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March 30, 2018

Pacific Rim (2013) --- "Human Piloted Transformers Fight Godzilla In A Battle For Planet Earth."

Plot Summary
Long ago, legions of monstrous creatures called Kaiju arose from the sea, bringing with them all-consuming war. To fight the Kaiju, mankind developed giant robots called Jaegers, designed to be piloted by two humans locked together in a neural bridge. However, even the Jaegers are not enough to defeat the Kaiju, and humanity is on the verge of defeat. Mankind's last hope now lies with a washed-up ex-pilot (Charlie Hunnam), an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi) and an old, obsolete Jaeger. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Pacific Rim (2013) directed by Guillermo Del Toro (The Shape of Water) and starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Ron Perlman, Charlie Day, and Burn Gorman is an entertaining film with amazing visuals and awesome action sequences despite its nearly $10 million box office deficit. Now we’ve all seen the typical alien invasion films – Independence Day (), War of Worlds (), and even Transformer – but this version of alien invasion is much different. Del Toro succeeds in making disparate elements fit together believably with creative filmmaking. The film opens up with Charlie Hunnam's character giving a voice over that establishes the film’s reality which does a great job of conveying the entire scope of the film; it sincere.  And although there are a few issues with the dialogue and a certain character’s accent, the other areas of success more than make up for the few flaws.

     Now the worst thing audience can do is compare this film to Transformers or Battleship simply because of a few similar image qualities, and by doing so you greatly limit the story’s potential. Sure the story is about giant robots fighting giant monsters in an epic battle for planet Earth but that’s not all there is to it. Del Toro has managed to combine Sci-Fi, old-school thrills, advance special effects, and stunning set pieces into a rare and insane union that surprisingly work together beautifully. There is just the right amount of human moments to display emotion and humanity amongst all the macho mechanics. The battle scenes are so engaging and realistic that you can pretty much forget that it’s all CGI. Not to mention the story’s stakes continue to get higher and higher throughout the film so that each battle brings you closer to the edge of your seat.
     The characters did pretty well overall. Charlie Hunnam (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword) is more than commendable as the lead male, Raleigh, but I felt like he could have offered a bit more charisma and internal conflict. It mostly has to do with the fact that he is outshined by Idris Elba (Molly’s Game) as Pentecost and Rinko Kikuchi (Pacific Rim: Uprising) as Mako. Elba delivers an impactful speech towards the end and Kikuchi has incredible skill with her mannerism and facial expressions. The supporting cast does pretty good as well. Ron Perlman (Hellboy) comes and goes with a well-executed performance in just a couple small scenes. Charlie Day (Horrible Bosses 2) as Dr. Newton Geiszler and Burn Gorman (TURN: Washington’s Spies) as Herman Gottlieb work splendidly together and there bickering is funny to watch. Max Martini (13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi) and Robert Kazinsky (Hot Pursuit) work well together as an Australian father and son duo but Kazinsky’s Australian accent was bad and yet that is the case sometimes with accents, either you nail them or you don’t.
     Overall, Pacific Rim (2013) is a very entertaining film not only for its story, special effects, and characters but because it’s sincere and believable. And if you thought that this was merely a cross between Transformers and Godzilla then you are sadly off point because it is so much more than that. Director Guillermo Del Toro manages to take disparate elements and fit them together beautifully through creative filmmaking. The special effects and action sequences work beautifully together, and the dialogue has a nice blend of humor and drama. All in all, this film should simply be enjoyed for what it is and not for what we thought or wanted it to be. I am excited to see the Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018) is going to be like and how much more it’s improved since this film.

P.S. there are a few post-credit scenes that cannot be missed.

"Today. Today... At the edge of our hope, at the end of our time, we have chosen not only to believe in ourselves but in each other. Today there is not a man nor woman in here that shall stand alone. Not today. Today we face the monsters that are at our door and bring the fight to them! Today, we are *canceling* the apocalypse!"
- Stacker Pentecost

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  8.5 of 10 stars
Worth Buying:  8.5 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar 
After Earth (2013)
Battleship (2012)
Battlestar Galactica (2003)
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
The Fifth Element (1997)
Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars (2004)
Godzilla (2014)
Independance Day (1996)
Independence Day 2: Resurgence 
Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018)
Prometheus (2012)
Returner (2002)
Stargate (1994)
Transformer 1 (2007)
Transformer 2: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Transformer 3: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Transformer 4: Age of Extinction (2014)
Transformer 5: Last Knight (2017)

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