Movies

Peter Suderman Reviews Pacific Rim

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Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures

Giant monsters! Giant robots! Fighting!

Guillermo del Toro! Co-writing! Directing!

Senior Editor! Peter Suderman! Reviewing! 

The basic elevator pitch for "Pacific Rim" is pretty simple: giant monsters versus giant robots! Without spoiling anything, I can tell you the winner right now: eight-year-old boys everywhere.

The fact is that the real pitch is more like this: giant monsters versus giant robots versus your childhood imagination. The resulting epic showdown may not satisfy every fanboy fantasy imaginable — what movie could? — but it puts up a pretty good fight. Director Guillermo del Toro's vision of a near-future world in which mountain-sized beasts emerge from the sea to trade body blows with skyscraper-sized mechanized warriors serves up its oversized battles with sufficient imagination and zeal to overcome its shortcomings when it comes to flesh and blood humans.

"Pacific Rim" is set in the years after Earth has been invaded by giant monster attackers emerging from a rift in the Pacific Ocean. To fight off these monsters, called Kaiju, humans built Jaegers — giant fighting robots controlled by a pair of pilots locked in mental sync with the machine. Charlie Hunnam plays Raleigh Becket, an ex-Jaeger pilot called back into the program by its commander, the awesomely named Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba). In addition to fighting off monsters, Becket's challenge is to sync up with his new partner, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), as the Jaeger program makes a last-ditch effort to close the dimensional portal.

Mr. del Toro, whose funny and touching "Hellboy" films remain some of the smartest comic-book adaptations, proved himself as a kind of monster auteur with the terrifyingly sad but brilliantly conceived "Pan's Labyrinth." Those movies offered immersive worlds, fascinatingly detailed fantasy design work, and affecting human stories to match.

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  1. Without spoiling anything, I can tell you the winner right now: eight-year-old boys everywhere.

    WTF, I was highly anticipating this and I’m not 8!

    1. That’s what they said about Iron Giant, which was — and is — one of the great animated movies of all time.

      1. Iron Giant made me shed a tear, and I was 17 when I watched it for the first time. Seriously.

      2. The Iron Giant is an excellent and touching movie. It was created by Brad Bird, a longtime Simpsons contributor.

        1. And writer and director of The Incredibles.

          The guy can make a mean movie with wide appeal.

      3. Watched this a time back when my boy was three and determined he (the boy) was indeed a humin bein when he cried at the end. I was like, yep, kid now has real feelings. My eyes got sweaty.

      4. Iron Giant is manly as fuck.

        Great movie; I saw it with my oldest and she didn’t get the appeal, heh.

        1. Saw it with my then gf, I think we were about 19 when it hit theaters. She didn’t get it either. I submit that this, along with maybe High Fidelity are absolutely unappealing to most women.

  2. Even though Michael Bay doesn’t appear to have anything to do with it, I still want to see this movie.

    1. I would think that it would be the opposite – if MB is involved its going to suck.

      1. YOU WOULD THINK WRONG. Have you not even seen Armageddon?

  3. When will it be on Netflix?

    1. I’m guessing about 3 months after it’s release to theatres

  4. Whar is review of Grown Ups 2, Whar?

  5. It’s probably just good action, and that’s it, but who cares? I’m in.

    Apparently, a lot of the more prominent human nations have their own signature Jaegers, including the United States. I hope it don’t got no Obama campaign logo on it, or del Toro’s dead to me.

    1. Reminds me of G-Gundam, which was incredibly entertaining because all the robots and their pilots were the most base, and obvious stereotypes.

      America’s was some amalgation of a cowboy, boxer, and football player. Well the pilot was named Jimity Crocket.

      1. Sounds like a bunch of anime fanboys got together and jerked each other off mentally for a few thousand days to make the show. Looks like really good fun. Might catch it.

  6. I’m surprised Suderman could like a movie with action after his execeble review of ST: Into Awesome. PR looks entertaining but I’m really grumpy they’ve hauled out the moldy ‘two must work as one!’ bullshit. It’s tired and probably would’ve offended Rand.

  7. I like it when a movie acknowledges it has a silly premise and just has fun with it. This seems a lot more comfortable with itself than the bloated Man of Steel which is one of the stupidest movies I’ve ever seen.

    1. Have you seen Rubber?

      It’s about a tire that comes to life and starts killing people by making their heads explode, Scanners style.

      1. I keep seeing that movie on Showtime Beyond late at night. I can’t watch more than a few minutes at a time, but I can’t stop myself from watching a few minutes at a time.

    2. What did you dislike about Man of Steel?

      1. Everything after Kryton exploded.

        It was really boring, this Superman wasn’t an interesting character, the plot was uninspired, and action scenes are stupid when the characters are invulnerable (even more when they go on for way too long).

      2. Not enough underpants on the outside of clothing.

      3. The Krypton scene we (visually) stylistic well-done but weird. Guys react wrong – the head-government guys are attacked and they all just sit there while people are being shot and Zod monologues. One of their number is killed and the others, just stand there.

        The middle part is ok but doesn’t really tell much about Clark Kent. His father dies for no good reason whatsoever and Lois Lane shows that she has no idea how law works.

        The ending goes on for freaking ever. People are dying by the thousands and we’re supposed to care about a small group of Lois’ work-mates we’ve seen for all of five minutes before this. The fights go on forever. Lots of punching and for some reason an Army Colonel is flying an Air Force C-17. The fighting is still going on. Half the city is destroyed and that has no emotional effect on Superman. My God, they’re STILL fighting. Then Zod directly threatens a couple of people in fron of Superman so Superman wigs the fuck out and snaps Zod’s neck. Seriously – that’s how you end this mara . . . you know what I’ll take it, I’ve got to go piss, I’ve been watching this for, like, 5 hours already.

  8. Giant robots? Meh. Now if Rinko Kincuchi shows some bush like she did in Babel, I’ll reconsider.

  9. Wait a minute. This isn’t Japanese porn? Pass.

    1. Pacific Rimjob. The Earth moves and there’s a ‘tsunami’ involved…

      1. Well, call Vivid, because we’re 3/4 of the way through the “script” already. Throw in a couple of gas-powered dildoes and we’ll call it a day.

  10. So this is just a live action Neon Genesis Evangelion? I assume the writing is both saner and less entertaining, but I hope they at least hand out a few hat tips to their anime forebears. If so this might actually be worth seeing.

    1. I think it’s more of a live action Voltron.

  11. I hope Charlie H. and Ron Perlman are rarely or never onscreen together, because that would be incredibly distracting.

    1. If I remember correctly, Perlman plays a black-market kaiju organ and part dealer.

    2. Is this the Sons of Anarchy movie?

  12. I’m a big Del Toro fan, but I lost interest in giant robots after approximately…Voltron. It pisses me off no end that Del Toro wanted to be making At the Mountains of Madness and instead Universal pulled out and he switched to this.

    1. Johnny Sakko would have a word with you.

    2. But which Voltron? The Lions or the one made from 15 small ships that merged into 3 larger ones which merged into Voltron?

      1. Which one had the fat guy and mildly retarded kid as pilots? That one. Or am I thinking of a different cartoon?

        1. I’m thinking of something different. They all had small planes that went into a big plane that looked like Firefox.

          1. G Force!

            1. Yes! Battle of the Planets! Thank you!

        2. TITAN MAXIMUM!

      2. Lions FTW.

      3. Whichever one was on Saturday mornings.

      4. Wat? The real Voltron. Lions and and endless supply of not-quite-good-enough evil giant robots.

        1. Yeah but Grendizer was better

    3. I’m a big Del Toro fan, but I lost interest in giant robots after approximately…Voltron.

      Dude, get ripped and go for the stupidly awesome action.

      I have very, very low expectations for this, so nowhere to go but up.

    4. Wait, Del Toro was going to make a Lovecraft film? Fuck, man. Now I’m depressed.

  13. Giant Fucking Robots fighting Giant Fucking Monsters!

    I’m in!!!

  14. The whole thing looks horrible. The only thing making me even the slightest bit interested is that its done by Del Toro.

    But feth, did you see the the way the ‘jagers’ move. Its like he spent million on CGI to copy man-in-a-rubber-suit effects.

  15. Will there be cake?

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