspirations HERE.)

Pacific Rim Gypsy Danger vs. Kaiju Level 4 Pacific Rim Review

Best of all, there’s a pervading sense of fun and  joy that the director has infused his passion project with; the goal is to entertain and entertain it does, for the most part (it does get cartoony, but that cartoon is still pretty fun). On the downside, there are plenty of moments that will indeed seem less like homages and more derivative copy of other films not necessarily even related to the “Kaiju/Mecha” sub-genre. See if you can catch those Independence Day and/or Deep Blue Sea moments and you’ll know the sort of “borrowing” I’m referring to.

The script – co-written by del Toro and Clash of the Titans scribe Travis Beacham – is not impressive. The story is straightforward enough, but an abundance of sub-plots often makes it feel scattered-brained. The emotional core and character development are even more unfocused: this is supposedly Raleigh and Mako’s story we are being told – and Hunnam and Kikuchi are both solid leads with solid chemistry – but beyond a couple of superficial dramatic moments, there is no real conflict between our central characters, and no real arc for them to complete as individual characters. In short: our protagonists are often the least interesting parts of the film, which inevitably means a sort of detached viewing experience.

Idris Elba in Pacific Rim 2013 Pacific Rim Review

Idris Elba in ‘Pacific Rim’

Oddly enough it is Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost who is the most dynamic character in Pacific Rim, and seems to get the most complete and engaging character arc of the whole ensemble. Elba (by now well established for his talent to stand out even in bit roles – see: Prometheus or Thor) walks away owning every one of the many scenes he’s in – which is great for him, but is also clear indication that the writers are not driving the story with full control of the wheel.

Subplots involving Charlie Day (Horrible Bosses) and Burn Gorman (Dark Knight Rises) as dueling expert scientists in the Kaiju field – or Max Martini (The Unit) and Robert Kazinsky (True Blood) as a conflicted father/son Jaeger team – similarly make good use of talented actors, at the expense of a focused, streamlined story. Hellboy star Ron Perlman exists in this movie purely to ham it up for his old pal del Toro, and does so admirably. (P.S.: don’t leave the theater before a special mid-credits scene.)

Chalie Day in Pacific Rim  Pacific Rim Review

Charlie Day in ‘Pacific Rim’

The mythos and world-building are well done, there’s the right touch of winking humor – but again, certain sub-plots (like an anti-Kaiju wall) are never followed to conclusion and come off as distraction. The actual mechanics of the sci-fi technology is hastily explained and then craftily circumvented, so that the many, many, gaps in logic and plot are not all that distracting from the enjoyment of watching a hulking robot slamming on freakish monsters.

The infusion of anime themes and tropes is balanced enough to distinguish the film from, say, Transformers, without veering too far into the more obtuse or abstract styles of storytelling that often discourage Western viewers from embracing anime. Del Toro’s imagination being what it is, this is “East meets West” in the best way possible.

Battle of Tokoyo in Pacific Rim Pacific Rim Review

The sound design is awesome – and by awesome I mean very, very, loud. Actual dialogue sometimes had a cavernous echo to it that made it hard to make out – but whether that was just my theater or the movie itself, I can’t say for sure. This is definitely an IMAX experience to be had; but the post-converted 3D, while very well done, doesn’t feel as necessary. A 2D IMAX experience would be more than sufficient – but if you are a big fan of the robot/monster stuff, the extra splurging will be worth it to you.

On the whole, Pacific Rim has its creator to thank for elevating it above so many similar and forgettable action blockbusters, through sheer creativity, love and force of will. While the storyline and emotional core aren’t strong, the action and spectacle are, and del Toro builds his world well enough to create plenty of future opportunities for re-visits, spin-offs, multi-media projects and everything else fans (and movie studios) love in a good fanboy franchise.

517845197 3 620 439 Pacific Rim Review

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Pacific Rim is now in theaters. It is 131 minutes long and is Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief language.

