Director: Guillermo del Toro Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Ron Perlman
In the near future, the Earth finds itself being invaded by Kaiju; giant aliens using some kind of portal from underneath the Earth’s crust (the Pacific Rim, to be exact) to get in. The government is useless and it’s left up to a recently decommissioned alien-fighting organisation to finish off the Kaiju once and for all using Jaegers, which are huge weaponised robots controlled by the minds of two pilots. Enter disillusioned and brooding Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and his old commander Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) to save the day- and the world as we know it.
I can unashamedly admit that I greatly enjoyed this film. I had very small expectations and only stumbled across it one rainy weekday evening when there was nothing else on the telly- but actually it was the perfect mindless film after a tiring working day. The plot sounds terrible, but it’s easy to follow and actually rather enjoyable. It’s full of fun and ambitious fighting sequences (the Jaegers are pretty awesome inventions) as well as good one-liners and funny moments- basically pretty much any scene featuring Dr Geiszler (Charlie Day). There is some pretty good characterisation: young Jaeger trainee Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) has a good backstory, and Charlie Hunnam plays the reluctant hero well.
What I appreciated most about Pacific Rim was the lack of unnecessary romantic storyline. In most action flicks like this, the male lead predictable falls for his female supporting character, which I usually find to be tedious and a distraction from the far more thrilling action and heroics. However, contrary to what I was expecting there was very little of this, right up until the final scene, when even then romance is implied rather than plainly obvious. For some mindless action, easy-to-follow plot line and some pretty effective CGI, Pacific Rim is a great shout for a lazy evening in.