The holidays are for watching all the things you never had time to watch before! This time it's 2013's unabashedly silly summer popcorn flick Pacific Rim, which is really more entertaining than it has a right to be. Disclaimer: I was a kid who loved Voltron and mech suits and Gundam and Godzilla and all that, so I was pretty much going to consider Pacific Rim a guilty pleasure and love it (and then feel no guilt about any of it), especially since it has a cast that includes Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, and Ron Perlman. Anyway, the premise is simple enough: gigantic monsters called kaiju are invading the planet via a fissure in the ocean floor, and it's up to hotshot warriors in enormous mechanical suits called Jaegers to fight them.
Sure, there's plenty of nonsense and silliness in the flick, but - hey, let's be honest - I didn't care! I was willing to let it all slide because the movie itself is so much bombastic FUN. It's style over substance, but come on, it's hilariously entertaining. This is a movie that features Idris Elba (!) as a commander named Stacker Pentecost, for goodness sakes! Charlie "Jax Teller" Hunnam plays a pilot named Raleigh Becket (seriously), and he has a Jaeger called (I'm not making this up) Gipsy Danger (ex-girlfriend of Anthony Weiner perhaps?). A trio of hoops-shooting Chinese pilots run a machine named Crimson Typhoon. Another pilot is named (with a straight face) Hercules Hansen. The nomenclature of everything seems to have an uproarious Engrishy twist to it. Alessandra, watching with me, shouted, "It's pure anime!" and meant it as a compliment.
Ignore the silliness ("drift compatible" and whatever), logical pitfalls, Rinko Kikuchi's almost unintelligible Mako Mori character, and a climax that is a little too reminiscent of Independence Day and The Avengers. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the sight of giant robots battling giant monsters while wrecking Hong Kong with cheerful abandon. For an hour and a half you can be a kid watching a cartoon and having a grand old time. You can be a sensible adult before and after, but for the run time of Pacific Rim you can be a schoolboy/girl enjoying eye candy mayhem, monsters, and mechs. Oh, and be sure to sit through the first bit of credits.
Mad Minerva gives Pacific Rim the grade of B+ for sheer enjoyable popcorn amusement. Yes, it's ridiculous, but it's ridiculous fun ... and rather more fun than the latest Godzilla.
Pacific Rim runs 132 minutes and is rated PG-13 for monster/mech action, some disturbing images (kaiju guts are gross!), and Charlie Hunnam's abs (they could give Thor's a run for their money).
Rotten Tomatoes gives Pacific Rim the Fresh rating of 72%.
I could give you the actual trailer, but I think it'd be far more amusing to give you the Honest Trailer: