When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots w...more
When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, 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 (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)—who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse. less
“Pacific Rim combines action conventions with monsters to create a spectacular and endlessly exciting experience. Go for it.”
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There’s a moment in ‘Pacific Rim’ when two bumbling scientists with contrasting personalities attempt a mind melding with the monsters known as the Kaiju, using equipment as one of them earlier described, made from garbage. There is a strong sense of childish fantasy being fulfilled in that little moment the two share onscreen even cemented by an awkward macho handshake and you know right off the bat what the movie and Del Toro have been aiming for all along. Every kid who’s ever been a fan of giant robots and giant monsters has inevitably day-dreamed of living out this fantasy and those two get to do just that, providing a brief mirror of the aspirations of every ten year old kid out there. Most who have grown up would be lying if expressed reservations otherwise.
Sometime in the future, the planet is under threat from giant monsters named Kaijus, which arrive via a portal in the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. After much trial and error, the world pools in their resources to create Jaegers, giant robots that stand as tall as buildings to fight the Kaiju. After their initial success the Jaeger pilots are heralded as rockstars of a new age, however under the relentless assault of the Kaiju, mankind starts losing the war and doom seems certain. The Jaeger program is seen as ineffective and ordered to be shut by the UN, however Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) who runs the program sees differently and along with the remaining Jaegers plan one last ditch offensive on the undersea portal. He enlists the help of a former washed up but talented pilot, Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) who’s had a chequered past, to team up with an inexperienced pilot, Mako (Rinko Kikuchi) in driving an obsolete Jaeger.
The movie can be seen as just giant robots versus monsters but it’s filled with a ton of back story for most characters and so many little details that it would be impossible not to be intrigued by it all. The news reports of the Kaiju attacks themselves were something I’d love to watch in its entirety.
The one very important aspect of the movie mechanics is the ‘Drift’, a means of mind-melding between two pilots who control the Jaeger. Since the one pilot’s brain couldn’t take the load of the task, two or more pilots are assigned the task. This allows the pilots to share each other’s memories and work together in a more cohesive manner to control the Jaeger. It’s a fascinating piece of science fiction hardware that provides the basis for much of the soul of the movie without ever having to slow down the pace. Even the relationships during the movie are allowed to breathe and contain just enough so that you care about the characters without them seeming utterly one-dimensional.
The battle sequences is phenomenal and you’d actually feel the size and weight of the robots when they are tossed and flung about. There is a giddy sense of excitement seeing them deployed and go toe to toe with the Kaiju, and boy do they do take a hell lot of damage, they are far from invincible.
Idris Elba towers above the rest in a role that might seem one note initially but adds layers as things move along. Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi are competent in their roles but Charlie Day and Burn Gorman as a bunch of scientists with different theories about the Kaiju steal every scene they are in. Del Toro favourite Ron Perlman turns up in a cameo that only he could manage to pull off with such roguish charm.
I watched it on the IMAX screen and it was worth it, though it could do without the 3D and I’m going to watch it again in 2D, maybe multiple times.
Give this one a chance; despite all your misgivings about action movies, this one has characters you’ll care about, situations that will generate genuine tension and excitement, a scale that will overwhelm you and a music score to die for. This is by far the best all out action movie I have seen in the past two years and trust me I’ve seen them all.