If you want to discuss the film without ruining it for others, head over to our Pacific Rim SPOILERS DISCUSSION. To hear the Screen Rant editors discuss the film amongst themselves, stay tuned for the Pacific Rim episode of the Screen Rant Underground Podcast.

Our Rating:

3 out of 5
(Good)

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251 Comments

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  1. Pacific Rim has a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes while the crappy sequel Grown Ups 2 with Adam Sandler has 7%. So guess which is doing better box office? That’s right Grown Ups 2.

    So what in the hell is wrong with the movie going audience? There have been a couple studies that indicate the human race is getting stupider each generation. I’m starting to believe it.

    • The independent drama Fruitvale Station was released this weekend. Based on the real life incident where police shot and killed an unarmed suspect in the Fruitvale Transit Station in California in 2009, it received 90% on Rotten Tomatoes in addition to winning the grand jury prize for best drama at Sundance. Guess which movie is making more money: Fruitvale Station or a movie about giant robots that shoot missiles at bad guys?

      • Your comparison falls flat Thracian since both the movies your are comparing are both doing well critically, with one doing better by only by 20%. Down playing a movies intricacy throw a sloppy summarizing does nothing for your argument. Because Fruitvale Transit is just another movie about the victimization of black people… yawn. Been there done that.

        Both Pacific Rim and Fruitvale deserve better box office. That’s the truth.

        • Don’t act like I’m being unfairly dismissive. Pacific Rim IS about giant robots fighting monsters. There’s not really anything more to it.

          • Agreed. Had the script/plot been better I would agree with your arguement but in the end Pacific Rim=Battleship

            • Not even close…PR is a MUCH better film.

        • Also Fruitvale has pretty limited appeal. No one goes to the movies to be reminded how unjust and depressing real life is.

          Pacific Rim has a wide audience appeal and should be doing huge box office.

          The box office for Grown ups 2 should have died out almost immediately but didn’t very perplexing.

      • Based on the current Box Office Mojo numbers (not sure how accurate these are):

        Pacific Rim – Worldwide Gross: $33,920,000 in 3275 theaters

        $10,357 per theater

        Fruitvale Station – Worldwide Gross: $127,000 in 7 theaters

        $18,143 per theater

        So you could spin it and say that Fruitvale Station is outperforming “a movie about giant robots that shoot missiles at bad guys”.

    • Exactly, all Grown Ups 2 is about trying to be young and and boobs, like seriously where the originality, Pacific Rim had an awesome story and it was something different ppl haven’t seen in yrs. Not like a dumbass sequel you know?

    • I read a bit about that too, ridiculous if you ask me. Have you seen the audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, 90% for Grown Ups 2. I read several reviews of Grown Ups 2 and I’m wondering how it’s even a movie, it apparently has absolutely no plot. It’s juts scene after scene nothing really tying them together. Sucks how a movie that had so much work put into it is being overshadowed by something like Grown Ups 2. Ugh.

    • Thandrale…

      You’re STARTING to believe humanity is becoming more and more stupid? For me, the evidence has been growing for a couple of decades…

      Sigh.

      • Probably started in the 80s. All the moronic stuff on the internet is bound to have drug the collective I.Q. of the human race down a bit. Either that or it’s that damn rap music.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised.

  2. I spent a beautiful Saturday morning in San Francisco sitting in a dark Imax theater to see this bull crap of a movie. BORING to the max. I couldn’t talk my friends into seeing it and they couldn’t talk me out of seeing it. I should have listened to them. I didn’t like any of the characters, the robots or even the Kaiju. I hated the whole thing. A waste 15 bucks! Well 25 with popcorn and drink! Don’t see it!

    • I loved it. SO my opinion is. GO see it and form your own opinion!

