Guillermo Del Toro. Giant robots. Ellen McLain. Ron Perlman.
These are four things that, when combined, virtually guarantee I’m going to see a movie. Unfortunately, I no longer live anywhere near a movie theater, and I don’t drive, so I wasn’t able to see Pacific Rim when it came out. I’ve only now gotten around to seeing it on DVD.
Bringing out your inner kid:
Pacific Rim is the movie every six year old boy would make if they were given a couple million dollars of budget. And I mean that as a compliment.
Giant robots! Horrible dinosaur monsters! Lasers go pew pew! Skyscrapers getting smashed like toys! Giant robots beating up dinosaur monsters with lasers as skyscrapers get smashed!
I mean, any movie where a robot beats a Godzilla-lookalike with an oil tanker gets my seal of approval.
It’s not a smart movie, but it doesn’t have to be. Pacific Rim was obviously never intended to be Shakespeare, and that’s okay. It’s a fun movie, and sometimes, that’s all you need.
The characters are simple, but they’re all quite endearing. The plot’s pretty basic and predictable, but I doubt anyone expected anything else. There were a few subtle little touches that showed real thought went into the writing, so it’s very clear that Pacific Rim’s simplistic nature was a deliberate choice, not the result of a lack of talent.
And while it’s definitely not smart, it’s not dumb, either. Despite its incredibly improbable premise, it never quite falls into outright stupidity, and while it’s made to appeal to the kid in all of us, it never lapses into immaturity or childishness.
Pacific Rim is sort of like what the Transformers movies would be like if they’d had a better director and actual writers. No, I don’t consider Orci and Kurtzman writers. They’re more like God’s revenge on language.
A movie for theaters:
With all that said, though, watching Pacific Rim was a pretty underwhelming experience. This was a movie made to be watched on the big screen. Watching it on my step-mother’s old TV just doesn’t cut it by comparison.
I’m sure the epic battle sequences between monsters and robots would have been absolutely mind-blowing in a dark theater, on a massive screen, with the sound vibrating in my very bones. But as it was, they were just moderately entertaining.
Overall rating: 7.9/10 It’s a good movie, but if you haven’t seen it by now, I can’t say I’d recommend renting the DVD.