Loud robots vs. monsters movie could have used more heart.
What parents need to know
Positive role models
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pacific Rim is a giant monsters vs. giant robots movie from Oscar-nominated director Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth). Fighting and violence are the film's biggest issues, though the huge, loud clashes are more about punching, pummeling, and the rampant destruction of property than bloodshed (the only blood shown is in the form of a bloody nose). One minor but key character dies. There's a romantic connection between a male and female character, but their bonding is mostly non-sexual (aside from a scene in which she breathlessly looks at his naked chest). Language is infrequent but includes a couple of uses of words like "s--t," "bitch," and "goddamn."
What's the story?
In the future, giant monsters (the Kaiju) arrive from another dimension, emerging through a fissure in the ocean floor. After much destruction, the humans figure out a way to fight them: giant robots (called Jaegers). But these Jaegers are so complex that they must be piloted by two people, mind-melded together (a phenomenon called "the drift"). One such pilot, Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam), barely survived a Kaiju attack that killed his brother; he wants nothing more to do with Jaegers. But his old boss, Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), needs him back for one, last big attack. And tough, pretty Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) may have some influence in Raleigh's decision as well. But can scientists discover the secret of the Kaiju in time?
Is it any good?
The great, visionary director Guillermo Del Toro has always loved monsters, but his previous movies (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth) have demonstrated a taste for the intricate as well -- in particular, clockwork and mazes. In PACIFIC RIM, anything intricate or delicate has been obliterated. The movie is so big and loud that the characters are eventually stifled, none more so than the two romantic leads (Hunnam and Kikuchi).
Interestingly, Del Toro showers special attention on the comical scientist characters, played by Charlie Day and Burn Gorman. It's likely that he identified with their passion for monsters. Likewise, Del Toro's favorite actor, Ron Perlman, appears in a showy, hilarious role as a black market monster parts dealer. Not surprisingly, the battles and effects are spectacular, making clear use of space and creating a sense of size and weight -- unlike the clumsy, shaky Transformers movies. It could have used more heart, but Pacific Rim gets the job done.
Families can talk about...
- Families can talk about Pacific Rim's violence. Does it have the same kind of impact as more realistic fighting/destruction? Could the movie have succeeded with less violence?
- Director Del Toro has said he wanted to make a "movie for kids." Did he succeed? Which parts seem right for kids, and which don't?
- What's admirable about the main characters? How about the scientist characters? Are any of them role models?
- The movie uses an international cast, is set all over the world, and is about different cultures coming together for a common cause. How does it succeed in this message? Does it use any stereotypes?
|Theatrical release date:||July 12, 2013|
|DVD release date:||October 15, 2013|
|Cast:||Charlie Day, Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba|
|Director:||Guillermo Del Toro|
|Topics:||Space and aliens|
|Run time:||131 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief language|
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
About Our Rating System
The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.