    • Imax for $15 what great deal. Here is NY its $14 for a regular film $19 for Imax

    • That is the word of mouth now @Sebastian. Everyone I have been talking to last night have been saying that it’s a waste of money, to wait for the DVD, don’t bother going. It keeps going on and on. I thought it would at least be 50/50 in who would like it and who doesn’t but based on what the “general public” is saying it’s not looking like it’s even that. It reminds me of Battleship really where people kept telling me, “the storyline is weak but go for the visual effects because they’re soo good and it’s aliens blowing stuff up” but the general public would say, “it’s soo bad and it’s just better to wait for it on DVD”. The same effect is starting to happen with this movie, although I think it is better than Battleship I think it will have the same outcome. It will do good for 1 week but that’s it and it will do better overseas than in the US.

  3. Charlie Hunham’s acting was distractingly bad. Wooden. Hollow. Dialogue was…expository, bland and sometimes cheesy. Fight scenes were hard to make out. Kofi’s right. I would put this up there(or maybe down there depending on who you are) with Battleship. Wish I had waited for Netflix or Redbox.

  4. I literally just got out of the theater about 20 mins ago, and don’t want anyone to get butt hurt over what I am going to say, but seriously, i read this review before I went to see it, and I am disappointed in this review, it lacked emotional core? It had good emotional core, as well as a good storyline, I understand why would ppl say it lacked a story, cause it was the end of the world, it gave small strong emotional scenes, and I connected to the characters and understood why they are like how they are. Come on would you really want to sit around for an hr and have the movie explain the characters and go through all the boring stuff, Del toro did a good job connecting the characters and idk how hard it could be understanding their story?
    And for the Jaded one who are bashing this movie, well you have no imagination or have no love for stuff like this, so go ahead and go watch Grown Ups 2 or something. xP blah

  5. Just got out of the movie. I agree with Kofi’s initial rating of 3.5/5. I enjoyed the movie but the acting could have been better and I didn’t need the expository. Many times during the movie, all I could think was now we need a Voltron movie. :-)

    • And for anyone who hasn’t seen it, there is an after-credits scene.

      • @Kathless What was the after credits scene if i may ask? had to use the washroom really bad so did not stay for the credits

        • Hannibal Chau survives.

  6. Pacific Rim Was Great and how I’m sure they can do a Voltron Movie, Lions or Vehicles

  7. Pacific Rim Was Great and now I’m sure they can do a Voltron Movie, Lions or Vehicles

  8. I loved the film, and would rate it 4/5. Kofi, I can see why one might give it 3.5 but not 3. “Pacific Rim” is definitely NOT on the level of “Pan’s Labyrinth” (not even close) in terms of originality or sheer brilliance, but it IS comparable to or even better than movies with similar aspects.

    Compared to all three Transformers movies, PR is VASTLY superior in virtually all respects. In terms of other recent summer movies featuring major, climactic mechanized battles (primarily IM3 and MOS), PR trumps them. By that, I mean that PR has bigger combat scenes (duh!) than MOS and better choreographed, more easily seen battles than IM3. I admit to being confused by the accounts of dark or unclear Jaeger/Kaiju combat onscreen. I saw and comprehended (and enjoyed) the various battles quite easily. I also found more than enough emotional attachment AND humor in the film.

    After MOS, PR was my second most anticipated film for this year. Although I would have liked it to be a bit less disjointed regarding how a couple of the film’s components fit together, I felt very satisfied with the end result. This was easily my second favorite film of the year

    • *year.*

  9. just saw it earlier tonight and this was so dam good!! Seeing it in imax 3d is so worth it. The fights between the robots and Kaiju was so awesome. Don’t think I have seen anything like this before 5/5 for me

  10. eVERYONE has individual choice. This movie is very good and well made sci-fi movie. For those who are bashing it ,well, they don’t like this genre obviously. So its ok. As i said, individual preferences. Pacific Rim rocks for a sci-fi fan.

    • I love this genre and am also a massive anime and manga fan, but this film was pretty weak. Before I saw it I was reading people’s bad reviews thinking “This movie obviously wasn’t made for you, don’t bash it just because you don’t like or get the genre.” etc… But this movie was made FOR ME and It was seriously lacking.

