Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Pacific Rim’ Review: Hunnam Stars in Summer Fun Sci-Fi Thriller

DC Film Girl’s Note: See the film in 2D and stay through the credits.

Giant robots? Alien monsters? Charlie Hunnam??? What’s not to like here? Pacific Rim is a summer spectacle full of action, emotion and striking visuals.

From director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy & Pan’s Labyrinth), Pacific Rim follows humanity’s battle against a race of monstrous aliens that rise up from the bottom of the ocean. The monsters, which have been named Kaiju, are skyscraper tall and practically indestructible creatures. Until the human race developed massive robots, which are called Jaegers, did they start to have a fighting chance among the Kaiju. The Jaegers are synched with two humans (or drifters), who control their movement to fight the Kaiju.

Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) is a former Jaeger pilot, who was brought back to work by mission leader Stacker Penecost (Idris Elba). Raleigh teams up with rookie pilot Mako (Rinko Kikuchi) to drive a vintage Jaeger, in hopes to bring down the Kaiju once and for all.

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The main reason Del Toro’s Pacific Rim succeeds is because the human story is greater than the monster story. Yes, there is tons of action involving the monsters and the machines, maybe even a little too much action in the last 30 minutes, but the human story is the most engaging. In the opening sequence of events, before the title of the film is even shown, we learn so much about humanity’s struggle to survive, with the threat of the Kaiju growing. The relationships between the leading characters ground the film and give us an emotional story that meshes well with the action-packed one.

Where are my Charlie Hunnam fans out there?? I can’t remember the last time I saw Charlie Hunnam where he wasn’t Jax Teller (I missed Deadfall last year), but he does an amazing job as our lead character in this film. Pacific Rim is truly a human story and Hunnam is excellent at bringing that part of the screenplay to life.

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The visuals and digital effects are amazing and appropriate for a science-fiction summer blockbuster! This is what a Sci-Fi film should look like! Unlike May’s After Earth, the effects in Pacific Rim are a leading character in itself and will make any sci-fi fan geek out! Look out for the scene where Hunnam and Kikuchi’s characters knock one of the Kaiju with a boat the size of the Titanic. It’s awesome.

Pacific Rim may not be Del Toro’s ultimate flick or best film of the summer, but the story is solid, action is fun and Hunnam is excellent.

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