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MOVIE REVIEW: Pacific Rim

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Pacific Rim is the latest science fiction actioner from director Guillermo del Toro.  Del Toro is one of the best directors working today in the realm of fantasy and sci-fi.  He’s best known for directing films such as Hellboy, Hellboy II, and the underrated Pan’s LabyrinthPacific Rim is a passion project of sorts for del Toro as he served as producer and writer along with his directing duties.  For being such a huge summer blockbuster, the cast is made up of mostly lesser name actors such as Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, and del Toro mainstay Ron Perlman.  Pacific Rim is produced by Legendary Pictures and is being distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures with release in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D.

In the near future, monstrous creatures known as “Kaiju” are rising from a portal in the Pacific Ocean and are destroying entire cities.  The war that follows takes millions of human lives and is eating away at humanity’s resources.  In order to stand against and combat the Kaiju, giant robots are created as a new weapon.  These robots are known as Jaegers, and are controlled simultaneously by two human pilots whose minds are synched by a neural bridge, called “The Drift”.  As the war rages on, the Kaiju seem to be growing stronger and stronger with each attack and the Jaegers are nearly defenseless against them.  It’s now up to just a handful of human pilots to defend the planet with the few remaining Jaegers before mankind faces extinction. 

Pacific Rim is as big and boisterous as you would expect it to be from the trailers, and that’s exactly what I loved about it.  This is what a big popcorn summer blockbuster is supposed to be.  Guillermo del Toro has created this larger than life world of Monsters and Giant Robots and the entire thing feels completely real.  The opening battle sequence alone is almost worth the price of admission.  A phrase that kept popping into my mind throughout was “The Magic of the Movies”, which is really the only way I can describe the awesomeness of this movie.  Its amazing to me how a movie of this grandeur is even made.  With all of that said, this definitely isn’t a perfect movie by any stretch.  There are way too many heavy-handed dramatic moments and one-liners that just didn’t feel genuine.  The screenwriting has a lot to do with that, but really the acting was pretty atrocious as well.  Charlie Hunnam might be a good looking guy and that might get some women into the theater, but his acting in this was downright awful.  The rest of the cast weren’t much better, but who really cares about that anyway when everyone is really there to see Robots killing Monsters and vice versa.  This is obviously a movie for guys and perhaps the dramatic moments are put in for the girls that are forced to sit through it on date night.  I’m not sure, but either way I didn’t have too much of a problem looking past these faults and still enjoying the movie for what it is.  The screening I saw was in IMAX 3D, which is well worth the additional money if that is your thing.  You won’t be disappointed.  When it comes to the blockbusters of the summer of 2013, in my opinion Pacific Rim rises above the rest.

Grade: B+

Pacific Rim will hit screens starting at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 11.