The giant monster/robot genre found its savior, and his name is Guillermo del Toro.
Check out my review of Pacific Rim after the jump!
When giant monsters dubbed Kaiju emerge from the depths of the ocean and wreck havoc across the planet, humanity fights back with monsters of their own in the form of Jaegers, giant robots controlled simultaneously by mind-linked pilots. But humanity is slowly losing the battle, and with mankind on the edge of extinction, its last hope lies in the hands of former Jaeger pilot Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), a trainee pilot with a mysterious past. Together, they will pilot a Jaeger from Raleigh's past in a mission to save the world and maybe, just maybe, cancel the apocalypse!
Let's be real...the reason why you're watching Pacific Rim in the first place is to see giant monsters and giant robots punching each other to death, and director Guillermo del Toro delivers on that in a huge way! The physics of giant monsters, the mechanics of giant robots, the forces that govern beings that huge, all converge in a dazzling display of Kaiju vs Jaeger action that has got to be seen and heard to be believed. Every time a metal fist met a Kaiju face was a very bone-crunchingly satisfying moment, and when you multiply that with the number of fights these behemoths find themselves in, then you can imagine the sheer ecstasy of the giant monster fans in the audience, which I'm sure your screening will have loads of!
Surprisingly, the cast pulls their weight alongside their Jaeger co-stars. Idris Elba as Stacker Pentecost is badass personified, and you don't even need to see his credentials to know he's not one you mess with. Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori is just the right amounts of cute and feisty, easily one of the most kick-ass women on film this year. Charlie Hunnam's Raleigh Becket fell sort of flat for me, lacking the sort of charisma I'm looking for in the hero who's gonna pull mankind from the edge of apocalypse. But when he's playing off with the rest of the cast, it brings out something likable in him, and sometimes that little bit's enough.
If you're looking for character or narrative depth from Pacific Rim, though? You're short of luck, which is what usually happens when you get tunnel vision trying your darndest to give kaiju and giant robot fans a raging fan-boner (not that there's anything wrong with that). Pacific Rim's characters are a bit on the caricature side, with most of them defined by one singular characteristic, whether it's being a huge asshole or a badass general, and the dialogue is often cringe-worthy, and if those are sore points for you then this movie won't be your cup of tea.
But for me, it's that sort of simplistic storytelling that's so endearing about it. For a movie about big-ass monsters and robots tearing up the place, it surprisingly toes the line between loud summer blockbuster and movie with heart gracefully. It's a visual spectacle you thought only your 10-year-old self could enjoy, and yet here you are years later giggling like a schoolgirl when Gipsy Danger punches a Knifehead kaiju in the face!
I haven't had this much fun watching a movie since I first saw the T-Rex for the first time on-screen in Jurassic Park! Bottom line, Pacific Rim is metric tons of fun and awesome. Highly recommended!