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Warner Bros. Pictures

Pacific Rim

Movies

Issue: "Effective compassion," July 27, 2013

If you enjoy mash-ups, you might like Guillermo del Toro’s latest monster flick, Pacific Rim, a mix of Godzilla, Transformers, and Total Recall. The movie, like all self-respecting apocalyptic films, takes place in the not-so-distant future. Aliens in the form of gargantuan monsters have invaded Earth through a fissure in the Pacific Ocean. They’re crunching through coastal cities as a kid would crunch through a Tootsie Pop. 

To stop them, the world joins forces and finances to build colossal robots called Jaegers who do hand-to-hand combat with the sea monsters known as Kaiju. The Jaegers are controlled internally by two pilots whose brains are wired together, allowing them to perfectly synchronize their movements and thoughts. The technology temporarily enables the pilots to effectively battle the Kaiju, but eventually the beasts start adapting and the Jaegers become less effective. The world’s governing body—the good ol’ UN—decides to shut down the Jaeger program. The head of the program, Captain Pentecost (Idris Elba), decides to make one last-ditch effort to save the Jaegers and close the Kaiju’s portal into our world. 

Although intense fighting (and scary shots of blue-acid-spewing Kaiju) takes up much of this PG-13 movie, it’s robots, not humans who get ripped apart, so it’s not particularly gory. The Kaiju are terrifying and could be nightmare-inducing for younger children, but there’s very little profanity. There’s also very little plot or character development, but it doesn’t appear that del Toro was going for that. Pacific Rim is all about superhuman beings fighting beastly sea creatures seeking to destroy humanity—a reliable story concept used to terrify and entertain since the dawn of time.

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Stephanie Perrault
Stephanie Perrault

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