Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Ron Perlman, Charlie Day, Rob Kazinsky
Directed by: Guillermo Del Toro
Synopsis: As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.
A summer blockbuster of sorts, Pacific Rim is maybe considered an ‘arthouse’ Transformers. This would be mainly because it’s directed by Guillermo Del Toro, rather than Michael Bay. I’ve never actually seen any of the Transformers movies, so can’t comment on their lack of merit, but nothing in this movie made me want to watch any other ‘big robots fight big monsters’ type movies.
The film itself is based upon Del Toro’s fascination with watching Japenese ‘Kaiju’ movies when he was a kid. Films such as Godzilla obviously made an impression on him, and he decided to pay homage.
The film is set in the not too distant future, where the earth has been over run and all but destroyed by huge sea monsters called Kaiju. To counteract these beasts, man has created huge robots, controlled in an Xbox Kinect type way, by humans. These are called Jaeger’s. They don’t seem to be particularly effective to be honest. They seem cumbersome and unflexible compared to their lizard foes.
This is pretty much the basis of the film, setting it up for huge set piece after huge set piece of robots hitting monsters, monsters hitting robots, buildings collapsing, cars being trampled and all manner of other destruction. The special effects and CGI are fairly impressive but slightly hard to make out at times, especially the battles in the ocean.
The dialogue is as cumbersome as the Jaegers, although there are more than a few decent actors on show. I don’t think the intention of Del Toro was to make anything other than an ode to big dumb action monster movies, much the same as Tarantino and Rodriguez’s Grindhouse tribute. In that regard, the film is a success. I’m probably not the target audience for this movie to be honest, so was never going to be over excited about it, thus the rating for Pacific Rim is: