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Pacific Rim Review: Why It’s The Best Action Movie of the Year

PLOT: As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.

I’m gonna make a strange comparison; this is the frosted mini-wheat version of a movie. The grown up inside me loves the cinematography, action sequences, and look of this film. While the kid in me adores the fact that it’s a movie about giant robots fighting giant lizard-like creatures with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.

This isn’t Transformers, it’s not Godzilla (1998 version), this is Pacific Rim and it’s the best action film of the year.

Directed and co-written by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy series, Pan’s Labyrinth), Pacific Rim offers up the destruction and super fights only we as children could imagine. Giant robots throwing mega ton haymakers, firing missiles from its chest, using a battleship as a club to beat to death a genetically altered giant lizard from another dimension.

Where do I even begin with this?

This is a popcorn movie (A movie you leave your brain at the door) on steroids. Is it dumb at times? Sure. Is the dialogue extra cheesy? Absolutely. Do the main characters all have some dark, dramatic, back story that plagues them throughout the movie.

You better believe it!

However, unlike similar movies (Transformers), Pacific Rim never really goes overboard to the point where these faults listed above become annoying or tedious. It’s like one big inside joke, and the audience is in on it. It actually becomes a fun game after a while. For example, I honestly thought one of the characters was the Australian version of Val Kilmer’s “Iceman” character from Top Gun.

He acted almost just like him minus the clicking of the teeth Kilmer was notorious for.

The lesser known cast gave a tremendous performance. Stars like Idris Elba (Prometheus, Thor), Charlie Day (Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Horrible Bosses), and Del Toro mainstay, Ron Pearlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy) all are entertaining in their respected roles (Day and Pearlman especially when they get to play off each other).

While leads Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy), and Rinko Kikuchi (Norwegian Wood) don’t get much to work with (bad dialogue and characters with predictable story arch’s) they still manage to keep their characters entertaining through the action provided by the story.

As for the look, action and special effects, they are at top form. The look is crisp, imagine Transformers but you actually knew which characters were fighting.

A job well done for the cinematography crew. The look of the Kaiju’s (giant monsters) and jaegers (giant robots) were incredible. It literally looked like an up to date version of the older “Godzilla” films, or even can be compared to a live action Mecha cartoon.

Now no film is without its flaws, and Pacific Rim has a lot of them. However, you can’t take this film too seriously. If you’re going to debate on points (most common one I hear is, why don’t they just nuke the monsters?) on a film that’s about monsters vs. giant robots then you’re not going to enjoy it as much.

Also, at times the dialogue/characters/story can get predictable and even tedious (Charlie Day and Burn Gorman argue like a married couple for the majority) and I won’t defend that, ya just got to enjoy the ride.

Pacific Rim is far from a perfect movie, but as an action flick it blows the competition away. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed nearly every minute of this hopeful blockbuster. I give it a 3.5 out of 4.

Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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