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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Ron Perlman
Charlie Hunnam
Idris Elba
Charlie Day
Clifton Collins Junior
Max Martini
Rinko Kikuchi.
Directors
Guillermo del Toro.
Screenwriters
Travis Beacham.
Running Time
131 minutes

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Pacific Rim
High Robot


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Plot
Only a few years from now, with Earth battered by an invasion of gigantic beasts through a trans-dimensional rift in the Pacific floor, the best brains on the planet have devised huge human-navigated robot sentinels to fight back. But they may not be enough...


Review
Pacific Rim
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To master a Jaeger, the steeple-tall, nuclear-powered robots built to defend Earth from the Kaijus (huge monsters with fluorescent blood, enormous horned heads and the sole intention of eradicating mankind), it takes two daring pilots neurally linked via a mysterious technology known as The Drift. Indeed, before they can so much as dim the headlights on the Crimson Typhoon, Striker Eureka or Gipsy Danger, three of the pimped-up iron giants on show, the intertwined heroes must be “Drift compatible”. While it is never made entirely clear what this means (boiling down to a nebulous you-feel-me kind of thing), to enjoy Guillermo del Toro’s super-sized version of Rock ’Em Sock ’Em, it might help to be Drift compatible. In other words, get on Pacific Rim’s wavelength and there is a primal gratification in its blunt remit of very big metal things fighting very big scaly things in order to prevent an apocalypse. It’s as if del Toro has reverse-imagined his movie from how awestruck boys might stage mock-battles between toy lines. This is a spectacular brute of a film where size rather than technique matters.

In fact, the director is again mining his childhood for inspiration, tapping a vein of Japanese monsters versus robots shows, like Ultraman and The Space Giants, imported on the cheap to pick up the slack on Mexican TV. The DNA of their older brother, Godzilla, is self-evident, but del Toro would insist his new film also splices in the genealogy of mythical sea creatures and Goya’s unearthly masterpiece The Colossus. The marketing department, well out of earshot, might add the visceral mechanics of the Transformers movies, and all the hi-tech hurly-burly of videogames.

Lumbering automaton-Stallones and mechanised-Schwarzeneggers (with heaving chests and tiny heads), 25 storeys tall, the Jaegers essentially wrestle their awful foes (another Mexican thing?) — although they also boast retractable swords and spinning saws — in a succession of massive scraps. The putative plot has the robots battering their way towards the glowing deep-sea rift to slam it shut.

This primitive dynamic, however ludicrous (what about hurling big missiles from a safe distance?), provides a physical rush made doubly vivid by the unsteadying effect of 3D. But like many sci-fi visions liberated by CG, the geography of destruction is hard to follow. You get a barrage of sensation, scaled against crumbling cityscapes, but are left guessing how one battle is won and another lost. Within their cockpit heads, the two heroes enact hooks and jabs like deranged puppeteers.

These humans rarely rise above the risible. As thinly drawn as their teatime-TV ancestors, they are heroes as mechanical as the robots, pre-programmed with personal issues (chiefly dead relatives), too easily overcome. The performances get no further than their overcharged names: Charlie Hunnam is gravel-voiced maverick Raleigh Becket; Rinko Kikuchi his troubled, greenhorn co-pilot Mako Mori; while Idris Elba, as the unit’s commander Stacker Pentecost, stomps out dialogue so wooden and portentous, you fear the apocalypse may be over by the time he’s finished.

If you come to this movie seeking the dreamy Gothic play and human passions of del Toro’s corpus, you will be confounded. Perhaps, after years stalled on The Hobbit and At The Mountains Of Madness, he just needed to get a film under his belt, and the juvenile exuberance of the opportunity swept him along. The film isn’t entirely bereft of the director’s hallmarks. The Jaeger depot, located in a neon-soaked Hong Kong, is a cavernous citadel mixing hi-tech gizmos with vast clockwork apparatus; surely designs once meant for the dwarvish forges of The Hobbit. Lucky charm Ron Perlman makes us all nostalgic for the swampy superhero subversion of Hellboy as a surly, one-eyed black-market dealer in Kaiju body parts (their bone dust makes a powerful aphrodisiac). And in the sight of a prostate Jaeger washed up on a snowy beach like a fallen Titan from Greek myth, you catch a glimpse of that other del Toro, the artist still linked and compatible.

Could audiences be suffering cataclysm fatigue? Exhausted by the thought of another city pulverised like pie crust — Pacific Rim’s street fights the size of streets arrive after an unending parade of city-smashing antics this summer. Possibly, but this is a cheekier brand of Armageddon — del Toro is giving scope to a boyhood lust for mayhem, the multi-million-dollar equivalent of kicking over sandcastles and torturing insects. There is something infectiously juvenile in that. Catch his Drift and you’ll have a brawl.

