BY LAUREN NISBET
There is a certain comforting familiarity associated with a well-paced, well-acted action movie.
The action-genre formula is relatively simple: a handsome, brooding young star (with just the right amount of muscle for the sexy shirtless fight scenes), an emotional back story to provide some context and tug on the heartstrings, some bumbling background characters for comic relief, and a budding romance for the girls that doesn’t distract too much from the epic battles, giant monsters, robots and theatre-shaking action of the story. I am pleased to report that Pacific Rim has it all.
For those who haven’t experienced the amazingness of Charlie Hunnam as Jax in Sons of Anarchy, let me fill you in: he is the perfect man. If his boyish good looks and masculine charm don’t do it for you, his barely-concealed British accent will definitely win you over. It’s also nice to see a new face on the big screen–one that hasn’t been plastered all over every action-adventure film of the past decade. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve seen Shia LaBoeuf battle enough robots for one lifetime. Charlie makes for a refreshing change.
There is a lot of potential for predictability with a story like this, but the experienced duo of Guillermo del Torro and Travis Beacham do a great job of keeping the audience engaged. For once we’re not seeing a remake or a “re-imagining”–it’s actually a new concept and an original story with enough of an emotional draw to pull you through the lengthy fight scenes.
Under attack by an alien race of advanced monsters that have entered our world through a portal deep in the Pacific Ocean, giant robots are created to defend the human race.
I really admire the amount of thought and detail that went into pulling the plot together, especially in terms of the robots, or “Jaegers”–the idea of having them operated by a team of two soldiers whose minds are connected to operate the right and left brain hemispheres adds a really interesting element to the story with lots of room to explore. Despite the large-scale battles and high-tech visuals, the movie is definitely built around human relationships and connections.
Super-impressive visually with a fresh cast and a story we haven’t seen a million times before, Pacific Rim is a great choice for your summer action movie fix.
A media studies grad and pop culture junkie currently navigating the strange and mysterious world of corporate communications, Lauren spends most of her time buried under an ever-growing pile of TBR novels. Based in Toronto, she can be found at the local theatre every Tuesday for cheap movie night. Follow her on Twitter @laurenxnisbet