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IN SHORT: Transformers vs. Godzilla(s). [Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief language. 131 minutes]
Oh God, the Pain.
In twenty years we've only felt this kind of pain a handful of times. The kind of pain that makes other critics of our acquaintance break the cardinal rule of not saying anything about anything after seeing a film. This year, for some reason, that rule is being broken with great regularity and the statement made is always "Worst Film Ever."
Oh, wait, the reason. The films are big stinking piles, dear reader. That we get to see them early just means we get to feel the pain before you do. That we don't pay just means that we can advise you when it would be a good idea to save your hard earned greenbacks. Or whatever currency you use.
Seriously, unless you happen to be six years old or greatly in need of visual stimulation of the punching and explosion kind to drive your stoner's high (you know who you are), you are not going to want to spend money on this Thing.
Then again . . .
Indulgent parents of six years old kidlets will find their wallets quickly drained because those kiddies will be begging for the DVD before Pacific Rim is over. You can (pre)order it on DVD or Blu-Ray disk -- make your kids happy and support the site.
What passes for a story goes like this: Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, because no one sets off nuclear bombs any more and doing so in a movie setting like this would violate all kinds of copyrights and trademarks, something in the earth cracks open a bridge between our universe and another. Some monster kind of thing called Kaiju, not unlike the monsters of Japanese 1960s movie fantasy, comes out of the breach between universes to stomp and kill and destroy.
Narration and titles take us through fifteen years or so of destruction. The world's military response is to create giant robots called "Jaegers," each supported by countries attacked by the Kaiju, including the US, Russia, Australia and China. Each machine, has to be powered by a pair of genetically similar pilots. In most cases that means parent and child or teams of siblings. Most countries build their Jaegers for two pilots. China, for some reason, has three, but you see virtually nothing of that country's team so fuhgeddaboutit.
Because of that genetic specification, most teams look alike and so yours Cranky couldn't tell one from another, which is a good thing since most of 'em get blown to pieces early on in the film. The only team we're concerned about is that of Herc and Chuck Hansen (Max Martini and Robert Kazinsky). The Hansens blow the Kaiju up real good. The Kaiju return said blowing up in kind. There's another pilot, called Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam), and the less said about him, the better. Becket spends most of his time building a wall to prevent the monsters from attacking Australia but . . .
Well, that was a dumb idea. When his former boss, Field Marshal Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) comes begging to bring Raleigh back -- some nonsense about the world governments pulling support for the Jaeger programs, which only get larger without government support (go figure) -- Raleigh returns and eventually is teamed with the lovely Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) . . . and how the lovely Mako is genetically related to pilot Becket is ignored by the screenplay, since parents usually don't want to be explaining the shame of illegitimate children to their kidlets, in a world where a growing number of said kidlets are all illegitimate.
Oops. Cranky is turning into a moral Conservative in his old age. Old Age is the forerunner to Death, so let's talk about that for a bit.
The various military operations don't want to be involved with cleaning up the mess left by Kaiju corpses which apparently can cure cancer or make cool looking shoes or something. A low life called Hannibal Chau (Ron Perlman) has made a fortune re-purposing Kaiju corpse parts and, when two scientists, Geiszler (Charlie Day) and Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) need access to a Kaiju brain -- something about "if only we could communicate with the creatures, this could all stop" or something -- Chau is the guy to turn to . . .
We've been writing for twenty years now. In the last month we've seen two of the worst films ever of the past two decades. The other was also a SF tainted film, After Earth. Pacific Rim is exceptional in that it is not as bad as After Earth, though director Guillermo del Toro does his damndest to turn our brain to msuh.
Sorry, mush. "Turn our brain to mush." which Pacific Rim has. It is time to stop writing. Maybe forever.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Pacific Rim, he would have paid . . .
unless you are six years old or stoned. Then it'll be the best 131 minutes of your life
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