Movie Review: Pacific Rim


Godzilla, are you taking notes?

In the near future, seven years in fact, Humanity is at war with huge creatures called the Kaju. Huge, giant beasts from another dimension. They have been fighting these creatures, and winning, with the Jáeger. The Jáeger are the result of the world pooling economic resources to create giant mechabots. These bots are strong enough to defeat the Kaju. And while not perfect, a solution is found.

Until that is, one day a class four Kaju comes from the depths, and it is scientifically predicted that more will be rising from the depths. Bigger, meaner, and smarter. The only way to save the world is by closing the portal with a nuclear bomb. Which means first getting to the portal. With only a few Jager left, and the dual pilots drifting as one to command the robot getting killed by the Kaju already on earth… Things look grim indeed.

But as we have seen in the past- the human spirit is not so easily extinguished. A plan is made, and the fight begins to save the world and humanity once and for all… In this dimension anyway.

Things I Liked

As in all films of the epic nature- Sacrifice is a prevailing theme. Many Jager Pilots die protecting the mainland- and the people there from the Kaju. But it isn’t just a physical sacrifice, they make mental ones as well through the drift. They have to be willing to open up their soul to the other, and then deal with the consequences of this. When one dies, the other feels it as well. The bravery of the people willing to risk it all to save the people was good to see

One girl desired to pilot a Jager not out of service, but of vengeance. There is a very good point made regarding vengeance and the final result of it. Even if it is vengeance on a monster. The desire for this makes it hard for her to pilot the Jaeger initially, but she figures out how to let go and is the better in doing so.

The “against all odds” camaraderie shown in this movie with the workers, pilots, and administrators is something worth noting as well. Though many struggle with each other on a superficial level, when it comes time for the metal to meet the brain, everyone pulls together and does what needs to be done. They set aside differences- for the greater purpose of defending the city.

I’ll touch on this too. The GCI and special effects in this movie are quite simply- outstanding. The epic battles between Jaeger and the Kaju are an impressive sight to behold. They are quite original as well, so hats off to the folks who made this film in terms of creativity and originality.

Things I Didn’t Like

To be expected in a movie like this, quite a few people die in the movie. The cities are evacuated when a Kaju comes from the drift, so in all the building smashing, it is implied that no one is in those structures. I thought this was a tasteful move by the director. That being said though, the pilots in Jaegers do not fair well at all. We see one ripped out of the cockpit yelling and screaming. Perhaps the worse part is though when we watch the other pilot experience what the first is feeling when he dies. Other pilots are drowned, crushed, and eaten by the Kaju. A civilian who gets to close to a Kaju he thinks is dead, is eaten alive by it. (Later we see him cut his way out with a pocketkinfe.)

Drifting is incredibly hard on neural pathways, so we hear about people dying in early experiences, or when they tried to fly solo. One Jager is detonated by the pilots in it, so that another may complete their mission. A sacrifice of suicide.

This movie is full of crude language. The word A–, D—, B—–, Hell (of out context) and more are used. God’s and Jesus’ name are taken in vain  quite a few times as well.

Closing thoughts

“In order to fight monsters, we created monsters of our own.”~Beckett~

Pacific Rim was a movie that had a lot of potential. Which is why I went to see it. The concept of drifting- where two minds become as one in order to operate the Jaeger is completely original and a good one. I was hoping to see a story based upon the effects of this, and some moral and mental repercussions of the act. With a little beasty beating on the side.

Instead, this is a cliche megaMonster flick. The story is battered and bruised by pretty much non-stop CGI monster Vs. Robot mahem. Don’t get me wrong- the animation and action sequences are top notch and incredibly cool to watch. The fact that cities have been evacuated and no people die amidst the wreckage is a very nice touch as well. There are some underlying themes of sacrifice, letting go of revenge, and moving on from the past… But when you try to get into the heart of this movie, those themes are as weak as the buildings which are crushed by the Kaju.

This movie is a mindless flick made for people who just want to view citywide apocalyptic destruction. Add on top of that some pretty intense and personal deaths of the co-pilots and some unnecessary, forced sounding profanity… You’ve got a movie that is wanting of less monster punch, and more substance to chew on.

One thought on “Movie Review: Pacific Rim

  1. After that snore-fest known as Lone Ranger, I’m just glad to get a movie that’s fun and knows what it is. For better or worse. Good review Austin.

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