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 defenceless 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. Special Features: Blooper Reel The Wall of Life/Rations Excuse Me Theft Catch You in the Drift Dad Audio Commentary by Guillermo Del Toro [show more]
All of us were five years old once. As we've grown up, we've tended to grow more serious, and seek forms of entertainment that better reflect that seriousness. But occasionally, a filmmaker remembers that our inner child still exists somewhere, and delivers a movie that's pitched squarely at that part of us that never really matured.
Pacific Rim is just such a movie.
Set in a world in which gigantic, skyscraper-sized aliens have attacked the Earth (gaining entry through a mysterious undersea portal) and humans have hit back by constructing equally gigantic robots (each complete with a pair of human co-pilots), the film dispenses with all of this setup in a slick, montage-heavy prologue, dazzling us immediately with the sheer scale of the plot before clearing the way for an hour and a half of what we've all paid to see: huge robots punching even huger aliens.
It really is like a Saturday-morning cartoon come to life, only with multi-million-dollar special effects to bring the imagination of director Guillermo del Toro to life. Unlike other similar films, however - Michael Bay's Transformers movies spring to mind - Pacific Rim clearly has a sense of humour about itself, peppering the story with outrageously exaggerated characters and adding frequent touches of levity that remind you that the filmmakers are all in on the joke.
Something else that sets it apart from lesser effects-heavy films is that it has a cast you can really root for. Not that the characterisation is particularly subtle or the characters are particularly original: they're not. But the actors who play them (and there are some good ones here: Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam and Ron Perlman among them) make them so likeable and distinctive that you're almost immediately on their side, even when some of them are clearly destined not to survive the movie.
At times it's almost as though the actors are competing with each other to see who can pull off the most outrageous cartoon-like personality. Between Burn Gorman's scenery-chewing role as genius scientist Dr. Hermann Gottlieb, Charlie Day as ultra-geek biologist Dr. Newton Geiszler, and Perlman as Hannibal Chau - a black-marketeer who deals in rare alien organs - it's a close-run thing, but I think Perlman pips them all with his gleefully larger-than-life gangster personality.
Only Elba and his co-star Rinko Kikuchi (playing a young robot pilot who lost her family in an early alien attack on Japan) seem to be treating the story with any sincerity or seriousness - and even then, it only helps to set the crazy antics of the rest of the cast in even sharper relief.
But why am I talking about the humans so much? The real appeal of this film is its numerous and extensive fight scenes between the aliens and the robots, and on this front it doesn't disappoint. While there's a certain amount of genuine drama to these scenes (the two human co-pilots of each robot are linked by a sort of mind-meld, giving them greater empathy for each other and insight into each other's feelings), a more powerful visceral thrill comes from the sheer joy of seeing these fantastical creations destroy cities as they battle each other. Intricately detailed CGI creations (in terms of the robots, the aliens, and the cityscapes themselves) help to sell the reality of film perfectly, striking just the right balance between realism and heightened, cartoonish hyper-reality.
And somehow, despite opening the movie with so much amazing action, the film manages to keep ramping things up and up from there, pulling off ever-more outrageous action sequences with each battle - until you're completely exhausted by the end of the film's climactic scenes.
This is a movie to enjoy with your brain turned off and a bucket of popcorn in your lap, tapping into that inner five-year-old that never really grew up. It might not be an intellectually-stimulating or even particularly thoughtful movie, but it's an utterly enjoyable one.
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. Sci-fi action feature directed and co-written by Guillermo del Toro. Gigantic monsters known as Kaiju rise up from the Pacific Ocean and invade Earth. As they rage war, killing millions in the process, the human race defend their planet with the use of special robots called Jaegers which are controlled neurally by their pilots. However, even these magnificent machines have trouble defeating the Kaiju. With their armed forces dwindling, mankind puts its faith in ex-pilot Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and trainee Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi). Together they must control an early Jaeger model in one last attempt to save Earth.
Sci-fi action feature directed and co-written by Guillermo del Toro. Gigantic monsters known as Kaiju rise up from the Pacific Ocean and invade Earth. As they rage war, killing millions in the process, the human race defend their planet with the use of special robots called Jaegers which are controlled neurally by their pilots. However, even these magnificent machines have trouble defeating the Kaiju. With their armed forces dwindling, mankind puts its faith in ex-pilot Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and trainee Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi). Together they must control an early Jaeger model in one last attempt to save Earth.