      I thought It’d be okay if the bits betweem the action was corny filler, but it really isn’t. You can carry some things off in anime, but when you go live action, a certain amount of believeability comes into it. None of the characters resembles any real people. They were anime architypes, but worse.

      All the action was great though. If they had taken this movie more seriously it could have been brilliant. (That probably wouldn’t have affected the box office takings though.)

      • I agree. :)

  11. Meh. It was alright. People talked up te fight scenes but I did not think they were crazy special. Pretty ok. I thought the humor was better than anything else.

  12. Anyone who saw this think that it’d be too scary for a 5 year old ?

    • Maybe. There’s a scene where a Kaiju gets cut in half. And a scene where the carcass of a Kaiju gets shot with an energy weapon and it goes up in flames and… wait, why don’t you go to IMDB?

      • Okay, there’s a lot of spoilers on IMDB. Urm, I think some of the monster fights are pretty intense, but nothing that will really scar a 5 year old for life. Hope that helps.

        • I’ll take him if he gets scared we’ll just leave. I remember going to see Jurassic Park in the 90s and this mother with a 4 year old thought it’d be ok. I warned her about the T-Rex scene she ignored me.

          When the T-Rex arrived there came this shriek of death from the kid. I bet he never slept in weeks.

          • Haha, that’s probably a good idea. My inner child says that the scariest part of Jurassic Park was the teeth. There’s not a lot of scenes showing the Kaijus teeth. Maybe you might want to just get the DVD for your kid. That way you won’t waste a ticket. I remember my 1st movie, also when I was 5, was Star Wars. No bad memories, one of the best experiences of my life, lol. Oh, I forgot to mention, there is a scene where a baby Kaiju burst out of its mother and eats a man. I think that would probably be the scariest part for a kid.

          • Lol, my little brother saw Jurassic Park a few weeks ago. He was like, “Look! Look! A dinosaur!” It was his first time seeing Jurassic Park. But then he lost attention pretty soon after, lol.

  13. FanFans (Fanatic Fans – my non-sexist version of fanboy) give it a resounding 5 Stars. Too bad they are not willing to see it three times in a row so this $200M bomb is going to break even. It is almost like del Toro studied Bay films and though “I can do that with better camera work”. Still it was better than Transformers.

    I think that all people posting should clarify their viewing experience. IMAX or non-IMAX. I was the latter, and from what I am reading, it seems that everyone that shelled out for IMAX thinks it was better. While it could just be a case of (unconsciously) justifying the cost of their experience, it could also be that the IMAX experience overloaded their primary senses enough that the continuity errors and plot holes did not register. That would be a true selling point to Hollywood for IMAX technology for more cinemas, if it could be scientifically verified.

    Greg – It is PG-13. Most 9 – 10 YO children could handle it, but not all. Five is too young, and could easily have nightmares.

  14. The movie stands as an artwork in its own right. Mr. Outlaw seems to have suffered watching the film and one way or another Mr. Del Toro has committed a crime by doing this film. Oh my god, he stole ideas from other films. How could he? Let’s put Mr. Del Toro to the wall and shoot him?

    Why are critics being so incisive; is it because Politicians are being portrayed for what they really are? is it because the movie no longer deals with the idea of America saving the world but the whole world coming together in order to survive? For me there is a tinge of all that?

    I love the movie; I really enjoyed; I thoroughly recommend it. Go and have fun!

    • You can’t force people to have fun. Lol, the irony.

      Try seeing it from another perspective, not everyone loves giant robots (but I know I do). And after the bad experience that was Michael Bay’s Transformers, a lot of people are probably very reserved. You know what movie I wished people saw more? Dredd.

      • Don’t blame Del Toro’s failures on Bay. The Transformers movies have gotten more commercially successful with each subsequent installment, not less. Pacific Rim failed to draw even draw half the audience of the most recent Transformers movie. Part of Pacific Rim’s problem is that the lame “Robot Jox meets Toho” designs look hackneyed and dated compared to the cool, ultra-modern robot designs in the Transformers movies.

