Dir. Guillermo del Toro
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
“Today at the edge of our hope, at the end of our time. We have chosen to believe in each other! Today we face the monsters that are at our door, today we are cancelling the apocalypse!”
Be afraid - in the near future, giant monsters known as ‘Kaijus’ rise from a portal / breach beneath the Pacific Ocean and start to decimate our cities – killing millions… In order to combat these Godzilla-like monsters, we humans create a new type of weapon: massive, piloted battle robots called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are bound in a neural link which lets them share the mental strain which would otherwise overwhelm a single human mind.
"think Transformers - but cooler"
The Jaeger program under the command of Stacker Pentecost (Idris ‘Luther’ Elba) looks like might just work as we take the fight to the monsters – redressing the balance of power but as new Kaiju begin to adapt and we start losing Jaegers at an alarming rate, earth’s leaders decide to divert funding into building "Wall of Life" to try and keep the monsters at bay.
Director Guillermo ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ del Toro takes on Michael ‘Transformers’ Bay at his own game here and comes away victorious with a totally epic, big budget blockbuster that sees some of the best special effects ever committed to screen used to bring the action to edge-of-your-seat life. There were moments when I couldn’t help watching my 12-year-old son’s reaction to the on screen fights – he was wide-eyed and completely captivated to the point where he as was making punching motions urging on the heroic Jaegers. “That was awesome” he told afterwards and I have to agree!?
"Gypsy Danger - sounds like a warning about travellers but is actually a cool mech"
The brave Jaeger pilots include Raleigh Becket (Charlie ‘Byker Grove’ Hunnam) – a washed-up former pilot called out of retirement by the Pan Pacific Defense Corps, he has to team up with Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) – who was rescued from the Kaju that killed her parents as a young girl. There are also a Russian team and a hotshot Australian team (who are obviously better at giant mech piloting than playing cricket!?)…
"co-pilot of choice"
Some of the scenes are wonderful homages to anime and classic Japanese monster or mech films from ages past - there is a real respect for the material and an infectious sense of joy at work behind this movie.
With the complete annihilation of the human race at stake, the few final Jaegers are marshalled in a daring attempt to get a nuclear warhead into the breach and stop the Kaijus once and for all. And you’ll be cheering them all the way as Pacific Rim delivers a megaton thrill-ride that demands your attention on the big screen!
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(4.5 - Go big or go extinct)...
Awesomeness öööö – this is Transformers with real emotional resonance!
Laughs öö – a few laughs
Horror öö – The Kaijus are a bit Cthulhu
Babes ööö – Rinko Kikuchi is cute
Spiritual Enlightenment ööö – stand firm in the face of monsters!
"Rinko Kikuchi - could kick your butt"