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Pacific Rim (2013)

July 30, 2013

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If you took Transformers, Godzilla, and “Voltron,” threw them into a blender and added a pinch of visuals from Wall-E and “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” the thick, frothy concoction would be Pacific Rim. Over the past decade, Guillermo Del Toro’s name has become synonymous with “visionary,” more so a reflection of his film’s elaborate costume design than his directorial skills. Del Toro has long been applauded for imagination, and Pacific Rim is the sanding belt that further sharpens Del Toro’s skills for extensively detailed creations. Pacific Rim is the stable that gives Del Toro the room to roam wild and free– even if he does need a trainer to help him get his step in line.

It’s the near future and a rift in tectonic plants has given way and a portal in the Pacific Rim has opened, resulting in the release of menacing monsters that attack Earth with deadly force. Humans have banded together to fight back. The most developed countries have put aside their differences to work on creating Jaegers, large Transformer-like machines that are manned by two pilots whom mechanically merge to share one brain. The Jaegers are humanities only chance of defeating the horrendous monsters known as Kaijus. However, as the years go by and the Kaijus’s attacks become more frequent and powerful, the world begins to rely on a select few fighters left who are able to pilot the Jaeguers and give them hope of stopping the Kaijus indefinitely.

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At it’s best, Pacific Rim is exhilarating and plain ol’ good popcorn munching fun. With a continuous bout of action, Pacific Rim’s two and a half hour running time barely feels like it. Seeing it in 3D not only breaks your wallet, but expands the depth of the universe in which we are meant to inhabit. Nearly every scene is a moment of eye-popping spectacle as the colossal landscapes and humungous stature of the Kaijus appears tangible enough to touch or climb. The technology exhibited within the realm of Pacific Rim is impressive as well. The use of interactive holographic imaging and the ability for human beings to share memories and emotion through a transaction called a “neurological handshake” is a pretty cool and intriguing concept.

Yet, despite its ability to be “cool” and entertaining, overall Pacific Rim is littered with weak plot holes and missteps, the weakest element being it’s underdeveloped and annoyingly tongue in cheek script. Nearly everything out of lead character Raleigh Beckett’s (Charlie Hunnam) mouth reeks of corniness. Chuck Hansen (Robert Kazinsky), the film’s resident asshole, has no rhyme or reason for his angry actions, except the pure fact that hey, action movies need an asshole. Gender roles are embarrassingly stereotypical as shown by the film’s only female lead, Mako  (Rinko Kikuchi), a woman superior in skill and intelligence, but just not emotionally stable enough to help lead her team to victory. Throw away lines are tossed around coyly and many lines out of character’s mouths are  simply gag worthy.  Such coy tomfoolery would be acceptable in a film that has a script with some actual meat and deeper story to display, instead of the nearly translucent, average battle of good and evil that Pacific Rim delivers.

 

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The confusion I felt by the Kajiu’s appearance on Earth, their purpose for fighting mankind, their instance of continuing to return after multiple defeats, and their ability to seek out a miniscule human being despite their enormous build could be attributed to the fact that I missed the first five minutes of the film, but I’ll take my chances and just blame it on its flimsy script. Even more so, Pacific Rim refuses to explain or show how Earth could so quickly prepare to combat the Kaiju on top of how any country still maintained cities with enormous skyscrapers and buildings. There’s no realism established within the universe we’re thrown in, making for a pretty subpar monster movie that’s  nothing more than: bang, bang, crash! Nevertheless, while Pacific Rim is far from noteworthy, and doesn’t nearly match the extensive hype I had to endure before it’s release, it’s  a blockbuster in every sense of the word. One that’s wildly entertaining and pretty smart in certain aspects.

TOSS UP. See it In theaters for the ultimate action experience. If you don’t get around to it, then no worries. Check out Godzilla instead.

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