Now for one of the big budget movies of the year, after one of the smaller budget scifi movies I watched & review 2 days ago. Pacific Rim is a much awaited 2013 American science fiction monster film directed by Guillermo del Toro, written by del Toro and Travis Beacham, and starringCharlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Robert Kazinsky, Max Martini, and Ron Perlman. The movie is based around the Japanese concepts of kaijus – giant monsters. In the film, Kaiju’s are alien creatures from another dimension that come to earth – not from the stars – but through an interdimenonsional portal under our oceans. The opening was created after the tectonic plates shifted above the portal, allowing the creatures to slip though a large gap.
To combat these large creatures that create havoc & destruction in their wake, the nations of the world joined forces in creating the Jaegers – colossal humanoid war robots/machines each manned by two pilots whose brains are linked to share the overwhelming mental load of piloting the sophisticated machines. The Jaegers are effective but the creatures are able to adapt and their numbers seem to increase. After their initial appearance in 2013 and now in 2020 during a mission off the coast of Alaska, Raleigh Beckett & his brother Yancy combat a large kaiju but in the attack Yancy is killed, traumatizing his younger brother. Raleigh is able to make it to the beach in the broken jaeger but he leaves the program and spends the next 5 years working in construction. By 2025, the Pacific Rim governments have discontinued the Jaeger project and resort to building massive coastal walls to protect humanity from the Kaijus. The four remaining Jaegers are redeployed to Hong Kong to defend the unfortified coast until the wall is completed. Stacker Pentecost (Elba), commander of the Jaeger forces, devises a plan to end the war by using a nuclear weapon to destroy the portal.
What follows up next is a few predictables, some expendables, a handful of cliches and big things going bang. Pentecost, the former boss, approaches Raleigh and convinces him to return and pilot Gipsy Danger, the Jaeger he and his brother Yancy once piloted. Arriving at Hong Kong and after trying out a few possible candidates for a co-pilot, Raleigh happens to befriend and select Mako Mori – an untested, inexperienced pilot, who happens to be the adopted daughter of Pentecost, rescued by the latter when she was just a child in the wake of the first wave of Kaiju attacks. Also in their first test together Mako freezes and – since their brains are linked – Raleigh is able to see just what happened when she lost her parents and how she barely escaped being crushed by a kaiju and saved by Pentecost. Her freezing up nearly destroys the center hence she is told to stand down and removed from the combat list. There are the annoyingy loud speaking cliched brainy scientists who don’t see eye to eye and who compete with each other but eventually in the end they come together and join forces which give the fighter the intelligence needed. There is the brat – Chuck Hansen, another pilot who works with his father, who taunts Mako & Raleigh and who comes to blows with them. But he heroically gives his life up in the battle.
Then there is Penetcost – the benevolent yet tough as nails, ultimate professional and mission leader, who is dying and will give his life up to save the rest of the team and has that one last tear jerking moment with his daughter before the final moments! Edris Elba even does his version of the President’s speech from Independence Day : “Today. Today… At the edge of our hope, at the end of our time, we have chosen not only to believe in ourselves, but in each other. Today there is not a man nor woman in here that shall stand alone. Not today. Today we face the monsters that are at our door and bring the fight to them. Today, we are cancelling the apocalypse!” I almost expected him to say “Today we celebrate our Independence Day!” And we have Raleigh the down on his luck and broken hero out to prove something. So when the other jaegers are crushed and beaten Mako & Raleigh are called int action and are able to kill off the kaijus one by one, with a little help from Chuck & Penetcost – who suits up as Chucks dad gets injured. The scientists discover – by joining minds with the kaijus that they are not wild beasts, but biological weapons fighting at the behest of a race of alien conquerors. Then there is Hannibal Chau, a trafficking don who gets swallowed up by a baby kaiju but post credits cuts his way out of the newborn’s stomach.
Pentecost co-pilots the Jaeger carrying the weapon, but they are forced to detonate it early, sacrificing themselves in an effort to destroy the powerful Kaijus guarding the portal. Raleigh and Mako seize the final Kaiju with Gipsy Danger and use it to enter the portal. Running out of oxygen, Raleigh ejects Mako’s escape pod, initiates the nuclear reactor’s overload sequence, then ejects himself. Gipsy Danger‘s nuclear core detonates, laying waste to the alien conquerors and destroying the portal. Mako and Raleigh’s escape pods surface safely in the Pacific, and the duo embrace as rescue helicopters arrive. Although the portal is closed we will find a way to create a situation for the sequel(s). Hunnam & Pearlman reunite from Sons of Anarchy and Hunnam’s character is basically a softer Jackson Teller! I didn’t expect much from the characters or acting from the movie but visually – this movies rocks. 8.5 for the special effects and the production which is awesome. You’ll never care for any of the characters and won’t even remember their names by the end credits too! Still awesome enough of an action movie!