Normally a movie about robots fighting monsters wouldn’t interest me but the names and creative talent attached to Pacific Rim has made it one of my most anticipated films of the summer. The most interesting name attached to the film is Guillermo del Toro who is one of the most interesting directors around. His movies range from the fun Hellboy series to the dramatic Pans Labyrinth and Pacific Rim looked to be another interesting genre film from the director. Pacific Rim is defiantly a del Toro film and yet it also feels like your run of the mill blockbuster movie. Even with some excellent visuals and some strong performances, Pacific Rim is shockingly pretty standard but that’s exactly what it wants to be. Del Toro and crew have set out to make a uniquely normal blockbuster and that is what you get here for better or for worse. If you don’t mind the clichés and nuances of a summer blockbuster than Pacific Rim will blow your mind but if you enjoy a more “creative” narrative, well, then stay for the robot/monster action.
Pacific Rim takes place in the future where huge monsters called Kaiju have somehow created a portal in the Pacific Ocean and have begun to attack earth and it’s inhabitants. The only thing that can stop them is these giant robots called Jaegers, which need two pilots to run. We begin the movie not at the start of the war but towards the end where the Kaiju are getting bigger and are overrunning the Jaegers. There is some interesting storylines about the way that two pilots have to connect minds to man the Jaeger and the black market for Kaiju parts but overall the narrative structure is very similar to what we have seen before. So if you can’t sink your teeth into the main storyline, like me, then trust me and go see it for the monsters and robots. Pacific Rim is at its best when you have the real draw of a blockbuster on screen, the action. It is very well done as the Kaiju and the Jaegers look awesome doing battle in Hong Kong or the deep sea. The action is essentially very eye catching and the battle in Hong Kong is one of the most thrilling and impressive action scenes in some time. Pacific Rim is at its best when it doesn’t mind what it is and lets the Robots and Monsters beat the crap out of each other.
There is a thought process now a days that the darker a blockbuster is the better it is. Del Toro obviously doesn’t like this thought process as Pacific Rim sort of counters such movies as The Dark Knight Trilogy, which took it’s story very seriously. Pacific Rim is about creating a light and fun story that can appeal to both adults and children. It’s Del Toro trying to show people that our big blockbuster films don’t need to be serious or “dark” to have a high degree of quality. Pacific Rim is defiantly a quality film even if it isn’t as enriching as the films it doesn’t want to be.