Cypher Avenue Rating: 4 of 5      

***small Spoiler Alert at the end of the article***

There is no secret what Pacific Rim is about. It’s about Giant Robots fighting Giant Monsters. Just like I am sure there is no secret this is the main reason people of all ages will go to see this film. In my opinion it is a success because it stays true to its core. The action sequences are masterfully executed and the scale of the battling behemoths is breath taking to see on the big screen. However Pacific Rim does have some flaws.

The story is simple enough. A dimensional portal has opened beneath the Pacific Ocean that unleashes mega-ton Godzilla like beasts. The beasts from the sea (called Kaiju) wreak havoc on the cities surrounding the rim of the Pacific Ocean. The world’s governments unites there resources to build a small army of giant robots to defeat the monsters. This is pure Saturday afternoon Godzilla versus Rodan enjoyment. Just like those Godzilla movies in the past, the acting in Pacific Rim just as bad which is the cause of the films flaws. As with any cast there is always a stand out and for this cast it is surely Idris Elba. Idris plays the highly seasoned and decorated General Stacker “I’m sexy and will kill you” Pentecost, who commands the Giant Robot Army with a stern iron fist. Not only does he commands the soldiers but also commands your attention when he is on the screen. Good job.

The male hero of the movie is a washed up pilot Raleigh Becket played by Charlie Hunnam. The heroin is the orphaned protégé Mako Mori played by Rinko Kikuchi. Both offer mediocre performances but not terribly bad by any means. I would say the actress who played the younger version of Mako Mori in the movie offered a better character performance. The bad for me was the characters that were injected into the movie for cliché comedy relief. Kinda like Wheelie and Skids in Transformers 2 or Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars Episodes 1 & 2. They’re there for the PG-13 and under crowd. Along with the Kaiju parts dealer Hannibal Chau played by Ron Perlman, the cheap laughs and banter by these three throughout portions of the film is a bad distraction and annoying.

The characters that aren’t annoying are the robots and monsters of Pacific Rim…these are the real stars. These CGI characters have fighting skills in conjunction with personality. I actually felt bad when a robot was destroyed in battle. No matter how cool and interesting the Kaiju were, you always wanted the human operated mega-robots to win. Del Toro was able to capture the scale of these giants perfectly. A key difference between the old Gozilla movies and this film is that all the fight scenes of Pacific Rim for the most part take place at night time. The darkness and the glow of the city lights adds mystery to the Kaiju‘s complete form and structure. The Kaiju’s scale is big enough to cover the landscape in the film but at the same time; their movements are quick enough to hide what tricks they may have to counter the robot attacks.

Each Kaiju monster has a code name plus a Fajita type scale category level to describe how Bad Ass it is in fighting skill and destruction. Speaking of destruction; the buildings and cities that are destroyed during the action scenes are the best that have ever been produced and seen on film. The action is epic to say the least. What’s also nice is that the fight scenes go on for a nice bit of time throughout the movie.

The creature design and effects team needs to be highlighted for their detail to the biological traits of each Kaiju that manifest from the ocean. From their head ornaments, nasty mouths, toxic blood, multiple eyes and limbs or the biological weapons they use; the Kaiju are fascination to look at. Each has their own brutal flare. A good job was also done with the tech and costume design for the exoskeleton suits the soldiers wore to operate the giant robots. These were nicely detailed.

Yes there will be comparisons to Transformers but for me there is no compassion. Pacific Rim is just a better robots “fighting” action movie. On a side note; I do feel like the film company, producers and advertisers dropped the ball on this one. The lead up advertising for Superman: Man of Steel was very effective from a toy and products perspective. Pacific Rim has the makings of a great toy line and I could easily see kids wanting the robots and monsters they seen on the big screen

The 2 hours and 11 minutes run time seemed like it went by pretty fast and left me wanting to see more of the giant titans. I think this film will be very successful and I will be curious if Del Toro decides to do a sequel. Pacific Rim is a fun movie and even with its flaws you will enjoy this one. I can’t wait to get this one Blue Ray and watch all the action scenes back to back. I give Pacific Rim an enjoyable 3 ½ out of 5 stars.

***Spoiler Alert***

Why in the last two Sci-Fi film Idris Elba has starred in (Prometheus, Pacific Rim) he has committed suicide by crashing or blowing up his ship?