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DVD review: Pacific Rim (2013): Superior imagery that's wasted on mediocre story


Filmmakers are constantly scouring all forms of stories to find the next big thing in Hollywood. As of right now, comic book movies are the current rave and one of the prime resources for new material for movies. The characters that have lived in the pages of comics are making more the jump to the big screen now more than ever.
Pacific Rim is a stunning visual marvel that part monster movie, part transformers, and makes the dream of many of an 80’s kid come to life. It induces a modernized creative perspective on the classic monster movies of old. The film pays a great deal of homage to the old monster movies that gave us some of the most sacred monsters in Hollywood. The film is adapted from the comic book. The movie stars Charlie Hunnam (Deadfall), Idris Elba (Thor: The Dark World), Charlie Day (Horrible Bosses), Ron Pearlman (Season of the Witch), and Rinko Kikuchi.
Pacific Rim tells the story of a battle to save mankind against an alien invasion of Earth. The aliens are giant monsters from another dimension called Kaiju that have come to take over this dimension. To stop them, the people of Earth create giant robots called “Jaegars.” The movie is basically a redemption story since one of the pilots of the Jaegars lost their brother during combat then quit. PR story is about how he comes to redeem himself as he gives it one more shot to rid the Earth of its’ alien invaders.
The film only teeters above mediocrity. It’s just redundant story of revenge/redemption that is synched with great visual effects. It attempts to wow you and overcompensate for those shortcomings with excessive visual graphics. If only the story was a third as spectacular as the visuals, then Pacific Rim could have been special. The film is extremely predictable and it is just the same old story that has been used far too many times. The movie has decent performances. The cast of the film is talented but extremely underused. Idris Elba is completely underused but he is still one of the best characters in the film. Charlie Day brings a good level of humor as the comic relief. Despite their limited screen time together, he and Ron Pearlman have great chemistry and good comedic moments that enhance the entertainment value.
The best aspect of Pacific Rim is how it looks. It’s visually amazing. The effects are top notch and the imagery is great. It’s one of the most amazing films that you will ever see on screen. Pacific Rim captures the essence of the great monster movies of old such as Godzilla and Mothera then combines with a touch of Voltron and Robotech. Many of the younger viewers of the film will not truly appreciate what Pacific Rim really is. As the Kaiju beast and the Yeager (robot defender) face off, it’s like a video game and cartoon colliding on the big screen. Sheer awesomeness.
Pacific Rim would be great as a video game. The shortcomings of the story would be so glaringly obvious and the storyline would be condensed but as a film, it’s a disappointment. If the story would have matched the visuals then this could have easily been one of the best films ever. However, the story of the film is just mediocre. It’s the same story that has been told 50 million times over so by the time you pair it up with this film, the redundancy doesn’t match up to the creative aspects of the film and its spectacular visuals. Consequently, it’s not a bad movie but it’s just a little disappointing because with a better storyline, it could have been so much better.