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Movie Reviews

July 13, 2013

THE CUT | REVIEW: Pacific Rim

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Written by: Drew Waller
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DIRECTOR: Guillermo del Toro

TOWERS: 4 / 5

I remember when I was a kid standing in a monstrous line for RETURN OF THE JEDI.  The line wrapped around the corner of the exterior of the building and that anxious feeling of excitement wondering if you could get in wasn’t half as exciting as the feeling I had walking out thinking I saw something that – at that age just gleaning the way “movies are made” that I saw something at the same time formulaic but a formula that worked well.  Epic, expected and satisfying.  That is PACIFIC RIM.  Original and familiar at the same time.  But its that combo that works well for this film and really feels like the first “blockbuster” of the summer that is working to deliver a worthy franchise unto the geeks of the land; I mean that affectionately being one myself.

The world in PACIFIC RIM is a world filled with real-time “kaiju”, or monsters.  Monsters that aren’t staged in a mini recreation of downtown Tokyo like your classic Godzilla film but as real as you can get through your IMAX 3D glasses and ones that don’t care that the building may have families in it, their as disposable as a tissue from a visit to the bathroom.  To save that world as we know it, the countries of the world unit to create larger-than-life “jaegers”, or hunters.  IRON GIANT-styled robot war crafts, operated by two pilots.  These pilots fight the bad guys and win.  Becoming super-human themselves until things change, and they aren’t super anymore from failed attempts to knock down the incoming mosters from an alternate dimension.  The rules don’t apply, but in a story like this, I would expect so.

The good thing is though is that the director and co-screenwriter, GUILLERMO DEL TORO (MAMA, HELLBOY, PAN’S LABRYNTH) DOES know the rules of proper geekdom and operates well within them to deliver the right amount of fanboy laced with film box office expectation.

So much so, one of his mainstays, HELLBOY’s RON PERLMAN, makes one of the most hilarious cameos in recent big screen memory as Hannibal Chao: a profiteer who cultivates all parts of the monsters for “medicinal” purposes.

A touch of dimensional fantasy, asexual love interest (commending the filmmaker for introducing “nothing below the belt between the two main characters), proper mixtures of culture and one BAD-ASS leader in IDRIS ELBA — electrifying the troops and the screen in his quest for triumph, that all the ingredients add up to a mixture fit for leading kids (and the young at heart) into a new era of characters and films to love now and look back to longingly later.


About the Author

Drew Waller
Drew Waller

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