Definitely NOT Transformers

Based on my impressions from the trailers for Guillermo del Toro’s action flick Pacific Rim, I never even would have considered seeing it, given the fact that I thought Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen made The Phantom Menace look like a masterpiece. However, when my friends started telling me it was actually really good (especially this friend), I thought there just might be a chance I would enjoy the movie, that perhaps this wasn’t Transformers 4 in disguise. So finally, the film has released to Blu-ray/DVD/Digital and now that I’ve seen it, I understand why people were so excited about it. While it doesn’t entirely succeed in all its endeavors, Pacific Rim still manages to be an immensely enjoyable action movie.

Pacific Rim‘s battle sequences are absolutely some of the most epic I have ever seen before. You would think that after a while, giant robots (Jaegers) fighting giant monsters (Kaiju) would get old, but the film keeps things so fresh and exciting that it remains interesting right up until the credits roll. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you get something else you wouldn’t have expected, and it’s all ridiculously cool. The Kaiju themselves are incredible to behold as well due to their massive size, endless variety, intense ferocity… it’s just darned good CG. Every time a new Kaiju emerges, there’s genuine excitement and fear that simply ooze from the film, and the battle scenes live up to every ounce of those sentiments.

For what it is, Pacific Rim actually holds up decently well plot-wise. The concept of Jaeger operation by two mentally-connected pilots is definitely interesting and offers some great moments in story and character development. You also get a pretty good impression of all the implications of the Kaiju attacks on humanity, from global defense strategies to rioting in the streets. There are even hilarious mad scientists that research the creatures as well as a black market for Kaiju body parts, which is especially intriguing and also run by a distinctly memorable and funny character. The acting is a little spotty, but the characters are still notably strong for a movie of this nature as they face various struggles and relational hurdles. (Minor spoiler alert!) However, there is at least one sizable plot hole that damages the film, namely the lack of explanation as to why a certain Jaeger’s sword isn’t pulled out earlier in a certain fight when it’s actually able to cut a Kaiju cleanly in half. Even so, the plot hole afforded the movie another awesome battle that ends in one of the film’s finest moments.

So while Pacific Rim is far from a masterpiece, it’s much better than most people probably expected it to be. If you’re hoping for depth, you’ll be surprised at how much you find despite the nature of the film, but you would obviously be looking in the wrong place. Pacific Rim undeniably thrives as an epic, clean, and fun monster/action movie, and if that’s what you’re looking for, this movie will absolutely fit the bill.

For a second opinion, check out Jake’s review.

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