It's summer and it wouldn't be complete without giant robots going head to head with equally giant monsters. In a nut shell, it's all you really need to know about Pacific Rim. Any one who likes anime or has seen an episode of Voltron will check this out, but what about plot? Does Pacific Rim deliver or is it just eye candy or two hours of sensory overload. It is a combination of a lot of things.
Giant aliens that are comparable to Godzilla have come to earth through a dimensional portal. Our military takes out the first but it levels cities. Time passes more come and we are in a war with big alien monsters that is wiping out human life. The countries of the world unite and we fight back. Jets and tanks are not enough. Kaiju (Japanese for big monster) are too powerful so we build our own monsters. Jaegers (German for hunter) are giant robots created to stop the threat. After a horrible battle, a former pilot is brought back to fly one of four remaining Jaegers in one final stand against the alien beasts.
The film combines several different elements. Del Toro admits to being influenced by a specific anime film, but Pacific Rim borrows from several things. It is a little Robotech, Voltron, and Godzilla all rolled into one. The pilots wear a special body suit that looks nearly identical to the Cyclone Armor in Robotech: The New Generation (Mospeda). The Jaegers are controlled by two pilots who are joined together in a mind meld. In the movie it's called drifting. They share each others memories and each represents a hemisphere of the brain. They control the machines in a very X Box connect kind of way, but much more advanced. The movie opens and drops you right into the action and the process of how all of this works. Very well done and very attention grabbing.
The Jaegers are cool, but outside of Gypsy Danger you don't get to see much of them. Gypsy isn't bad, but it would have been cool to see more of the others in action. The dialogue can be cheesy at times and the film is fairly predictable. My biggest problem was all of the dark and water makes it hard to really see what is going on most of the time. The 3D and C.G.I. makes for a lot of sensory overload and if I had one major flaw of the movie it would be that. Visual overload aside, the film does have a lot going for it.
The cast is full of characters with really cool names like Raliegh Becket, Hercules Hanson, and Stryker Pentecost. Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba are the most recognizable outside of Ron Perlman who I found to be annoying. Fan boys will disagree because they love him from Hell Boy. Charlie Day is the comic relief and for mostly unknowns they all gel together. The dialogue is forced at times, but you don't see a film like this and not expect to see cheese. There is even a nice nod to Star Wars.
It's a giant cartoon brought to life and at times I was ready for someone to scream, "form blazing sword!" Pacific Rim was a lot of fun. Not the best movie. In my opinion, not as good as Transformers. Sorry Bay haters. The concept was decent and the story simple. I feel like after 911 and The Boston Bombing, I am having difficulty watching cities be leveled. It is, however, impossible to unleash giant monsters and not destroy a building or four hundred. It's not the best movie of the summer, but far from the worst. My advice, suspend disbelief, grab some pop corn, be a kid again, and have a good time. When it comes to Pacific Rim, that's what I did.