Gundams and Godzilla with a kick of Dragon Ball Z. If that sounds great to you, Pacific Rim is your ideal summer film in a nutshell. It’s all epic robots named Jaegers piloted by Top Gun ego pilots fighting giant alien lizards (Kaiju) trying to destroy the world. While that description might make any movie goer skeptical, any doubt you have will be put to rest by the sheer entertainment factor.
For a potentially complex introduction needed to a sci-fi esque film, Pacific Rim beautifully sums up all the background information you ever need to know in a good and short monologue. Main actor Charlie Hunnam from “Sons of Anarchy” fits the badass pilot role great. He even has the same posture and walk from the show. (What range!)
Comic relief is well supplied by “Always Sunny” actor Charlie Day and his accomplice played by Burn Gorman. These two have a separate path throughout the film which also includes the guest appearance of Ron Perlman (also best known from “Sons of Anarchy”). Pacific Rim cleverly introduces the nerdiest and most interesting concepts through these characters instead of awkwardly tasking all this to the action geared cast dealing with their own stuff (mostly the lizard things).
There are a few minor quirks that should have been altered. First, the idea that these big robots are being phased out to build a big pacific wall is stupid. This wall as a story mechanic is supposed to give an urgency factor to the dwindling number of robots and pilots. But come on writers! A wall?! These are galactic dinosaurs, not the Huns!
Second, the conclusion is very “Avengers” like. Director Guillermo del Toro couldn’t really escape that reality if he wanted to end on a high note. Doomsday films have a tendency to end in inconclusive despair or require a bomb to end all bombs. The latter makes for a more crowd pleasing finish, and largely puts to rest a possibility of a dreaded sequel in this case. The story itself is fairly original, but the concepts of an apocalypse followed by Gundams and Godzilla are just a matter of addition from recycled decades of entertainment. However, this is held together so well by the blitz of wow factors that the flaws mostly float out of note.
While nothing can really constitute a major plot twist, a story is visible and plausible enough to keep the ball rolling between the beautifully done action sequences. That’s what summer blockbusters are all about.