Visionary director Guillermo del Toro has finally made it to the front lines of the Hollywood studio system with Pacific Rim, his largest-looking and definitely most expensive film to date. Pacific Rim is perhaps the perfect summer blockbuster, engaging the audiences with a film that’s all about massive scale and scope, yet never forgetting about what counts the most — the characters. It is one of the largest and most destructive popcorn flicks that I’ve ever seen, yet it remains grounded thanks to layered characters and an actual story that’s full of emotion and heart.
In the near future, our world is invaded by giant sea creatures called Kaijus. These creatures are massive, knocking over buildings with the sweep of a leg. The human race is struggling with the battle, but have quickly initiated something called the Jaeger program, which consists of large human-piloted robots that’ll stand toe-to-toe with the Kaijus.
The war was once even, but now things are going downhill and the Kaiju are winning. To make matters worse, most military defences have chosen to shut down and abandon the Jaeger program, in hopes of building up defence walls or keeping out the Kaiju with other methods. None of these are working and now the Jaeger program leader, Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), is calling upon all remaining and willing Jaeger pilots to help put up one last stand before the planet is consumed by the Kaiju.
Pentecost makes one specific request and calls on a man by the name of Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam). Becket was once one of the best Jaeger pilots in the world, but he dropped out of the program after losing his brother mid-battle. Now Becket is simply a drifter, taking the odd construction job to help pad the time. When approached by Pentecost, he hesitantly offers his help and is teamed with rookie Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi). Together, the two are the last remaining hope that Earth has.
Guillermo del Toro has never been given such a sizeable budget to put his creative mind to use. His Hellboy films were his most expensive and even those were shot with many restrictions. Pacific Rim allows the director to finally let loose from his budgetary shackles and the result is nothing short of amazing.
Seriously, Pacific Rim is easily one of the biggest-looking films ever, with del Toro wasting not a single dime. The film is absolutely massive, with battles destroying complete cities and leaving the viewer in an unshakable state of awe. Michael Bay might have been known to blow up a thing or two with his Transformers films, but del Toro does it with an effortless style that puts Bay and many other action directors to shame in an instant.
Most action films of this size almost always miss a step somewhere along the production. Either shoddy acting or a pointless story make the action feel a little cheaper or less important, yet Pacific Rim comes with a colorful cast, all ranging in effectiveness. Charlie Hunnam’s Becker character might not be the most interesting, but he’s definitely a relatable character that acts more as a supporting role rather than the main attraction.
Idris Elba takes the spotlight here and does so with honor as a mysterious, no nonsense Military captain. Elba’s motivational speeches and general bad ass nature help give the film that much-needed energy and excitement that’s worth getting behind and supporting. And whenever Elba isn’t commanding the screen, Charlie Day is delivering enough comedic relief to keep things feeling light and simple, even if del Toro’s creative world takes a few minutes to adjust to and fully comprehend.
There’s a great amount of time spent on the connection that the pilots must form before operating a Jaeger, and that really helps establish Pacific Rim‘s emotional core. del Toro could have easily skimped out on these details, but he wisely chose to keep them intact and for good reason, because Pacific Rim would not have worked as well without its heart.
A film this big would mean very little if it had nothing behind it, yet del Toro and co-writer Travis Beacham have built a strong foundation to rest the film’s outlandish, but fun characters on. del Toro’s visions are always so expansive and large and being able to see everything without a single budgetary restraint is refreshing. It makes for a film that’s both endlessly entertaining, yet still smart and stimulating.
Pacific Rim comes smashing to Blu-Ray with 3D and 2D transfers that are equally impressive. The post-conversion process usually means for a pointless 3D transfer, yet del Toro was able to secure lots of extra time to ensure that his film shined the brightest using the extra dimension and boy am I glad that he did. Depth is remarkably clear and consistent, with no blurred movement or cross chatter. Both the 3D and 2D transfers feature deep black levels and a spotless image that’s bursting with color. The attention to detail spent on the CGI creatures is absolutely breath-taking and something that’s only made better on Blu-Ray.
The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track will smash and destroy your surround setup within minutes. Seriously, this film rarely lets up and that’s a good thing. Dialogue is delivered on the front channels, while explosions, monster roars and various other loud and destructive noises completely consume the back channels with ease.
Here’s a list of bonus material found on this combo pack:
- 3D & 2D versions of the film
- Audio Commentary
- Focus Points (HD)
- The Director’s Notebook (HD)
- The Digital Artistry of Pacific Rim (HD)
- The Shatterdome (HD)
- Deleted Scenes (HD)
- Drift Space (HD)
- Blooper Reel (HD)
- DVD Copy
- UltraViolet Digital Copy
WB’s 3D Blu-Ray release of Pacific Rim is an absolute must-buy for fans of high-quality Blu-Ray releases and extremely entertaining blockbusters. It wisely balances explosions and action with a story that’s actually engaging and worthy of following. Director Guillermo del Toro not once sacrifices his characters for an action highlight reel and instead fuses his endless imagination with large-scaled battles and explosions.
Pacific Rim is absolutely massive and possibly the single greatest summer blockbuster film to ever be released. Luckily, WB’s 3D Blu-Ray combo pack is a perfect representation of the film, because it comes with both 3D and 2D transfers, plus a sizeable amount of bonus content and a DVD/Digital Copy for those looking to take the film anywhere. Pick this up as soon as you can.
Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim is the perfect example of how to make an effective summer blockbuster film. It has heart, brains and enough action and explosions to shock and awe just about anyone.