When legions of monstrous creatures from another dimension, known as Kaiju (Japanese for “Beast”), started rising from a rift in the ocean floor, a war began that would take millions of lives. To combat the giant Kaiju, the world’s governments created massive robots called Jaegers (German for “hunter”), which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes-a washed up former pilot (Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Kikuchi)-who are teamed to drive a legendary, but obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.
2016, 2160p, HDR10, 2 hours and 11 minutes
Dolby Atmos, 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio, Rated PG13
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Idris Elba and Ron Perlman
Director: Guillermo del Toro
I really like del Toro films. His characters and set pieces are usually phantasmagorical with underlying themes of love, death and redemption. Pacific Rim is completely different from what you would expect from this director, but he still nails it; Giant robots fighting giant monsters with fisticuffs, rockets and lasers. What’s not to like? Yes, this movie was not an Oscar contender, but del Toro set out to make a fun action movie and delivers in spades. The story moves right along, the action is tremendous and the CGI is excellent. The detail in this movie is astounding; from the robots metal skin to the gnarly texture of the Kaijus, this 4K presentation is mostly superb. The added element of HDR/WCG makes the colors literally glow…the neon computer displays and the “blood” of the Kaijus are marvelously iridescent. Spotlights are blinding and the sunlight behind Pentecost as he emerges from the top of his Jaeger will make you shield your eyes! If ever a movie was made for eye candy, this is it. The battles are well choreographed, without the stupifiyingly fast motions you get from Transformer movies. There is even an exciting underwater finale that pits 2 Jaegers against 3 massive Kaiju…and atomic weaponry is used. Awesome! And fear not, a sequel is in the works that is due out in 2018. Double awesome!
As I mentioned, the 4K presentations leaves the BD version in the dust. The contrast and colors far outpace the blu-ray version which looks flat and 2 dimensional compared to this 4 K version. The wide color gamut makes the neons glow, the reds deeper and the blacks are pitch black, without too much crushing. There were a few instances where I felt the picture was a bit dark, but overall, the lighting is very good. The sound is loud…sometimes extremely loud, so use caution. Very deep bass will rumble through your house if you have the subwoofery to handle it. If I were to pick a 4K UHD movie as a show piece, this would be it (sorry Martian!). Will another version come out on disc in Dolby Vision in 2017? Maybe, but until then, this will do nicely.
Included are an audio commentary with del Toro, a Blu-ray with 13 featurettes and a digital copy (in 1080p only).