Release Date: July 12th, 2013
Actors: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Genre: Action / Adventure / Fantasy
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.
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 monstersI'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.
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)
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.