Film Review: ‘Pacific Rim’ is Classic Sci-fi Cult Movie Joy

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CHICAGO – Leave it to the wondrous auteur, director Guillermo del Toro, to push the boundaries of giant science fiction epics simply by paying homage to their predecessors. The grand, glorious embrace of “Pacific Rim” leaves no stone of cult film fun unturned. Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Yes, the story is sappy and has been done before, but it is in the twists to these conventions that sets “Pacific Rim” apart. Unlike, for example, “Star Trek Into Darkness,” it is the characters who are as big as life as the giant robots that do battle with an underground army of monstrous dinosaur-like creatures. Sound familiar? Yeah, it’s a tribute to Godzilla, and Transformers, and Giant Robots, and the ingenuity of man to come up with something audacious and cumbersome when faced with the end of the world. The film’s cast is dead serious and mockingly funny, which makes them all the more human when facing the end. In the tradition of the season, this is two hours and 20 minutes of good time entertainment. Hell, I’d recommend springing for the 3D fee and the $7 popcorn.

In the near future, giant monsters identified as the “Kaiju” (a Japanese word meaning strange beast…Godzilla-like) have arisen from a dimensional hole in the Pacific Ocean. These monsters come in waves and categories – with each level, up to five, becoming more unstoppable. The world bands together to create incredible giant robotic machines, called Jaegers, to fight the Kaiju.

The humans behind these machines include pilots Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam), Mako Mori (the great Rinko Kikuchi) and their commander Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba). They are aided by the boys in the science labs, including “Kaiju Groupie” Dr. Newton Geizler (Charlie Day) and numbers nerd Dr. Herman Gottlieb (Burn Gorman). Also present in a world gone mad is the leader of the underground economy, Hannibal Chau (Ron Perlman). All these folks need to team up to defeat the demons both inside and outside their sphere.

“Pacific Rim” opens everywhere on July 12th in 3D, IMAX and regular screenings. See local listings for show times, screening type and theaters. Featuring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Ron Perlman and Mana Ashida. Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro and Travis Beacham. Directed by Guillermo del Toro. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Pacific Rim”

Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi
Jaeger Bombers: Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) and Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) in ‘Pacific Rim’
Photo credit: Warner Bros Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Pacific Rim”

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