Guillermo del Toro is a huge fan of the monster genre, and Pacific Rim exemplifies that. It’s unsettling, energetic, and just flat out awesome all at the same time. With giant monsters battling hulking alien beasts, what’s there not to like?
Set slightly in the future, Pacific Rim promotes a world that has been war-stricken at its core. With everyone’s hope hanging by a thread, and their faith in the few remaining Jaeger pilots, it doesn’t seem like anyone will survive. Since the first attack on San Francisco, the Kaiju have continued to grow in strength and size, and are predicted to start emerging from their portal, the Breach, in groups. With Jaegars being destroyed faster than the world can build them, it seems the fate of the Earth isn’t looking too bright.
The story begins with pair of Jaeger pilot brothers gearing up for a Kaiju battle. Raleigh, portrayed by Charlie Hunnam, accompanies his brother Yancy as they prepare for their first mission out in the ocean. When it’s all over, and the Kaiju is killed, Raleigh has lost his brother, leaving his mental psychosis severely crippled after piloting the giant robot alone to land. Raleigh then exiles himself as a construction worker as the fires of the Kaiju War continue to spread across the globe. Stacker Pentecost, the Jaeger Marshall portrayed by Idris Elba, finds Raleigh’s whereabouts and convinces the experienced pilot to return to combat. Raleigh reluctantly agrees, and joins his new comrades to find a co-pilot. With only four Jaegers left, and a shaky plan to destroy the Breach, all life on Earth rests upon the shoulders of the remaining fighters of the Resistance.
Honestly, the best parts of this film are the action pieces. I mean, it’s giant transformer-like robots smashing and punching alien monsters, what do you expect? They’re intense, captivating, and just fun to watch. You almost want to mimic the motions the pilots are making to control the Jaeger robots. Plus, the practical effects that are used for the Jaeger heads and pilot suits make it that much more immersive.
This brings me to the next good thing about this movie. The CGI and animation effects are stellar. Guillermo del Toro really has a special attention to detail when he designs and creates his monsters. The Kaiju are menacing and scary, especially while retaining that alien aesthetic. They never feel out of place when fighting, and seem like tangible hulking monsters. The same goes for the Jaegers. You can see the individual panels, if you zoom in on certain shots during the film, in spectacular detail. The special effects really are the cherry on top of the cake for this movie.
The story may be a bit thin, and sometimes the characters get a bit quirky, but its a very minor drawback to the epic scale of Pacific Rim. Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnam are near perfect in their roles and have some really cool interaction. It’s paced well, but not too fast for the average movie fanatic. It elaborates its lore in a simple and easy way to understand, and spends no time dragging on in an attempt to lengthen its screen time. Really my only gripe with Pacific Rim is that it’s missing some emotional depth to it. Other than that, Pacific Rim is a worthy watch. You’re guaranteed to have fun viewing it.