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Pacific Rim
Reviewed by RevolutionSF, @revolutionsf, © 2013

Format: Movie
By:   Guillermo del Toro
Genre:   Giant robots vs. giant monsters
Review Date:   July 19, 2013

One reviewer's brain could not contain our thoughts on Pacific Rim. Here are thoughts, analyses, and critiques from a smattering of RevolutionSF monster-punch aficionados.

I have always loved Godzilla and been very interested in all of the various media depictions of the King of Monsters; as well as the many, many knock-offs and homages. Because letís face it Ė watching giant monsters kick the crap out of one another in the middle of a sprawling, metropolitan area is awesome.

I had so much faith in this movie that I went ahead and bought Crimson Typhoon and Knifehead the first time I found them on the shelves (and havenít seen them since, which stinks because after reviewing them I decided I need Gipsy Danger, as well). Guillermo del Toro has never let me down.

While some of his movies are certainly more low key than others Ė Cronos versus Blade 2, for instance Ė I have loved everything heís done. If there was ever a man that was going to make the perfect giant robots versus giant monsters movie, it was del Toro.

Iím going to start with the visual effects here because if those hadnít worked the film wouldnít have had a chance.

They worked. I thought that the Kaiju, Jaegers, cities, battles, and destruction looked fantastic. There wasnít one moment in the whole movie where I was taken out of the narrative by anything that looked false.

Well, thatís not entirely true Ė Ron Perlmanís shoes were pretty unbelievable.

For the rest of the review, check out Phantom Troublemaker at his site Needless Things.

Get a heaping scoop of giant-robot talk with the guys from Earth Station One. On this edition of the podcast, they talk at length about the movie. Warning: You should probably see the movie before you listen to the podcast.

For me, it was G.I. Joe and Transformers. And Crystar. Star Wars was in its own segregated universe and the Masters of the Universe figures were too big, but I loved to mash my G.I. Joe and Transformers (and Crystar) toys into a single story and let my imagination run wild.

If you ever did that as a kid, you get the appeal of Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toroís ode to one of the most awesome parts of childhood: smashing your toys from different universes together to see what happened when Godzilla met Robotech or when Star Trek invaded Hoth, or when Jazz wondered if they could trust the Thundercats and Optimus told him there was good in everyoneís heart, even if it was inside the chest of a cat person who stole their catchphrase from Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Hooooooooo!

To be clear, Pacific Rim is not a smart movie in the traditional sense, but neither is it an unintentionally dumb movie. Itís a smartly made dumb movie; del Toro knows that people are going to sit and watch his movie because they want to see giant monsters fighting giant robots and so thatís what he gives us.

Yes, there are people, but most of their personal foibles exist only to make us care more about the fight sequences. Itís impressive how much emotion del Toro manages to squeeze out of such stock, thinly designed characters.

The leads work because Idris Elba is the rock the film builds around, because Charlie Humman has a square jaw, because the Australians have square jaws, and because Rinko Kikuchi manages to make you believe she is embarrassed to see Charlie Hunnam without his shirt on, even if sheís surrounded in a battle station made up almost entirely of dudes.

Burn Gormanís Dr. Gottlieb is a disaster of a character: forced, obvious, clownish, Gorman plays Gottlieb likes heís doing a dinner theater performance of Clue. Itís embarrassing.

And sort of perfect.

For the rest of the review, see Mark Bousquet at his site Atomic Anxiety.

From 4th String Jeagers, collector of goofy creations from the Pacific Rim site's Jaeger Designer.

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