Pacific RimHD Closed Captioning
Guillermo del Toro
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Acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) brings out the big guns in this sci-fi action epic about a ragtag band of humans that band together in the year 2025 to fight legions of monstrous creatures rising from the sea. Using massive piloted robots to combat the alien threat, earth's survivors (including Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day, and Rinko Kikuchi) take the fight to the invading alien force lurking in the depths of the Pacific Ocean. Nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless enemy, the forces of mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes—a washed up former pilot and an untested trainee—who now stand as earth's final hope against the mounting apocalypse.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 258
- Fresh: 185
- Rotten: 73
- Average Rating: 6.7/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Pacific Rim, thank the gods of cinema, is the work of a humanist ready to banish cynicism for compassion.
Fresh: Monsters, robots, grand heroism and a few clever jokes: Sounds like a perfect Saturday afternoon to me.
Rotten: It is possible to applaud Pacific Rim for the efficacy of its business model while deploring the tale that has been engendered -- long, loud, dark, and very wet. You might as well watch the birth of an elephant.
Fresh: That humanistic touch is pure del Toro, and it makes all the difference in Pacific Rim, whose own whirring, glowing heart doesn't belong to any machine but to the director himself.
A RIDICULOUSLY ENTERTAINING MONSTER-ROBOT MOVIE!
"Pacific Rim," the latest jaw-dropping, action-fueled blockbuster from Guillermo del Toro ("Hellboy," "Pan's Labyrinth"), contains some of the wildest and giddiest sights of any movie this summer - skyscraper-sized robots fighting enormous creatures from beneath the sea to the death (their brawls sometimes demolishing entire cities. This combination of Godzilla-style kaiju (giant monster flicks) and mecha animes (cartoons that feature piloted robots) is unlike anything you've seen before. It's a kind of wish-fulfillment fantasy for anyone who shares del Toro's love for genre fantasy and sci-fi spectacle. In other words, basically, it's the cinematic equivalent of a kid playing with his toys and smashing action figures together, except del Toro does it with more grace and imagination than most. Of course, the film does fare less well when it focuses on humans, as the script relies on a lot of hokey clichés to define each character, but thanks to its breathtaking special effects and heart-pounding action sequences, the whole thing is just a terrific blast to watch from start to finish.
Set seven years into our war against the monsters, this movie focuses on Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam), a retired pilot who quit after seeing his brother die from a kaiju attack but has now been reluctantly pulled right back into duty. Mako (Rinko Kikuchi) is his co-pilot (each robot requires two people to operate), still traumatized by an encounter with one of the massive creatures when she was a little girl. Idris Elba stars as Pentecost, their commanding officer, a no-nonsense marshal who constantly refuses to give up on what increasingly seems like a losing battle. Meanwhile, Charlie Day plays a neurotic, bumbling scientist and Ron Perlman shows up as a comical black market organ dealer. Other from that, it's all about the giant robots-vs.-monsters action, which definitely pays off in the end.
Archetypes can sometimes work very well in the context of a gigantic summer blockbuster that has so much deep, mythological ground to cover, it's fairly easy to look over just how two-dimensional the characters are. But that's not the case with this flick, whose central premise basically demands that we stay emotionally invested in the people inside those giant iron warriors. Del Toro usually excels at this (he even managed to really make us care about the menagerie of oddball creatures featured in both "Hellboy" films), and he genuinely tries to emphasize the primary human element in the flick by requiring each team of pilots to mind-meld before operating the robots, so they actually share each other's emotions and pain. But for all his efforts, the characters here mostly remain uninteresting stock types - the gutsy, daredevil hero, his jealous rival, the stoic captain, the vulnerable heroine, you get the idea. Fortunately, the movie spends most of its time with its astonishing battle scenes than it does with people standing around talking. Every new monster is different and bigger than the last, and del Toro holds on his incredible creations in long shots that allow you to take in the action clearly, instead of the incomprehensible whirl and noise of the "Transformers" movies. As mankind's robot army quickly dwindles and the stakes are raised, we're left wondering how, exactly, the good guys will possibly win the day. Of course, we obviously know that they will, but it's the suspense that lingers in each scene that consistently keeps us on the edge of our seats. And even though this plot is paper-thin, that's the last thing on our minds as we sit back, popcorn in hand, and simply enjoy some of the best monster-fighting mayhem displayed in any flick in recent years.
"Pacific Rim" is by turns utterly silly, continually thrilling, and gratifyingly mindless, and it's probably a half-hour too long (after a while, the battles do become a bit too repetitive and exhausting), but every time you feel like you're about to check out of the film, something cool happens that pulls you right back in, like a Jaeger plucking a freight ship from the ocean and using it like a crowbar to bash his gnarly enemy in the face. It's this kind of fun action that keeps us distracted from the movie's more glaring flaws, such as its lack of proper character development and narrative cohesion. But at the end of the day, del Toro has delivered what us action-fantasy fanatics crave: a full-on creature feature with enough brilliant, exciting visuals and affectionate nods to classic monster flicks to make it a rollicking good time. If you love style-heavy blockbusters, this fun film is definitely for you!
Monsters Fighting Robots! What More Could You Want?
Of all the massive big-budget blockbusters to come out this summer, "Pacific Rim" managed to stand out the most for me, not because of its brilliant special effects or adrenaline-pumped action sequences, but because it gave me a powerful feeling of nostalgia I hadn't felt in a long time. I grew up watching a lot of classic monster movies like "Godzilla" and "King Kong," so seeing director/co-writer Guillermo del Toro (who's most notable for the "Hellboy" films and "Pan's Labyrinth") bring not only kaiju, but massive, human-operated robots to the big screen and having them fight to the death was like watching my inner 10-year-old's hyperactive imagination come to life. With every gripping oceanic battle scene, del Toro packs in as much visual style and visceral thrills into each frame as possible, always keeping the tension irresistibly palpable while giving us a delirious head rush of pure excitement. Even more impressive is the way del Toro completely embraces the movie's deliberately corny tone without having it come across as too ridiculous, once again proving this filmmaker's talent at delivering intense techno action that's surprisingly smarter than it looks (basically, it's everything Michael Bay's "Transformers" movies tried to be, but never were). As for the cast, it isn't anything particularly special (although the actors del Toro has assembled are solid picks). Charlie Hunnam plays the hotshot hero quite well in his first major film role, while Rinko Kikuchi holds her own as a memorable supporting character with a traumatizing past. And (as you'd probably guess) both Charlie Day and Ron Perlman are used as the flick's big source of comic relief, a job they're more than capable of handling. But the real star of the show here is Idris Elba, whose performance as a hardened commanding officer is as starkly intimidating as it is continually engaging to watch. And though the acting may not quite make up for the story's lack of strong characterization, what ultimately matters here is the larger-than-life entertainment this fun action romp brings to the table. It serves as both a wonderful homage to creature features of the past and a massively enjoyable, effects-heavy joy ride that benefits from its fantastic, high-octane visuals and energetic pacing. Sure, it's a little clichéd, but this exceptionally fun feast for the eyes and ears is worth any sci-fi fan's time. At the very least, I highly recommend renting this grand adventure. Trust me. Once you see "Pacific Rim," you won't get enough of it.
Knock your socks off!
Pacific Rim's greatness comes from the fact that it doesn't try to be something its not. It isn't a deep mind bending movie, and its not a completely new story either. But it is an engaging, visually amazing, fun epic movie. Entertainment is at its best here.
- Genre: Action & Adventure
- Released: 2013
- © 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Legendary.