Staff Review: Pacific Rim

Originally posted on March 15, 2014 at ROPL.org.

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Review by Sarah Nagelbush, Adult Librarian

Do you love (or just like) movies? Are you a fan of those old school monster films like Godzilla and Mothra? If so, then I have the perfect movie for you: Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim.

You may have heard that the movie is stupid and/or not very good. I’m going to tell you, straight up, that is pretty much true. Most of the acting (Idris Ilba and Rinko Kikuchi aside) is passable, the plot is somewhat iffy and the story has lots of holes. But none of that matters. That’s right, that stuff just doesn’t matter. Why? Because Pacific Rim is a whole lot of fun.

It’s not a normal monster movie — the special affects are pretty high quality (if utterly ridiculous). Instead, it’s a love letter to those monster movies of yore. As I said in the previous paragraph, it’s fun. You can’t take it seriously (but you can most certainly get caught up in it, even with the iffy story/plot) and you most certainly shouldn’t take it seriously. If you do, you’re missing half the fun.

Pacific Rim has monsters, it has men in giant monster-like metal robots controlled by men and women (these are often referred to by gamers/science fiction fans/etc as mechas) and it has heroes. From the always inspiring (and totally handsome) Stacker Pentecost (played by Idris Elba) to the most kick ass woman you’ll ever meet, Mako Mori (played by Rinko Kikuchi) to the clean-cut stereotype, Raleigh Becket (played by Charlie Hunnam, you know, the guy who was almost in the 50 Shades of Grey movie). These characters (along with a father-son duo, a husband and wife team and a set of triplets) make up a good portion of the story.

And, of course, there are your science geeks (played by It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Charlie Day andĀ Torchwood‘s Burn Gorman). They are ridiculous, equal parts annoying and endearing and the smartest people in the room. And, just because he’s fun, we also haveĀ  Ron Perlman as the rather flamboyant Hannibal Chau.

The plot of Pacific Rim, for what it’s worth, is about the humans fighting monsters. Our main characters get in their mechas, called Jaegers. Their main goals are to protect the people of Earth by fighting the monsters, known as Kaijus (kaiju is Japanese for strange creature, but Western culture translates it to monster). There’s a lot of action, lots of violence (it’s all pretty PG-13, though) and a whole lot of comedy.

So, if you want something entertaining, fun and full of monsters, Pacific Rim is for you. Just remember not to take it seriously and you’ll have a really great time.