 


Verdict
A big, brash, unpretentious B movie that lives down to its billing: robots punching monsters — it does what it says on the Rim.


Reviewed by Ian Nathan

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Pacific Rim
Empire Star Rating

shit balls Mcarthy

oh ok top 5 then what ever fuck you ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by RLTShirley at 03:09, 23 March 2014 | Report This Post


boobs

wow this fil is quite recent and m review is still in the top three thats awesome. To be hones i dont even remember watching it but im sure it was good. And thats all you need to know. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by RLTShirley at 03:08, 23 March 2014 | Report This Post


RE: One of the very best movies of the year!

All I can say is I'm glad GDT never got to do The Hobbit, despite PJ not exactly being on top form himself for it! He's just not that shit-hot, sorry - Unpopular Opinions thread, here I come... Pacific Rim looks pretty at times, but it's 2 hours of CGI bashing CGI, with a load of absolutely awful dialogue, worse acting, cliched scripting...I got bored about 15 mins from the end and struggled to finish watching (but did). File under 'Yet Another Hollow Piece of Expensive Stylish Shite Th... More

Posted by Vitamin F at 13:39, 19 February 2014 | Report This Post


Style Over Substance

Guillermo del Toro's latest blockbuster has a solid, awesome exterior, but a weak and dull interior. It's one of the best looking films of the year yes, but it fails in almost every other way. An excellent film for kids who have absolutely no care in the world for dialogue and acting and just want to see some damn giant robots battle giant monsters. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Keegan Gess at 14:13, 09 January 2014 | Report This Post


RE: Best blockbuster of the summer

Michael Bay has made three Transformers movies, and he hasn't done one yet that was as much fun as this. Rim ... More

Posted by chang at 09:57, 31 December 2013 | Report This Post


RE: ROBOTJOX IS ACTUALLY BETTER.....

yeah robotjox properly is way better, also so is the power rangers movie from 1994. I mean the robots look pretty decent or whatever but you never get a proper good look at the monsters so they all looked pretty much the same to me, also all of the fight scenes are in the water for some reasons so you dont see much stuff getting proper filled in like in transformers and that. The worst thing about it though was all of the guys accents, i mean dont get me wrong i love a good funny voice joke (the... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by RLTShirley at 20:12, 11 December 2013 | Report This Post


RE: "Haven't you heard, Mr. Becket? The world is coming to an end."

I found this to be truly disappointing, a rare mis-step for Del Toro. Where to start.... Charlie Hunnam is not a leading man (not in a film. anyway, he's great in Sons of Anarchy). Idris Elba was miscast - his character needed to be a lot older to pull of the gruff, former-fighter father figure that was needed (he's only 41). The supporting cast/characters were appalling. What were the two scientists about? One of them was a Rick Moranis/Bobcat Goldthwaite ripoff and the other seemed to be chan... More

Posted by UTB at 10:35, 17 November 2013 | Report This Post


"Haven't you heard, Mr. Becket? The world is coming to an end."

As far as kids are concerned, most will see Pacific Rim as an instant classic. On the other hand, adult audiences will, for the most part, enjoy this for what it is: a fast, flashy and occasionally amusing popcorn flick with no shortage of high-quality special effects. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by movienut707 at 18:13, 11 November 2013 | Report This Post


Prostate exam

That should surely read prostrate in the main review, unless I missed a major part of the plot. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by malum at 09:08, 09 October 2013 | Report This Post


brilliant

not many films like pacific rim come around that are fun to watch and make you feel like a kid again Guillermo del Toro has made a brilliant film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jaguark101 at 17:13, 02 October 2013 | Report This Post


brilliant

not many films like pacific rim come around that are fun to watch and make you feel like a kid again Guillermo del Toro has made a brilliant film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jaguark101 at 17:13, 02 October 2013 | Report This Post


One of the very best movies of the year!

Loved this movie! What's wrong with Ian Nathan giving this only three stars? I'd give this movie 9 out of 10, Translated to the five star system it's five stars from me. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Leif Pedersen at 14:49, 16 August 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Pacific Rim

Like some of the most iconic sci-fi blockbusters, Rimas the advantage of appealing, archetypal characters and a story that’s both viscerally and emotionally engaging. ... More

Posted by dconev at 23:58, 14 August 2013 | Report This Post


Very Stylish Movie

I love this movie, just a joy to see in IMAX. And a very good casts ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by soulfood at 21:48, 14 August 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Imax-tastic

Fantastic! Loved this post!!! Your list of logic straining events made me like the movie even more in retrospect. L: Private Hudson L: BigKovacs I really enjoyed it but Jesus Christ only just! I didn't think the acting was too bad considering the script although the two scientists were the worst comic relief duo I've seen in years. It was the logic that strained for me, I know it's been mentioned before but even for a monster flick it was terrible! Why are coastal... More

