Movie Review: Pacific Rim


Pacific Rim
Release Date: July 12th, 2013
Actors: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi 
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Genre: Action / Adventure / Fantasy
Rating: PG-13
Current Location: In Theaters 
Rotten Tomatoes: 71% - FRESH


As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.




Review

Krista and I had no idea how this movie would be. The promotion looked awesome. Do you see that poster? But the promotion also fizzled out the closer the film reached its release. Critics had been decidedly split. (Or did more people actually like it?) See, it was a mystery. And Krista and I planned to solve it ourselves. What we found... well, we didn't even expect the outcome.
TAGLINE: To fight monsters we created monsters
I'm going to briefly tell you what Pacific Rim is about. Because I didn't really know upon seeing it. The first bit of the film is like a prologue, and we're told that these monster-alien creatures have invaded the earth from the ocean. Plates cracked and they escaped via the Pacific Rim. And the only thing that can fight these pretty scary monsters were giant Rock 'em Sock 'em robots.


Cool, right? What's even cooler is the idea that in order for pilots to control the bot (called a Jaeger), there has to be two Jaeger pilots: one to control the right side and the other to control the left. And they're essentially connected mentally through a process called "the drift."

Raleigh played by Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) opened the film with his brother as his Jaeger partner. And let me tell  you, this -- by far -- was the best part of the film. The intro! It was awesome. Krista and I were slack-jawed at the description of the world, the cinematography, the amazing graphics, the set designs -- gosh, there was so much good stuff to look at. My eyes were exploding. 

The brother relationship was absolutely endearing, even if it was prefaced that it wouldn't last for long.
 

And then, the prologue ended, and the film's actual plot kicked up. And it was...horrible. The entire time I thought: why did no one on set or an actor raise their hand and go, "Hey, these are the worst tropes I've ever seen or heard!" The big twist in the film was sigh-inducing and involved the relationship between the captain of the Jaegers and Mako -- a girl who wants to be Raleigh's new Jaeger pilot.

What did most of the two hours surround? Mako's infatuation with Raleigh and her past that hurts her ability to "drift" as well as him. I found the portrayal and character of Mako to be a little sexist. The one real female in the whole film was essentially the weak link because she couldn't keep her emotions in line. And the captain, at one point, said "make a passage for the lady." I was shaking my head in disapproval. No, no, no. And her character was creepy. She had a huge case of insta-love or insta-friendship? I didn't know what it was. But her and Raleigh had a "mental handshake" connection from the get-go that I just didn't see.

This is how Mako was introduced. And who is she staring at? Raleigh. (see how her mouth opens and her eyes widen. Yep, that's boy-lust)


I can understand her infatuation. Charlie Hunnam is beautiful. 


But I had no interest watching a forced romance. And that's what happened throughout the whole dang movie. This scene was supposed to be sexy, but I was rolling my eyes half the time. What could have been such a cool plot turned into a cheesy film (almost as bad as the subsequent Transformers films, no lie)


Sorry Mako, you still didn't win me over. And how you were written into the story did not help at all.

Besides the cliche plot, extremely forced romance, and twists that bored rather than excited, what was really good about the film? The action. Hands down, the action stole the movie. The Jaeger fights against the monster looked terrific, real, and terrifying all at the same time. I was biting my nails through each battle, and honestly, I hadn't seen anything quite like it.

There was also a bit of comedic relief with Charlie Day (Always Sunny) who played a goofy scientist. But not even Charlie Day or kick-ass action could save the rest of this movie. When you're in a theater for 2+ hours, you want something more to grab onto. And the flat characters with no real motivations did not have me rooting or cheering for them to live. Honestly, Raleigh could have died and I wouldn't have cared.

His whole "being" centered around his connection with his brother. And when he decided to take a break from being a pilot, the captain returns to him after five years. And this is all it takes for him to say, "Yeah, I'll become a pilot again."
Haven't you heard? It's the end of the world. Where would you rather die? Here, or in a Jaeger?
 I went with it because it's an action film, and I understood that he needed to get back in a bot in order for the story to go somewhere, but his character never went past his "want" for Mako to become his co-pilot. In the end, I had no idea who Raleigh was or why I should be invested in him other than he's the archetypal hero. I expected a lot more plot wise from a film that had graphics that could make you drool. Sad day, indeed.

