Running Time: 2hrs 11min
Premise: Giant monsters begin appearing from another dimension through an underwater rift. After years, the last of the giant robots called Jaegers band together in a final push to combat the alien threat.
Spoiler-free Review: It was hard for me to imagine how 2hrs+ was going to be filled in a meaningful way. I had resigned that all I was going to witness was an SFX spectacular. While I was not disappointed, I was also surprised that a believable, viable story was embedded into this formula.
There are many human characters in this story. I found the Primary 3 characters to be interesting and well developed. One of the story aspects I enjoyed most was how character exposition is presented. It is a story mechanic that works well and fits right into the action. It makes sense to the story to have the character insights and motivations presenting in this way and at that particular moment. It makes the story, which could have just been an afterthought, really pop with life and peril and consequences. Great idea!
But nobody is going to see this movie for the story. In short, both the monsters (called Kaiju) and the Jaegers are amazing to see in action. At first, I was dubious about the amount of deep water scenes (conveniently hiding half the creatures most of the time), but there are other scenes where this either pays off or doesn’t play in at all, giving you more monster/robot screen time to enjoy.
I am no expert in the genre, but I feel much love and respect was given to the concept. Plenty of variety without any sign of cheese. And even appropriate honor was given in the credits (you’ll see).
The world of Pacific Rim is made believable by giving us more than just one or two attacks. There is a real sense that the entire world is fighting to survive.
I saw this in standard definition, which is becoming my default mode. I want to go back and see it in 3D. Or IMAX. Or both, if possible. But I’m glad I’m seeing movies without theater gimmicks first. Because this movie doesn’t need them. When I can hear myself audibly gasp or cheer in the middle of a movie, you can bet I’m having a good time.
Box Office Mojo currently projects a $50 Million opening weekend. I hope it does at least that and sticks around for a couple weeks. I would hate to think that this will be on Netflix before Fall.
Performance of Note: Without a doubt, Idris Elba steals every scene oozing with gravitas.
Action: So much that I only worried I wasn’t keeping up once.
Reservations: I had so much concern that this was going to be like the Transformers franchise that I went in with lowered expectations. I was so happy to be wrong. While the variety of Kaiju was dizzying, the Jaegers were treated like real Mechanical Warriors. They had character, but they were also very much Utility to the real fighters, the Jaeger Pilots.
Surprises: There were a couple actors I did not know were in the movie. You’ll know them when you see them. One pretty much plays his role as expected, the other plays his character like you have not seem him before. Lets just say the last guy has his own geek cred now.
Summary: Holy Gods, do not miss this movie while its in the theaters. As I stated, I want to go back and see it in 3D! I won’t likely get a chance after it has left the theaters.
Brother Steve nod of approval!! Not normally his bag, he told me during dinner that he was glad I recommended seeing it else he would not have bothered. Said he had a great time!
Final Rating: ***** for high action, robot on kaiju violence and a surprisingly good story arc