After giant Kaiju monsters begin to emerge from an interdimensional portal at the base of the Pacific Ocean, humans across all countries and creeds come together to create combative Jaeger robots. As Kaiju attacks become more frequent and more powerful, the dwindling crew of Jaeger pilots must find a way to halt the oncoming apocalypse.
Brothers. Father and son. Lab partners. Lovers. A commander and his many soldiers. It’s easy for movies to get caught up in the awe and spectacle of their great, towering beasts, but the best of the genre all share a single elevating secret: the humans fighting those monsters will always be more impressive.
Monster-driven plot lines have long been a tool for storytellers to highlight the very best parts of a united humanity. Pacific Rim takes this idea and not only modernizes it, but also enhances it, with the introduction of Drift Compatibility. It’s partners that run deeper than blood, it’s soulmates without the typically romantic connotation, and it’s every excuse that Guillermo del Toro needed to spend an entire movie talking about human relationships.
The concept is this: two people, whether they share a lifelong connection or have known each other for mere days, share a deep psychological bond that allows them to pilot a multi-ton mechanical robot in an attempt to destroy the otherworldly lifeforms attempting to colonize Earth. What follows is a series of inevitably kickass fight scenes, a whole lot of teary-eyed talks, and immediate audience investment.
It does initially seem like there might be too many elements at play. Two hours hardly seems like enough time to introduce an entirely new world, foster empathy across no less than eight crucial characters, and still fit in the necessary action sequences required by the genre. But Pacific Rim is able to do all of this by focusing on that single element of Drift Compatibility. It’s the ultimate tie-in. The imperative hook. Nothing about this movie makes any sense unless it is looked at through the lens of this unique relationship.
And because of this acute focus, the film not only works, but it thrives. Characters feel dynamic, with active motivations. The plot rides along the edges of a viewer’s heart, rather than riding on the adrenaline of a Big Bad Battle. The emotional climax hits in uncertain waves as the thrill of success and disheartenment of failure yank the viewers back and forth, then back again. The ending leaves audiences satisfied, but not without the cost of those relationships that the movie works so hard to build.
Pacific Rim is so impactful because it reflects how we truly live our lives. We operate through our relationships—not just with our spouses or partners, but also with our friends, our family, and our colleagues. Relationships define our world and it only makes sense that they would also define our stories.
This beautiful writing is delivered by a clearly passionate cast that maintains a cohesive tone throughout the entirety of the film. There’s no misplaced humor. No patch-worked scenes. Pacific Rim flows with the sort of ironic ease that suggests the cast and crew themselves may have obtained some level of Drift Compatibility.
In a word: satisfying. Exceedingly so. Pacific Rim is good to the eye, good to the ear, and good to the heart. There's no way for a viewer to avoid falling in love with each and every character. It's the kind of movie that makes you want to watch the sequel immediately after.
Monsters Unleashed!: Pacific Rim
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Acting - 10/1010/10
Music - 8/108/10
Production - 10/1010/10
User Review( vote)