The last few weeks for me have been nothing short of Pacific Rim pandemonium. From reading the graphic novel prequel Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero by the film’s creator and co-writer Travis Beacham to watching nearly all of director Guillermo del Toro’s films (minus The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth). A friend of mine even joined me to watch Cronos and Hellboy II, and then we decided to throw in Cloverfield which makes for a perfect pseudo-prequel to Pacific Rim. I also have the score by Ramin Djawadi on continuous play in my car and the NECA action figures are sitting on a shelf in my toy room. To say I overhyped the film is an understatement. Does Pacific Rim deserve the pedestal I may have prematurely set it on? Hell yes.
In the near future, a portal has opened up in the Pacific Ocean allowing “kaiju” (giant monsters) to rise from the depths. We are thrust into the middle of the waging war of humanity against the kaiju using massive robots called “jaegers” to defend the planet. Part of the initial battle are brothers Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) and Yancy (Diego Klattenhoff) under the guidance of Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba). Yancy is killed in battle against a category one kaiju called Knifehead while Raleigh maneuvers their jaeger (Gipsy Danger) to the Alaskan shore.
Five years later we find Raleigh doing construction work where he’s found out by Pentecost who’s bringing him back to Hong Kong to join the resistance after the threat of having the jaeger program shut down. With the battle against the kaiju intensifying — kaijus are beginning to attack in multiples whereas before it was one at a time — and the only defense we have left lies with Raleigh and his new jaeger partner Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi). Meanwhile, Dr. Newt (Charlie Day) may have figured out how to stop the attacks. Newt goes on a mission of his own, looking for black market kaiju organ harvester Hannibal Chau (Ron Perlman) to obtain a whole kaiju brain, which just may hold the key to everything they need to know.
In case you’re wondering how the robots work, it’s through what’s called a “neural handshake” and “drifting,” and it’s very well explained in the film so I won’t go into details here. For anyone who has seen the trailers for Pacific Rim, you know what you’re getting into. Giant robots square off against giant monsters. But no worries, with this being a Guillermo del Toro film you can rest assure that there is plenty of humanity behind the action — all of the main characters even get their own backstories! With Mako’s, we get thrust into the middle of her importance which is quite a sight to behold. Del Toro and Beacham have delivered the summer blockbuster we’ve been waiting for with the biggest crowd-pleaser since The Avengers.
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