        • “Pacific Rim” is infinfinitely better than just about anything in the Transformers live-action movie franchise…acting, story, set pieces, mech designs, human characters, characterizations, battles, presentation of those battles, “logic”,…virtually every aspect. There is NO reason PR should not be pummeling the “Baylogy”. If anything, the negative discrepancy merely confirms to me how stupid humanity is.

          • Yeah, that’s it: the people who didn’t watch Pacific Rim this weekend are just too stupid. I’m sure plenty of adults saw the Pacific Rim commercials come on television, watched 30 seconds of sloppily designed retro robots punching dimly lit CGI blobs while repetitive dubstep blared in the background and said to themselves “Nah- this movie looks too intelligent and highbrow for me!” I can’t believe people are trying to be elitist over this mediocre Transformers knockoff.

            • If they thought the Transformers movies were great but did not think the same (or even more so) for this film, then, YES, they are being quite stupid IMO.

              As for elitism, who is needlessly continuing to criticize what was obviously meant to be a full-on summer blockbuster and IMO succeeded? WHO is being elitist?

              Try again.

            • *transformer knock off*
              I’m really losing faith in humanity here.
              What’s with people acting as if Bayformer was the most original mecha film ever?
              The design of the mech in PR was more in line with Gundam or EVA, the combat animation were far more metallic/artificial (which was intentional, as they avoided motion capture. Personally I think it’s a good direction, remind me of 08th MS team action sequences). No tiny bit of metal shifting and moving all over the place for transformation (save may be the head docking scene and plasma caster, that’s about it).
              Aside from the slow down mid-action (which was a rather generic effect) and metal colliding sounds, Bayformer and PR are totally different.
              Both have not very deep human cast, which is fine, because I want to watch the giants duking it own, not the human. But at least I don’t have to accept the brainfart that was the Megatron’s decision in Bayformer 3.

        • Oh, and those “cool, ultra-modern robot designs” were nothing more than vehicular-scaffolding-meets-crude-humor, so, ummm…NO.

      • I concur on Dredd. It was mostly well done and ended surprisingly well.

      • I concur on Dredd. It was pretty good and ended surprisingly well.

  15. Just saw this in Imax 3D, three days after seeing the digital version. Really great, would definitely recommend a 3D viewing if you can. And folks, if you don’t know already, stick around for the end credits or else you’ll miss something you should get a kick out of. Saw it this time after missing out on it the first go round, and it’s a real hoot.

    • Just saw PR thought it was a solid Summer Block Buster,in the same arena as Battleship which I liked. Not a WOW me type of movie but most are not. Movie are like restaurants some are Fast Food(Taco Bell) some our mid-range Chains(applebee’s) and some are gourmet places that use local product and organic foods.

      I eat at all 3 types of restaurants and to some degree enjoy them all depending on my mood and the budget I have to spend. Movie are suppose to be entertainment and fun. If you judge them to harsh well then most movies are gonna fall flat and you become a negative nanny and have a critical outlook going into the cinema and more than likely you experience will be less than satisfying. Going into a Taco bell movie I expect Taco Bell and so forth. PR was Applebee’s and I got applebee’s. Man of steel was Gourmet an I got that. IM3 was suppose to be Gourmet but was applebee’s IMO liked it but several flaws.Hansel and Gretel suppose to be Applebee’s got taco bell…glad I watched it but won’t purchase it on Blu-ray unless it’s under 7 bucks.

      Now as far as why Grown ups 2 is out performing PR…… WELL it’s Women,an the fact they also drag their men and families to these type of movies,I go to plenty of those genre but would not if I wasn’t making the women folk happy.SEE For the most part Women/young teens/girls love the comedy type of movies. Yes there are exceptions ,but humor and giggly fun is up the alley of the female gender to a higher degree than us males. But you get the men folk’s to come along plus the kids well you can see why those type of movies flourish.

