Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Charlie Day, Rinko
Kikuchi, Ron Perlman, Burn Gorman
Direction: Guillermo del Toro
Duration: 2 hours 11 minutes
STORY: Intergalactic monsters called the Kaiju are unleashed from a rift in the Pacific Ocean to wipe out humanity. Only a force of equally gigantic robots created by man called the Jaegers can thwart them. REVIEW: Stripped down, this movie is essentially about giant robots and giant sea monsters bashing each other up. The Jaeger robots are so large that they require two human operators to form a ‘drift’ (or a ‘neural bridge’) with each other to act as the left-brain and right-brain hemispheres controlling the mecha-robots from within.
The Jaegers are then airlifted out to sea for a supersized slugfest with the Kaiju. Raleigh Becket ( Charlie Hunnam) had lost his brother Yancy (Diego Klattenhoff) to the Kaiju and the neural bridge allowed Becket to feel his co-driver brother’s pain in his time of dying. Commanding officer Stacker Pentecost ( Idris Elba) later plans a last-ditch effort to knock out the Kaiju once and for all at their source point.
Burned-out Becket is recalled into service to command his old Jaeger called Gipsy Danger with Mako Mori (Kikuchi). Mori’s own need for revenge against the Kaiju is convincing. She is perfect for her role. Other than that, Del Toro has populated their fellow Jaeger combatants with stereotypes – stoic Russians, bellicose Australians, softspoken Orientals and two mad scientists who seek a cerebral solution. The visuals are undeniably great and so are the effects. You’ll even get to see a Jaeger bludgeon a Kaiju with a cargo ship.
But the visuals will have to be this film’s calling card because the ballast that holds it back is generic acting, monster film cliches and a sparse script. Ron Perlman, notwithstanding a tiny role, manages to shine as Hannibal Chau. The effort to inject romance between Mori and Becket is redundant. For once though, the battle for the planet is being fought someplace other than the USA. Although the story line is passable, the real stars in Pacific Rim are the Jaegers.