Movie Reviews

Is Pacific Rim Appropriate for Kids?

pacific rim (2)“Today we cancel the apocalypse!” How has that line been unsaid until now? Idris Alba’s character Stacker Pentecost (Yes, that is the name of the character) utters those words before the climatic battle scene in Pacific Rim. That has nothing to do with my topic, but I wanted to mention it because I think it is one of the coolest lines said on screen in quite a long time.

Now, back to the question, “is Pacific Rim appropriate for kids to watch?” Like most films, it depends on the kids that you have and your parenting style. I answered the “appropriate” question when I wrote about Man of Steel, but I won’t answer that question now. I ultimately recommended against taking kids to Man of Steel, but several friends of mine took their kids to see the movie and they were perfectly fine. So instead of saying “Yes” or “no,” I will tell you some things that occur in the film to help you with the decision whether to take kids to see the movie.

There is a high level of intensity in this film that will be difficult for some kids to handle and the monsters, Kaiju, are quite frightening. As most people know that are thinking about seeing the film, alien monsters and giant robots fight throughout the film.  Anyone familiar with Guillermo del Toro’s work knows that he has an eye for detail when it comes to big scary things and he doesn’t hold back on the monsters. The monsters and robots are a bit cartoonish, though, which might lessen the “fright level” for some kids. As I watched it, I couldn’t help thinking they looked like giant Rock Em’ Sock Em’ Robots.

The fights are intense and cities are laid to ruins.  (Though humans are spared from the death toll, with a few exceptions.)  I took my 9 and 7 year old to see the film and they spent much of the movie with their eyes and ears covered. Even though they missed out on some of the films fights, they both enjoyed the film.  There is also quite a bit of swearing in the film. So if you enjoy practicing the song “Be Careful Little Ears What You Here,” then you probably won’t enjoy the film with your kids.

Since I mentioned ears, let me warn you the movie is loud. If you see it, I recommend you bring some ear plugs for the kids.

Even though there is violence and the occasional swear word, this is not a morally objectionable movie.  When faced with a common enemy, the world bands together to save the day.  Sacrifices are made for the greater good and brave men and women risk their lives for the sake of others.

There was a point in the movie when I felt like a bad parent for bringing my kids because the movie was so intense. With my kids close in my arms, I pondered the idea of leaving. After going into the hall and discussing with them if we should leave (which we’ve done on other occasions), we stuck it out and my kids were thankful we did so. Also thankfully, there were no nightmares during the night.

In a nutshell:

Pacific Rim has a lot of robots on monster violence and shows a few people dying. The language also may be objectionable to some parents. But most older elementary kids will enjoy seeing and I thought it was a great summer flick. As my 9 year old said as we left the theater, ‘That was scary and awesome!”

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