“Pacific Rim” (Science-Fiction/Action: 2 hours, 12 minutes)
Starring: Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Rated: PG-13 (Violence and strong language)
Movie Review: From Guillermo del Toro, the director who gave audiences “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006) and “Hellboy” (2004), audiences are given “Pacific Rim.” It is an entertaining movie that has plenty of eye candy, even if low on substantive material. However, the visuals are more than enough to compensate for the lack of character development and establishing an adequate atmosphere for its setting.
Giant monsters called Kaiju arrive via a portal from another world. They attack Pacific Ocean coastal cities around the world. To fight these gigantic beasts, the planet unites to create Jaegers, metal giant robots controlled mentally by two pilots whose minds are linked via a neural symbiosis. Twelve years into this war with the Kaiju, the colossal beasts begin appearing regularly. Defeat appears inevitable for humans. The few remaining Jaeger pilots must try to stop the Kaiju. Enter former Jaeger pilot Raleigh Becket (Hunnam) and rookie Mako Mori (Kikuchi). Both have pasts that hunt them, but they make a good team.
Other than superior visual effects and plenty of entertaining value, Guillermo del Toro has created nothing new here as a director and co-writer of this piece with Travis Beacham. This film is very similar to many others such as 1954’s “Godzilla” (Director Ishirô Honda) and “It Came from Beneath the Sea” (Director Robert Gordon ,1955). “Pacific Rim” is also very similar to television programs such as “Power Rangers” which debuted 20 years ago and “The Space Giants” (1967).
Of course, the special effects and computer imagery in “Pacific Rim” are much better. That alone increases the enjoyment factor. The action never stops, so the entertainment does not either.
“Pacific Rim” is a very sophisticated, science-fiction B-movie. It is comedic at parts and very dramatic at others. Simultaneously, it delivers strong action scenes courtesy of a good CGI team.
As far as the acting, Ron Perlman is the standout. He plays an intriguing character, a ruthless and money-hungry mogul. Perlman has become a B-movie phenomenon in sci-fi, fantasy, and adventure films. He plays his part well here.
The rest of the cast does a good job with their characters, considering character development is deficient in this script. The players do not inspire emotional attachment to characters. You just want them to beat the fecal matter out of monsters.
The plot works well. This is because it is more about massive monsters and oversized robots than deep character interactions. As far as action entertainment, one could not expect more.
Grade: B- (An enjoyable pacific adventure.)
“Grown Ups 2” (Comedy: 1 hour, 41 minutes)
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Salma Hayek.
Director: Dennis Dugan
Rated: PG-13 (Crude humor, brief nudity, violence, strong language and sexual innuendo)