      It is the very reason IM3 out performed Man/Steel……women… my wife and daughters,sister in law, an all the women I work with liked MS but love IM3 it was funnier an more upbeat,and had a kid in it who was smart and cool. MS was more serious and had a more realistic tone so they just liked it less. Only my MOM like MS better ,good taste MOM !!

      Humor,funny illogical scenes,kids who are cocky and know more than adults and preform unreal feats of heroism play to the female and younger crowds well.

      • I must agree with your point when it comes to the male/female movie choice. My wife thought iron man 3 was the movie of the summer while she thought man of steel and star trek into darkness were simply good, and sadly she HATED pacific rim. She is absolutely excited about grown ups 2.

        • Is being excited about Grown Ups 2 grounds for divorce??? lol

      • Focusing on just your first paragraph, I would disagree with only one thing: IM3 was the restaurant that SHOULD have been closed down by the health inspector, but he was poisoned before he could do so.

  16. Really good. I give it 4 stars easy. I was surprised by the human element. It was good, but a bit unfocused and scattered. Not perfect, but the action was A+. It was physical. I found my body feeling the blows of the robots, and the audience was tensing up during the action scenes.

    Overall…..”Wow! Awesome!”

  17. Too bad the action sequences were pretty much variations on the first (well except for the last).

  18. My friends and I were overall disappointed. I didn’t like some of the ideas (and lines) from the trailers but I trusted del Toro would turn them around; he didn’t.
    Like the neural handshake thing: was it necessary? was it cool? did it serve a purpose? Mako’s background story could have been revealed any other way. Only the kaiju brain link could arguably redeem this blatant plot device.
    They glaze over why creating the jaegers was the best possible solution for defeating the kaiju and we see only a few seconds of the glory days and downfall of the jaeger program; any of which would have been WAY more interesting than seeing Raleigh find his copilot or the pointless rivalry with the australian pilot.
    Del Toro has made great characters before but here we don’t really care about them (except maybe the funny ones) and in fact the two main characters, Raleigh and Mako, are probably the least likeable of the movie. The big chunk of character development in the middle just dragged and didn’t add up to much.

    The action was great and peaked in the city battle, this is what we went to see it for and this I can’t complain about …except maybe that there could have been more of it and why not a daytime battle?

  19. I liked this movie. However, two things bothered me:

    1) It was like Star Wars – only if you condensed A New Hope into a 5 minute Narrated intro, condensed Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi down to one hour each, and put it all in one movie.

    ***SPOILERS***
    2) The “last resort” giant sword was CLEARLY the most effective weapon against the Kaiju. Why bother bashing its head in when you can just cut it off?

    • Haha, yes, agree about the sword thing.

    • It was added during the reconstruction of Gypsy Danger…. Raleigh was not aware of that until Mako remembered it and used it.

      R: “Looks like new”
      M: “She´s better”

      Besides, kaiju blood spills are to be kept to a minimum due to it’s toxicity.

      • Oh.. that makes sense. Thanks God_BBS.

  20. All I can say that not many movies have made my jaw drop so many times like this one…I did notice the references to several films (almost inevitable not having a film about robots and monsters not making you remember past movies), but still I fell like Guillermo was all over it (even with the almost forced, but joyful cameos of two of his fetiche actors). I enjoyed it so much (except for the plot of course which was predictable and corny at some points), but still was waaaaay stronger than many big Hollywood films released lately (I wish I could erase Transformers 3 outta my head) I do believe it will do better than expected (in many countries they do not even know about the basis of the story and the movie is presented as a new idea -somehow-) and hopefully Del Toro will have time to return and pull out a JJ Abrams with ST2 (first we got a blockbuster and then a more mature and complete film). Let{s just wait!

