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Pacific Rim makes a big splash

Transformers meet Godzilla with an inspiring speech worthy of Independence Day. There, now you know the whole plot of Pacific Rim, the summer’s latest popcorn blockbuster. My movie buff son absolutely loved it and said “I’d give it a TEN and see it AGAIN!” This is one that movie goers will line up for again and again.

My son who is currently an animation student in college said it included all of his favorite things: giant robots kicking alien butt in the Lovecraft genre style of fighting, complete with lots of explosions, a cute Asian girl, a Japanese references, Director Guillermo del Toro, and amazing CGI. He even got a kick out of hearing the same actress who voices the popular video game “Portal.” He said the only thing he thought the movie lacked was Liam Neeson. Ha ha

You probably won’t recognize a lot of the actors, such as big screen newbies Charlie Hunnam and Diego Klattenhoff, who play brothers whose minds become linked when fighting inside a giant robot called a Jaeger, designed to fight cool alien creatures from the sea. The actors actually look alike, as does Burn Gorman, another Jaeger fighter who tries to save the world from threatening monsters. You will, however, get a kick out of seeing Hellboy’s Ron Perlman, who plays Hannibal Chau, named after one of his favorite villains and food. Director Guillermo del Toro admitted that if he could ever form a neural handshake with anyone that it would be Ron Perlman. Yeah. Ron Perlman has been in every single one of Guillermo del Toro’s movies.

The movie has that “Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots” feel to it and is even a little comic book clichéd, but it has enough incredible CGI special effects to fill the Pacific Ocean. Watching it in 3D will keep you right inside the action, but if you’re sitting too close to an IMAX screen you will get swallowed up by it.

Unlike some alien movies, you get to see a LOT of these creatures up close. They’re super cool-looking, scary, and even have some pretty Avatar blue streaks and ooze. Director Guillermo del Toro includes a whirling mixture of digital, analog, complicated mechanisms, iconic big Russians, funky science with alien body parts, Iron Man mobility, and Steam Punk. The sound effects are beyond big and cool. Rinko Kikuchi as a little girl is the cutest thing ever.

Idris Elba’s delightful accent underscores the movies theme that it takes the whole world’s efforts to save itself. The “drift” introduces the idea of two people’s minds united in a common cause. Who would YOU want to join with in the “drift”? No spoiler alert here: the world is saved and you’ll leave the theater with a silly grin on your face.

Two fun quotes from the flick that show how it doesn’t take itself too seriously:

“We can either sit here a nothing or we can grab those flare guns and go out there and do something really stupid.” (Herc Hansen)

“Today, at the edge of our hope, at the end of our time, we have chosen not only to believe in ourselves, but in each other. Today we face the monsters that are at our door. Today we are canceling the apocalypse!” (Stacker Pentecost)

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