Movie Review: Pacific Rim

Release Date: 11 July 2013

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Running Time: 131  min

Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi

Rated: PG-13

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Behind every geek’s childhood lies a favourite Kaiju (the Japanese term referring to monster) movie. You know, the ones with cheesy effects and a predictable plot (with terrible acting), but still undeniably entertaining. Fortunately, Guillermo del Toro’s efforts in Pacific Rim fare a little better than its clumsy predecessors.

In a post-apocalyptic world, the Earth is under attack by ocean-dwelling Kaiju that rose from the sea. Mankind fights back by building massive robots called Jaegers. As the war between man and machine rages, mankind is forced to turn to two unlikely heroes – has-been pilot Raleigh Becket (played by Charlie Hunnam) and trainee Mako Mori (played by Rinko Kikuchi) – to stop the Kaijus once and for all.

While the plot had staples of a good action movie – adventure, high-octane action and cool effects (best viewed in IMAX 3D) – it lacked character depth and portrayed thinly developed relationships at most. C’mon Del Toro, you had ample opportunities to develop the romance between protagonist Raleigh Becket and his co-pilot Mako Mori. Two hot people working in close proximity, trying to save the world from big, scary creatures…Hellooo? Is that not romantic storyline gold?

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At the end of the day though, people watch monster movies really just for the spectacular battle scenes and effects. In this aspect, Pacific Rim does not disappoint. Inspired by Japanese manga and anime, the Jaegers and the Kaiju are mammoth CGI creations that give Godzilla a run for his (its?) money.

To his credit, Del Toro has a good eye for detail – from the noir-like streets of Hong Kong, to Hannibal Chau’s (played by Ron Perlman) thriving black market scene, the movie made a world cohabited by Kaiju seem so plausible.

This really is a movie for the fans by the fans. If you find monsters fighting machines a bore, then Pacific Rim probably isn’t going to be your cup of tea. However, if you spent your childhood pretending to be a giant green lizard while destroying Lego cities – this is definitely a  movie for you.

Rating: 3/5

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