"Giant Robots vs. Giant Monsters"
The highly entertaining science fiction movie PACIFIC RIM takes place in the near future, when giant monsters identified as Kaiju rise from a portal in a crevasse beneath the Pacific Ocean. These Godzilla-like monsters destroy entire cities. Also, it takes an entire 17 days for modern weaponry to take the first Kaiju down.
To effectively combat the Kaiju, massive robots known as Jaegers are designed. To control the giant robots, two pilots must lock each other’s minds in a neural bridge, allowing them to work together as one. This neural bridge meld, known as drifting, combines the thoughts and memories of the two pilots, giving them the maximum control over the robots. As the war continues, the Kaiju adapt to the robot weaponry and find ways to defeat them. Things grow dim for the human race.
Raleigh Becket was one of the best Jaeger pilots, but after the loss of his brother, he retired from fighting. Now, as the Kaiju are stronger than ever, Commanding Officer Stacker Pentecost recruits Raleigh to join him on one last mission that might end the war for good. To do so, he’ll have to find a compatible co-pilot. As Raleigh prepares for the epic battle that will ensue, a young eccentric scientist, Newton Geizler, studies dead Kaiju brains to figure out the monsters’ purpose for attacking. The stakes increase, and it’s up to this diverse group of people to save humanity.
PACIFIC RIM is one of the summer’s most entertaining blockbusters. The wild concept of giant monsters versus giant man-controlled robots is decently developed and works on several levels. The superb cinematography and CGI give the movie an urgent dangerous tone, without delving into dark cynicism. Even though the story is simple, the characters give enough depth to keep the audience engaged. The acting performances are strong, but a certain amount of emotion was still missing.
The worldview is slightly mixed with some strong moral and redemptive content combined with some Romantic elements. For example, the Romantic ideal of believing in oneself is present, but the stronger themes are working together as a team despite one’s differences, overcoming prejudices to work together, protecting every life because every life is valuable, and sacrificing for others. Even Dr. Newton must team up with his competitor in order to save humanity. This simple message and story was intentionally geared toward the movie’s audience of young males, but it should resonate with all who see it. There were even two relatively positive references to God. In one, a line of dialogue talks about “natural acts of God.” In another, a scientist says, “You can find God in numbers.”
PACIFIC RIM does have some scary action violence and lots of city destruction. Surprisingly, however, Director Guillermo del Toro avoids showing massive losses of life. The massive monster and robot battles take place in evacuated cities. In an interview, Del Toro said he wanted to break away from the “mass death” shown in contemporary blockbusters. From the very beginning, it’s established that the robot pilots treat every life as important. Movieguide® commends del Toro for not desensitizing the minds of viewers regarding the loss of life.
Though del Toro had 12-year-old boys in mind when making this film, he failed to take into account the slightly excessive amount of foul language included. Thus, strong caution is advised for PACIFIC RIM due to its foul language and scary monster violence.
(BB, CC, Ro, E, LLL, N, VV) Strong moral, redemptive worldview extolling teamwork, respect, overcoming prejudices, protecting every life, and even sacrificing one’s life to save others, with two acknowledgments of God, one in a phrase regarding natural “acts of God” and a scientist says, “You can find God in numbers,” mitigated by a Romantic element of believing in oneself, light Environmentalist premise; 15 obscenities and 12 profanities (including five strong profanities), and a man vomit; strong action violence such as giant robots and monsters fight throughout (which is very intense and could be frightening for younger children), the destruction seen in the cities is done so without human causalities, a baby monster spills out of a pregnant monster and eats a human, a fist fight breaks out between two humans, an injured man has some bloody wounds; no sexual content; upper male nudity; no alcohol; no smoking or drugs; and, main character shows insubordinate behavior, but learns to respect and obey his commander.
PACIFIC RIM is a highly entertaining science fiction movie. It takes place in the near future, when giant monsters called Kaiju rise from a portal in a crevasse beneath the Pacific Ocean. To combat the monsters, humans design massive fighting robots called Jaegers. Years pass. The robots successfully battle the enemy, but the monsters adapt to the robots and become much stronger. With little hope on the horizon, a former pilot is recruited for one last mission to defeat the giant monsters once and for all.
PACIFIC RIM is one of the summer’s most entertaining blockbusters. The wild story concept of giant robots versus giant monsters is very well developed and works on many levels. It lacks a certain amount of emotion and depth, but its simple story carries a positive message. The worldview is mostly positive with strong moral, redemptive elements of sacrifice and working together to protect life, but there is a Romantic element of believing in oneself. Few human causalities are shown in PACIFIC RIM, but strong caution is advised for several strong profanities and scary action violence.