Saturday, July 13, 2013

Pacific Rim (2012)

MPAA rating: PG-13
Runtime: 132 minutes
Rating: 4/5

Description: Giant robots (Jaegers) fight alien sea monsters (Kaiju) to save humanity.

Review: This is a fun, special effects laden, action movie. It has moments of drama, moments of humor, and moments of sadness. If this is what your looking for, you probably won't be disappointed. (If you do go, stay for some of the credits. There's an extra scene not too far in.)

Thats not to say it couldn't be better.

Most of the characters aren't particularly fleshed out, or are just names and faces with a few lines of dialogue. This makes it harder to care about their fate when they're inevitably placed in peril.

The main characters are better developed, but what we know about them feels a bit cookie cutter. While the trauma of dead family members makes sense for the setting, it would have been nice if they could have found something new to do with it.

I also was a bit disappointed that all the big fight scenes took place in dark, rainy environments or underwater. I'm not sure if this was done to give a more ominous background or just cover up special effects issues. (Note: I saw it in glorious 2D, so I have no idea how good the 3D effects are.)

I also wish it hadn't failed the Bechdel test. With two sets of Jaeger pilots, two scientist, and a former pilot who now heads the Jaeger program, as the major roles, and a handful of people in more minor speaking roles, we only get two female characters. While its nice they're both Jaeger pilots, they never talk to one another.

I did enjoy the movie, and don't regret seeing it, but the director has done better action films (Hellboy and Hellboy 2), as well as just better films (El laberinto del fauno(Pan's Labyrinth)). I think this project may have been a bit too normal to play to his strengths.

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