  21. Well, the weekend box office is in and it looks like this film did not draw as well as expected. The so called experts are saying that the Fan Boy populace just wasn’t enough to bring in enough moviegoers ( am I a “fan boy?” I don’t know, I’m no youngster by any means, and I can really enjoy a film like “Pacific Rim” or a “prestigious” one like “Argo.” The whole “fan boy” thing is a subject for another day ). I’d say if you haven’t seen it yet, and have an interest, go when you can because the shelf life may not be a long one. Hopefully the disappointing box office doesn’t mean a kibosh on the sequel, because I’m already yearning for some more Jaeger / Kaiju battles ( perhaps, Mr del Toro, if there is a sequel you can steer clear of those dark, rainy sequences; would really like a better look at those Kaijus ! ).

  22. I didn’t think the giant wall “subplot” was a distraction, it was in the film for about 5 minutes. The follow through was “it didn’t work, back to the Jaegers”.

    What this review didn’t mention is something I really enjoyed which was the robots actually look like humanoid robots (something Transformers botched) and the fight scenes weren’t all closeups and jump cuts so you could (for the most part) actual tell just what the heck was going on. Thank you for that! Too many action movies try to make the action SEEM exciting with weird camera angles, zoom ins and outs and jump cuts, to the point that it’s just an annoying mess that makes you wish for the fight to just end already. This movie (again, for the most part) avoided that all to common pitfall. This was a FUN movie to see. Not “dark”, not “brooding”, just a fun smash em up. Exactly what I was hoping for. See it in IMAX!

  23. There was a quote today from a site today that supports my theory of why PR will not bring in a lot more here in the US. This is from Jeff Brock Exhibitor Relations vice-president and senior analyst.

    “There is a very good reason the majority of superhero films has a love interest and it’s not just so the hero can save the damsel in distress,” Bock said.” Today’s blockbusters need to function on multiple levels.
    “Even though the visuals of “Pacific Rim” astounded audiences, the flimsy character development, lack of heart (romance or otherwise) and not throwing a true star into the mix ultimately doomed it,” Bock said. “This is exactly where a brand name like Brad Pitt can be mighty important when attempted to sell a nameless brand to the masses.”

    • I’d have words with that “analyst”.

      There was definitely heart, the character development was far from flimsy and it also has multiple “true stars”. Just because a lot of the names aren’t guaranteed blockbuster creators (although come on, Idris Elba? This analyst is trying to tell us no one knows who he is by now?), doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be successful.

      I mean, how else do you create stars if all you do is fill your movies with known actors and actresses that would vastly increase the budget on their salaries alone?

      Plus a lot of the time, a “bankable” star distracts, unless that star’s name is Johnny Depp and he isn’t playing Jack Sparrow in every movie, then he blends in easily and you don’t think of it as “Depp in X, Y or Z movie”.

      Movies like this only fail in the US because it seems a lot of people are stupid and would rather see “Adam Sandler does the same two stupid voices part 25″ than an actually great action movie about giant robots and giant monsters that doesn’t come across as cheap or cheesy and actually has the love of the genre oozing from every pore.

      I had a conversation with my brother on the way home after watching this movie and agreed that Man Of Steel only did so well because it was Superman and if it was about a brand new and original creation, it would have bombed in the US because apparently, it seems that most Americans hate great movies and love terrible ones (hence the lack of sequel for Dredd based on US box office numbers despite doing extremely well everywhere else to warrant more movies in that universe and Pacific Rim coming third behind a terrible attempt at comedy that sucked the first time round but somehow got a sequel greenlit while we all wait for Deadpool to get the go-ahead….sickening).

      Now, I apologise to those in the US who may take that the wrong way and if you didn’t go and see Grown Ups 2 then I applaud you for having some common sense and more intelligence than a potato.

