There has been buzz about a live action Hollywood film featuring giant robots pounding on monsters since the late 2000s. Seriously, there was talk of a live action version of Neon Genesis Evangelion, one of my favorite (and impactful) anime series of the 1990s. The project never got out of development hell, but when I saw ads for Pacific Rim I figured we were finally getting something along those lines. Well, we were and we weren’t.
The Earth is under attack. But the invaders aren’t coming from outer space, but are traveling through a dimensional tear in the Pacific ocean. These creatures are giant monsters who bleed luminescent blue ooze and love destroying major cities. They are called The Kaiju after the Japanese term for giant monster. The Earth’s military does their best to fight against the attackers, but the cost in human lives is massive.
Eventually the nations of the earth band together to craft giant robotic armor called Jaegers to fight the Kaiju and take them out. Each Jaeger is operated by two pilots who must synch their brains in order to fight at maximum efficiently. At first the Jaegers are effective against the invaders, but things start to escalate. Commander Pentecost (Idris Elba) finds his Jaeger program reigned in, just as things get critical. Does he have the right pilots and machines to stop the deadly invasion from the Pacific Rim? Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman and Ron Perlman round out the cast.
- Some impressive visual effects and explosive action scenes
- Fans of classic giant robot anime from the 80s and earlier will get a kick out of this
- A good sense of fun and excitement permeates the film
- The plot and characters are incredibly shallow
- All the action scenes end up looking the same stylistically
- Comic relief characters are really abrasive.
This movie was inspired a bit more by Michael Bay’s Tranformers films than Neon Genesis Evangelion or Gundam. If you go into the film expecting mostly surface entertainment, you’ll have a good time with it. The visuals are impressive, the robots and monsters are cool looking and have a great weight to them. The music is kick ass and aggressive. I even think that Rinko Kikuchi has a lot of charisma as Mako. It is a shame the script has some painfully bad lines and just feels like it was dumbed down a little too much. A fun summer movie, but it could have been something a bit more impressive.
Scores (out of 5)
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