Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

{Pacific Rim opens in Seattle on Thursday, 7/11, and is screening at Sundance Cinemas Seattle, Thornton Place, Pacific Science Center IMAX, the Cinerama, and AMC Pacific Place} 

There's quite a bit of exposition in the opening scenes of Pacific Rim, but even though narration usually bugs me, I didn't mind it here one bit, because: giant robots! and giant monsters! and giant robots and giant monsters fighting! and yay

Anyway. If you haven't been anticipating Guillermo Del Toro's Transformers/Godzilla/Independence Day mash-up FOREVER AND EVER like I have, Pacific Rim is a sci-fi/action movie about a world in which "Kaiju" (aka: the giant monsters) have started invading the earth from a fissure in the bottom of the Pacific Ocean that's actually an alien portal. 

To combat these destructive interlopers, the government creates "Jaegers", which are equally giant combat-ready robots with all kinds of fancy weapons. The robots require two human pilots who have to mind-meld with each other in order to handle the "neural load" required to control the 'bots, which means your partner better be able to handle whatever baggage you carry with you. The pilots take Kaiju names and kick ass without chewing any bubblegum, and all of them get elevated to rock-star status fame. 

But the glory days don't last long. Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam, look. I love you, but we need to talk about how you can stretch beyond your Sons of Anarchy character) and his older brother Yancy (Diego Klattenhoff) lumber off in their robot called Gipsy Danger to defeat a Kaiju, but run into trouble when the shark-headed monster decimates their robot and chows down on Yancy's bones. Oops! 

This ends up setting off a chain reaction of Kaijus defeating Jaegars, with the government deciding to pull funding and instead, funnel all their resources into a big wall to keep the monsters out. Wait. WHAT. Who approved this? President Bush? (They show a clip of Obama at one point, but COME ON. No way. No way he'd approve that plan! A. Wall. WTF, people?) 

Anyway, eventually stoic military leader guy Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba: RAWRRRRR) figures out he can get private funding for his crew, and successfully slaughters a bunch more Kaiju since they can cruise through the concrete wall like it's tissue paper. Stacker than tracks down a depressed Raleigh, who's now working in construction and recruits him back to fight alongside a bunch of teams. 

Enter a sweet brainiac/wannabe pilot named Mako who harbors some past trauma — and happens to be the only female character in the film who has any lines. Hi Mako! How do you enjoy being the boy's club? Not much, I assume. Especially because the only other female character is a butch Russian chick who scowls through her entire 10 minutes of (combined) screen time. Guillermo! Really? Get it together man. But, I digress. 

The plot is predictable as hell and the characters are rife with stereotypes — especially the comic relief: two sparring scientists and Ron Perlman hamming it up as a black market dealer named Hannibal Chau. There's also plenty of of laughable dialog and the 3D is totally not necessary, but what the hell: I went in expecting a big, dumb spectacle of an action movie and that's exactly what I got.

And, the monsters? They're really kick-ass, you guys. Obviously Del-Toro designed, and really awesome to watch in action. That coupled with giant shiny robots and everyone in the whole world working together to kick alien butt makes for a fun time at the movies. 

Everybody say it with me: Planet Earth, Fuck yeah! 

Awesome. Now go buy your ticket.