    • Jeff Brock me thinks you are mistaken sir…lack of heart….. lack of heart..pfff

      Got loads of heart… Raleigh’s dispair due to being linked with his brother and what that did to him, Stacker’s love for Mako, Herc & Chuck’s relationship and even though there isn’t the need to express one’s feelings to one and other there is still human need to VERBALISE those feelings and the regrets for not doing so, Stacker’s deteriorating health, Stacker’s and Chuck’s scrifice….. i could go on…

      My showing was full of sniffles and sobs through out this film.

  24. Finally saw the whole thing today.

    First off, this is my movie of the year so far. Absolutely stunning, held my interest throughout, I cared about all the characters and what was happening on screen seemed to have a point to it all.

    I also got excited during the opening montage of news clips when I thought I heard Godzilla’s distinctive roar.

    • that’s beacuse you did…..

  25. I am now thinking that I live in another world. If you are going to tell me an Adam Sandler movie is beating this great movie, it’s a travesty. Grown Ups 2 = Cash Grab. Pacific Rim is a hugely creative effort. A lot could be said of the fact that it was a cartoonish plot, but it did it’s job well and made me enjoy myself thoroughly. I went not knowing Charlie Day was even in it, and when I did I had half a mind to walk out. But instead Del Toro made me enjoy something with an actor I can’t stomach. That’s a huge deal. I stayed. I watched. I became a kid again. Thank you.

    In my humble opinion there is something to be said of the attitude people who have reviewed this movie, you and your inner kid need to get out and try to find joy in something because all the evidence is telling me you are starving those kids to death.

  26. I pretty much agree with the review, although I found Idris Elba’s performance a bit awkward. The best acting, for me, was the little girl playing young Mako in the flashback scenes (and the adult Rinko Kikuchi was cool as well). Charlie Hunnam was the one who especially did not work for me. Overall, the script and casting were not that great, and I did feel that they should have tried a bit harder to avoid the feeling that they were copying certain things so directly from Independence Day.

    But I enjoyed it. The Jaegers, both inside and out, were tremendously impressive. More broadly, the film felt like something different. I am not sure how to describe it, but the tone and aesthetic are different in feel from most blockbusters, and not in a direct “anime” sort of way. In any event, while I had no interest in Battleship or Real Steel and am only moderately a fan of the Transformers films, I was intrigued by Pacific Rim largely because of del Toro being the director, and I feel like it was worth the money.

    • Can someone explain cause I’ve missed it.

      JerryoftheWest and Kofi (and others maybe) in the review mentioned Independance Day and I don’t get that at all, can’t see it. I spotted the Deep Blue Sea callback but nothing in Pacific Rim said ID to me.

      • After the Charlie Day character drifts his mind with the Kaiju brain, his explanation of having seen their plan to invade and consume resources, then move on, is almost exactly what Brent Spiner’s Area 51 scientist says after having his mind taken over by the alien in ID4. Also, at the climax when Raleigh enters the Kaiju zone, there is strong resemblence to the similar mothers hip scene in ID4.

        • Excuse me, it was Bill Pullman as the president whose mind was taken over.

  27. I completely agree with everything in this review. (Except the sound issue, that was just your theater.)

    It kind of makes me worry about future Del Toro movies. Like he should be a creative consultant but not a full on director. The characters (other than Elba), story and dialogue were distractingly bad. But the designs/action/visuals were A+. I was extremely pleased to see clearly discernible fight scenes instead of fast moving blurs that can’t be made out.

  28. For Jonathan, I’m a huge ID4 fan and I did spot some references. Aside from the stirring speech from the good guys’ leader ( Idris Elba echoing Bill Pullman, although for me President Whitmore’s speech was way better )I thought the most notable reference was at the end, just before the big bomb went off. Not only did this seem like a direct take on the destruction of the city destroyer in ID4, massive explosion, control center scenes and all, but immediately prior to the blast you had the countdown and closeup of the alien master which looked darn near exactly like the same countdown and closeup of the alien about to meet his maker in ID4. To me even the alien itself somewhat resembled ID4′s. Some may consider this stuff nothing more than a ripoff, but to me it’s more homage.