MOVIE REVIEW: Giants battle magnificently in ‘Pacific Rim’

This film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh Becket, left, and Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori in a scene from "Pacific Rim." (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Kerry Hayes)

This film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh Becket, left, and Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori in a scene from “Pacific Rim.” (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Kerry Hayes)

By M. Scott Morris
Daily Journal

When I saw the first trailer for “Pacific Rim,” I couldn’t help thinking this has been done before.

A whole bunch of the United States of America has been destroyed at cineplexes this year, so I wasn’t terribly excited about watching more destruction. In this film, the cause is giant robots battling giant alien invaders from under the sea.

I’m glad I didn’t go with my first instinct, so I got to see “Pacific Rim” on the big screen. It’s a popcorn film that doesn’t pretend to be anything else, and it’s a blast.
In the future, aliens will create a portal from their world to ours. They’ll send giant beasts up from a fissure in the ocean floor, and they’ll cause horrible damage to coastal cities.

Humans will fight back by creating giant robots that are contolled by two-person teams. Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) and his brother (Diego Klattenhoff) are robot pilots until a beast gets the better of them.

Years later, Raleigh is on his own and it seems the invaders are getting nastier. The robot program has been suspended, but there are a few robots left. The marshal (Idris Elba) needs

Raleigh to pilot one in a last-ditch effort to save the world.

For some reason, the marshal doesn’t want Raleigh toteam up with Mako (Rinko Kikuchi), even though they appear perfectly matched. You might be able to guess what’s going to happen to the marshal’s objections.

There are predictable elements here and there in “Pacific Rim,” but the film quickly won me over in spite of them.

Maybe it’s the idea of humans fighting off extinction, but I cared about every battle, and found myself twisting and turning in my seat because those aliens are tough, man.

Guillermo del Toro co-wrote and directed, and the aliens certainly reflect some of the creatures from his “Pan’s Labyrinth.” This movie doesn’t hold a candle to that creepy yet excellent film, but “Pacific Rim” has its own charms.

Charlie Day and Burn Gorman lend their talents to create a pair of oddball geniuses who further the story while also adding levity to the overall sense of apocalyptic doom.

“Pacific Rim” lost the weekend to “Despicable Me 2” and “Grownups 2,” and I understand. I’d already seen “Despecial Me 2” and was tempted to see “Grownups 2.”

I’m glad I made the switch because Adam Sandler’s latest flick probably won’t lose anything in translation from big screen to small, but I would’ve hated to miss these giant robots and aliens at the theater, where they destroy each other and numerous coastal cities.

I give “Pacific Rim” a B plus.

It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, as well as Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville and Movie Reel 4 in New Albany.

Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.

Keli Karlson, Wizard 106.7, She gives ‘Pacific Rim’ a C. “If you liked “Transformers” and you liked “Godzilla” you’ll like this.”

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