HOLLYWOOD—Guillermo del Toro’s science fiction epic “Pacific Rim” is a fun ride to say the least. Upon first glance it may appear like just another old silly movie, but it will take the audience back to the B-movies of the 1940s and 1950s, with oversized creatures attacking mankind. Think Godzilla, but with special effects that set the bar quite high.
The story involves a sea of creatures that attack Earth after being released from the ocean floor. To do battle against these unstoppable foes, the humans develop what are known as ‘Jaegers,’ huge robotic machines that are controlled by two pilots that share a central core. Raleigh Beckett (Charlie Hunnam) and Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) are the film’s lead characters who are flawed.
It’s always a treat to watch heroes in action who are ‘damaged’ to speak. Its not all there as we see time and time again with most flicks, it’s a journey the audience is taken on with both characters from the beginning to the climatic end. Actor Idris Elba also gets in on the action as Stacker Pentecost, Becket’s commanding officer. Beckett isn’t a character who listens to what is being told to him at times, but Elba exudes a harsh authority that is father-like at times, but carefully balanced with a camaraderie for our hero. He is the adoptive father to Mori, whose family was killed during a attack; the character has a protective shield around her, as does Elba who does his best to ensure her safety.
With any species over time, the Kaijus (sea monsters) as they are known in the picture, adapt with the fighting styles of the robotic fighting machines making it difficult to protect the citizens of Earth. The government decides to go with plan B: build a protective barrier wall that prevents the creatures from attacking mankind. Its important to note a vast majority of the film’s action takes place inHong Kong, hence the “Godzilla” reference. The attacks from the creatures are relentless and fascinating to watch on the big screen.
The special effects are awesome; which del Toro captures with such ease on the camera. The only problem with “Pacific Rim” is its story is not a unique concept. Its familiar territory for most audiences that will enter the theater; if you’ve seen “Godzilla” or any monster movies of the 1940s or 1950s, this film resembles that to a degree.
While the picture has two lead characters, it’s unique to see so many characters play an active role in stopping the sea monsters. The movie in its own way asks the question, what would you do to ensure the survival of the human race? “Pacific Rim” will take the audience back to those golden years of childhood where you enter the multiplex, with little to no expectations and find yourself completely enthralled in the movie that you’re watching. There is a piece of nostalgia to the movie that is fun for all ages. It’s the perfect summer blockbuster to cool off from the summer heat wave.
By LaDale Anderson