Posted by X Heart Tolle at 23:16, 13 August 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Imax-tastic

L: blackduck L: BigKovacs I really enjoyed it but Jesus Christ only just! I didn't think the acting was too bad considering the script although the two scientists were the worst comic relief duo I've seen in years. It was the logic that strained for me, I know it's been mentioned before but even for a monster flick it was terrible! Why are coastal cities still populated. Why dont they mine the rift. Why don't they mine the shelf above and bury the fucker. Why d... More

Posted by elab49 at 15:05, 09 August 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Imax-tastic

L: BigKovacs I really enjoyed it but Jesus Christ only just! I didn't think the acting was too bad considering the script although the two scientists were the worst comic relief duo I've seen in years. It was the logic that strained for me, I know it's been mentioned before but even for a monster flick it was terrible! Why are coastal cities still populated. Why dont they mine the rift. Why don't they mine the shelf above and bury the fucker. Why didn't the invaders sen... More

Posted by blackduck at 10:44, 09 August 2013 | Report This Post


RE: ROBOTJOX IS ACTUALLY BETTER.....

L: Dannybohy L: DaveTheStampede L: blackduck The fight in the city and the bit with the girl and her shoe were highlights. But most of the fights were too dark to fully understand what was going on. The big end fight was a mess of darkness and stupidity that made it hard to either see or care what was going on. know, I hear things like this a lot, and I'm beginning to think I just have a very special mind, because I had absolutely no trouble following the fights... More

Posted by blackduck at 17:13, 06 August 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Imax-tastic

L: Private Hudson What is it about does anyone know? Also apparently it has been announced there WILL be a sequel. metro.co.uk/2013/08/01/pacific-rim-primed-for-sequel-af ter-becoming-a-box-office-hit-in-china-3908037/?ITO=new s-sitemaphe international box office seems to have done the trick for Hollywood, which obviously will be the trend in future with more and more cinemas opening in Asia. sp; The Credits scene is =#33ffff]Ron Pearlman, blasting his way out of the creatu... More

Posted by Invader_Ace at 09:34, 02 August 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Imax-tastic

What is it about does anyone know? Also apparently it has been announced there WILL be a sequel. http://metro.co.uk/2013/08/01/pacific-rim-primed-for-se quel-after-becoming-a-box-office-hit-in-china-3908037/? ITO=news-sitemap The international box office seems to have done the trick for Hollywood, which obviously will be the trend in future with more and more cinemas opening in Asia. ... More

Posted by Private Hudson at 16:06, 01 August 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Imax-tastic

Saw it again tonight, I didn't know there was a credits scene! Had to Youtube it gh, guess this means I have to go see it again, to get the big screen experience of it and all. Oh the horror... ... More

Posted by Hood_Man at 02:11, 01 August 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Imax-tastic

L: BigKovacs I really enjoyed it but Jesus Christ only just! I didn't think the acting was too bad considering the script although the two scientists were the worst comic relief duo I've seen in years. It was the logic that strained for me, I know it's been mentioned before but even for a monster flick it was terrible! Why are coastal cities still populated. Why dont they mine the rift. Why don't they mine the shelf above and bury the fucker. Why didn't the invaders sen... More

Posted by Private Hudson at 23:49, 31 July 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Imax-tastic

L: Filmfan 2 L: Private Hudson Can someone clear up the bit about the dinosaurs too? Was he saying the Kaiju were dinosaurs or did they fight the dinosaurs and lose due to the atmosphere? I don't think it was explained too well in a throwaway line. f memory serves, they said that they first came through a rift in the dinosaur period and that they are responsible for them being wiped out, but the atmospheric composition was not suitable. They waited, and with man co... More

Posted by Private Hudson at 23:47, 31 July 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Imax-tastic

I really enjoyed it but Jesus Christ only just! I didn't think the acting was too bad considering the script although the two scientists were the worst comic relief duo I've seen in years. It was the logic that strained for me, I know it's been mentioned before but even for a monster flick it was terrible! Why are coastal cities still populated. Why dont they mine the rift. Why don't they mine the shelf above and bury the fucker. Why didn't the invaders send the big stuff throug... More

Posted by BigKovacs at 22:59, 31 July 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Imax-tastic

L: Private Hudson Can someone clear up the bit about the dinosaurs too? Was he saying the Kaiju were dinosaurs or did they fight the dinosaurs and lose due to the atmosphere? I don't think it was explained too well in a throwaway line. f memory serves, they said that they first came through a rift in the dinosaur period and that they are responsible for them being wiped out, but the atmospheric composition was not suitable. They waited, and with man coming along and pumping... More

Posted by Filmfan 2 at 17:29, 31 July 2013 | Report This Post


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