When our world is invaded by giant alien monsters called Kaiju from a breach underneath the Pacific Ocean, world leaders agreed to create the Jaeger program wherein large weaponiozed robots manned by two pilots sharing neural connections fight off the attacks. When the leaders threaten to pull a plug on the program as the monsters grow more aggressive, Marshall Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) brings back from retirement former Jaeger pilot Raleigh Beckett (Charlie Hunnam, Sons of Anarchy) who lost his partner and brother Yancy (Diego Klatenhoff) in a mission, in a last ditch effort to destroy the breach and stop the Kaiju invasion.
In itself, Pacific Rim had all of the elements of a great blockbuster flick and director Guillermo del Torro certainly knew how to manipulate the elements to create an engaging 132 minute feature that put the studio’s roughly $200 million production budget to good use. The CGI in this movie was flawlessly executed and the images were crisp and sharp and made for a very compelling movie experience. The cast was also strong, except for the lead female character Rinko Kikuchi, who played rookie Jaeger pilot Mako Mori. The problem, I think is that Rinko did not have the edginess that would enable her to pull off the character. She appeared more fragile than fierce in most of her scenes. Compounding her crime is her lack of chemistry with her co-stars Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba, whom she was supposed to share an emotional bond with, making most of the dramatic scenes fall flat. It was such as shame because there was a true potential for the movie to reach the level of Independence Day or Armageddon (only with robots) which were great balances of action, Sci Fi and drama. In contrast, the little girl who played the young Mako (Mana Ashida) was a complete star. She was cute and adorable and such a great little actress. She will surely go a long way. Among the supporting cast, Charlie Day and Ron Perlman were total standouts. They made the movie all the more awesome.
When we speeak of movies dealing with giant robots, we cannot help but compare Pacific Rim to its predecessors, Transformers and Real Steel. While Transformers set the bar high in terms of fluidity, I should say that Pacific Rim did not lack in this aspect but the Jaeger’s movements were noticeably more sluggish, owing to the fact that they were made of several tons of metal and were operated by pilots. This worked because it made sense but at the same time, the action was not as powerfully charged as the first two movies. Still, it did have great action scenes (and a lot of monster aliens that looked like Ben 10 aliens especially with the glowing green lights) that entailed a lot of destruction in the key cities of the world so in a blockbuster aspect, it was all good.
All in all, Pacific Rim delivered on the promise that its trailer held. While the plot was kind of generic and the ending was kind of a long shot, it stayed the course and focused on the execution, and made sure that viewers would have fun with the action packed popcorn movie and it succeeded, resoundingly.