ROBOT VERDICT: A sigh-inducing plot that we've all seen before, bland characters and a forced romance that consumes the whole story -- this movie disappointed big time. Watch for the fight scenes that are as monstrous as the things battling.

18 comments:

  1. I kind of had my eye on this one but after this I don't think I want to check it out. Forced romances drive me crazy, and anyway from the previews this movie kind of reminded me of Transformers. BTW I really like when you guys post movie reviews because I love books and movies so I like seeing reviews of both :)

    Emily @ Emily's Crammed Bookshelf

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    1. It is a lot like Transformers, in all the bad ways, which is really disappointing because I was hoping I wouldn't have to make that comparison! We'll try to post more film reviews then!! :D We see twice as many as we post. We're just bad at remembering to write reviews.

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  2. I didn't really know much about this before, except the rock 'em sock 'em robots (I love that you called them that) so I think I'll skip it. It's too bad after the beginning it didn't stay on track.

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    1. Thanks Sara! Yeah, it sucks it didn't end as well as it started off.

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  3. It's a fun movie, but something made me want a bit more from the characters. Just a bit. Good review Becca.

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    1. Same here. The characters were a huge weak point.

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  4. Aw, I was hoping this one wouldn't disappoint that much, but *shrugs*. One less movie my brother will drag me to I guess. Maybe I'll check it out in a couple of months when it comes out on Redbox or Netflix or something.
    Great review, though! :)

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    1. It may be worth seeing on Netflix if you're in the mood for a light action flick :)

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  5. SO THIS IS WHAT EVERYONE WAS TWEETING ABOUT. I've been so out of the movie loop lately!

    But insta-love is no. Sexism is no. :/ Sucks because some friends wanted me to watch this, but I guess I'm not now!

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    1. Yeah, sexism is a big no! And there was way, way too much insta-love, which is just blah in films.

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  6. Oh, dude. I was actually going to see this one on Saturday! I didn't know what it was about (like you and Krista), but I thought the promos looked awesome (like you and Krista thought). I'm SO not seeing it now. I will find something else to see! Great movie review :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. The promos were so awesome, right?! They had some of the coolest teaser posters. I'd definitely suggest NOT seeing this in theaters and save your money.

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  7. I haven't heard of this movie at all! LOL It does look and sound kind of cool but the overdone cheesy romance will probably bother me too. That happens often in movies.

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    1. Yeah, especially in action flicks there seems to be TONS of cheesiness going on. Which I can handle if there's a bit of chemistry, not too overdone. The best example I can think of is Pepper Pots and Iron Man. They have a cheesy romance, but you can't help but fall in love with them :D

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  8. This movie does sound amazing with its mind melding premise, but for it to focus on the insta-love instead of exploring more of the concept they used to defeat these aliens or whatever. I'll be waiting until this is out on DVD at the library to watch it. :/

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  9. I loved this movie sooo much. I got to see it at the Alamo Theater (if you haven't heard of this theater google it). And how can we not want to see Charlie with his shirt off!!! WOOT!

    Angie
    Angela's Anxious Life

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  10. I agree about the promotion and trailers, they really made the movie seem awesome, and all the special effects blew me away. After this though I think I may skip out on it because I really dislike bad romance and predictable plots. Thanks for sharing!

    Alise @ Readers in Wonderland

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  11. I actually absolutely loved this movie. In regards to a completely overdone action flick, it's one of my favorites. I'd describe it as Power Rangers meets Gozilla and I couldn't help but love it. Obviously Charlie Hunnam **fans self** was one of the best parts. I'm also in love with Charlie Day (see my Fiancee for additional evidence to my attraction to short, dark, and whitty nerds) I can't help it! Awesome review :)

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