Plenty of filmmakers try to create their own world inside a move. They are not always successful. One who is would be Guillermo del Toro. Think about Pan’s Labyrinth or Hellboy II: The Golden Army. The worlds are beautifully constructed and totally believable within the context of the movie. Del Toro accomplishes the same feat in PACIFIC RIM. And with a budget commensurate with his vision del Toro delivers what may be the best popcorn movie of summer 2013. Alien monsters called Kaiju, are coming through a rift between tectonic plates at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Earth has created mechanized warriors called Jaegers to battle the Kaiju. But the aliens keep coming and because the Jaeger’s cannot defeat them, Earth has decided to erect a giant wall along the Pacific coastlines. Idris Elba leads a band of mercenaries to salvage the remaining Jaegers to defeat the Kaiju once and for all. What I’ve just described is about the first 20 minutes of the movie. While this exposition could be dull, in the hands of del Toro it is thrilling. The action gets going from the start. There’s no waiting for stuff to happen. The audience is dropped in the middle of a battle and the ride is on from there. PACIFC RIM never lets up, never disappoints and keeps the audience on the edge of their seats for more than two hours. The cast is amazing. Elba, Charlie Hunnum, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman elevate the material. The score by Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones) builds the anticipation and enhances the action. The Jaegers operate by the connection of two human brains working together. It’s something I don’t recall seeing in any other movie. And Michael Bay, take note. This is how you film action sequences involving giant robots. It’s beautiful and easy to follow. I never once was confused about perspective and position of the robots. In any other hands this could have been a mess, but in the extraordinarily capable hands of Guillermo del Toro, it is a complete thrill and a movie you must see. — Alan Yudman
Guillermo Del Toro has always been original and he brings that imagination to Pacific Rim…which is one if the most entertaining movies to come out in years. By establishing a reality on screen with giant robots, monsters, neural handshakes, and places like “shatterdome”, the fun comes when his rules in this world get broken by smarter than expected creatures. Del Toro focuses on the story first THEN cuts loose with epic battles that become even more epic as the movie goes on. If you don’t believe the premise, the movie fails and Del Toro makes sure you’re all in before the movie’s title appears on screen. Each action sequence is different and unpredictable because he adds new twists to each one. The cast is top notch, the FX awesome, the pacing terrific, and even the music gets you pumped. A note to the other big budget action flicks out there: you can make a dark action movie yet still have fun as long as you focus on the story. This flick is a blast that brought out the giddy little boy in me, while also appealing to the grown up. Just awesome!