This is a movie for over-caffeinated video game players who grew up on Godzilla films. If that sounds like you, welcome to your new favorite movie. The story of Pacific Rim is that one day giant monsters appear out of an inter-dimension portal in the Pacific ocean and start attacking the Earth. The creatures are dubbed “kaijus” (the film is heavy handed in it’s love for the genre) whose apparence and fire breathing/acid spitting destructive ways leaves humanity with no choice but to fight back in the most natural way possible: building giant robots called Jaegers to combat them.
Flash-forward a few years, the world has decided to retire the Jaeger program and instead built giant walls over their cities. The Kaiju attacks are more frequent and deadly. The last remaining Jaeger pilots have been ordered to disband the project, and the last four Jaegers. Since if they did that it’d be a boring movie, they ignore those orders and use the underground funding of their project to go rogue in a desperate effort to save humanity.
It’s a silly movie, but it’s fun and inoffensive. As always Del Toro has filled the film with a lot of visual flourish, using his trademark color scheme he has been using for his big budget films since Blade 2. Then there is also a cameo by one of Del Toro’s regulars that is a scene stealer (and chewer). As far as all the other actors, they do their jobs admirably in the face of all this absurdity which ads to the charm of the film. Charlie (Sons of Anarchy) Hunnam plays as Raleigh Beckett, a former Jaeger pilot recruited back into the fold who butts heads with his superior officer Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) over having Raleigh’s ideal partner Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) as his ideal choice to pilot his Jaeger with him. This melodramatic storyline is the main crux of the film and you know of course the two will pair up, it’s just a matter of waiting the whole movie to see it happen. This is the main problem I had with the film. It takes it’s time to finally get to what we really wanna see which is giant robots fighting giant monsters. However, when it does finally reach that point it is a thing of beauty and well worth the wait.
It’s not the best movie in the world, but it is fun, and that’s really what we want in a Summer flick. It’s basically a SyFy Channel movie with a budget, so you can watch it and not feel too embarrassed or self-conscious.