Pacific Rim - Spoiler Free Review
Holy moly. Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim just made me feel like I was 8 years old again. His tale of giant alien beasts (Kaiju) doing battle with equally giant robots (Jagers) is the sort of movie you could only dream about when you're a wee ankle-biter. This is 2 hours of over the top, downright outrageous action that will leave you questioning if you should jam your face into your palm or stand up and applaud like a loon...I chose the latter.
Pacific Rim delivers on everything it promised. It delivers battle scenes on an epic scale, battles fought in the water, underwater, in the middle of cities and almost in space. Yes, SPACE! It delivers characters straight out of 90's action cartoons, their names tell you everything you need to know; Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and Hannibal Chau (Ron Perlman) all sound like they were made for the front of an action figure box. The Jagers though, they really are made for an action figure box. There's a nice variation to their design and, like their pilots, they all have their own personalities and characteristics.
Despite all of these positives, the most important thing Pacific Rim got right was not taking itself too seriously. You'll find yourself launched into a war being fought by humans and the Kaiju, the latter of which have entered Earth through a portal under the Pacific Ocean. The humans launch the Jager program, unleashing giant robots controlled by two mind-melded pilots. After a brief fling with victory, the humans and their Jagers find themselves on the back foot. They're losing the war. Jump a few years into the future and Earth's resistance is focused around a Jager base called the Shatterdome. From here on in, the aliens, the action and the chesse just keep getting bigger and more ridiculous. Yeah, there are a lot of cheesy lines, forced emotional bonds and brothers in arms moments, but it all fits quite well. Idris Elba does pretty the best he could with the half-baked "canceling the apocalypse" moment, Charlie Hunnam is fairly likeable as the film's hero and best of all, Charlie Day and Ron Perlman (Perlman especially) keep the film's comedy level ticking along nicely.
To focus on the negatives (briefly), science is somewhat of an afterthought throughout the film. The exploration of mind-melding is patchy and they never quite manage to make you believe that any of this could ever happen. Don't expect to get too attached to any of the film's characters either. Guillermo clearly had too much action and madness to cram in to bother with decent backstories and character development.
Pacific Rim is going to divide people's opinions. Some will say it's just silly, while others will see this as a good thing and say it's just bloody amazing!