So a couple days ago I went to see Pacific Rim. And IT WAS AWESOME!! I mention this because I commented on Facebook about how I wanted to see it and got mocked by some friends including my uncle mind you they're probably going to go waste money watching Smurfs 2 or something but screw them!!
As a kid I always loved Godzilla, aka giant monster smashing cities type of movies. I own the MST3K Gamera box set and it's a fun set to revisit from time to time. Even though I was a bit too old for it when it came on (7th grade), I watched the original Power Rangers just for the wonderfully stock footage reedited Megazord vs. Monster battles. So for me, Pacific Rim was really like something from my childhood but with big budget effects and directed by the same guy who gave us Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth.
OK, so the story goes that in the not too distant future, giant monsters called Kaiju (Japanese for giant monsters) emerge from a dimensional portal beneath the ocean and the countries of the world unite to create giant robots called Jagers (German for hunter) to fight them off. The key is that a Jager is too big and powerful for one person to control so they require two pilots working together through a sort of complicated "mind meld" thing where they share thoughts like the Navi did with the trees. But after several years the monsters are getting stronger and the Jagers are being decommissioned in favor of building giant walls around coastal cities.
Our lead hero is Raleigh, a Jager pilot who lost his brother/co pilot to a battle years ago. He's called to Hong Kong to join a group of Jager pilots in a last ditch effort to destroy the Kaiju portal but of course he's dealing with the trauma of losing his brother and he's brash and impulsive. You know the drill. He meets up with a Japanese scientist called Mako, who had a traumatic Kaiju experience herself. They eventually get paired up to pilot one of the remaining Jagers along with some almost cartoony representations of Chinese, Russians and Austrailians but we're not here for storytime people, we're here for the sexy robot on monster action, right?!
And while the human story is decent, the monster fights deliver. They're exciting and creative and just plain fun to watch. I don't want to spoil it but every awesome thing you could do with a giant robot fighting a giant monster, you get it. At one point a Jager picks up a tanker ship and smacks the monster over the head with it.
On a few side notes, there are some fun, secondary characters. There are two nerdy scientists that I got a kick out of especially the one being a "Kaiju fanboy" wanting to use the mind meld tech to understand the monsters better and Ron Pearlman there as a war profiteer is there being Ron Pearlman which is enough for me. In a slight spoiler I was really happy that the film avoided the cliche of having Raleigh and Mako become a couple at the end. Too many movies are tempted to make the 2 leads fall in love but this doesn't go there and instead just focuses on a strong bond of friendship which was a refreshing change of pace.
Overall, this was a fun movie. This summer's movies were mostly "meh" for me so something mindlessly fun was a nice change of pace so if you love giant monster movies, then go see it.