When I first heard that was making a giant monster movie, I was instantly intrigued. He's one of my favorite directors, having made plenty of modern classics (Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy 1 & 2), so he’s well proven himself as a competent filmmaker. Once I learned it involved giant robots as well, there was no way I was going to miss it! Then I saw trailers and I thought "OH MY GOD! THIS IS GONNA BE SO AWESOME!"
Sorry if I sound a bit too fan boyish, but that's how I felt learning more and more about this movie. I was a child of the 90s, so I grew up on shows like Mighty Morphin Power Ranges, the various Gundam series, and many other shows that involved monsters vs. robots. Del Toro himself has always proven to be a fan of various supernatural elements (especially monsters), so it was clear he’d treat the movie with the respect it deserved. Since I'm sure so many others are going to go into greater detail about the movie, I’ll keep it brief. Besides, I don’t want to give everything away. Giant monsters, dubbed 'Kaiju', have emerged from a portal in the ocean and have been attacking Earth for years. The governments of the world come together to build giant battle robots known as 'Jaegers' to combat these colossal threats.
Any other director could've just made this a standard beat em’ up film, but Del Toro injects a lot of heart into this movie. He shows how the Kaiju have affected the lives of people, how the Jaeger pilots have to bond in order to successfully fight (it takes two humans to pilot one), and it has moments to breathe so that we can care about the situation and hope for the best of humanity. Now, a lot of people online compare this to a popular anime known as Neon Genesis Evangelion. Other than the common theme of giant monsters and robots, this movie is nothing like that show. The monsters in Evangelion had more elaborate detail to them, that wouldn’t be as easy to describe. The Kaiju on the other hand look very much like classic giant monsters in the vain of Godzilla or Gamera; but they still have very unique looks. The Jaegers all have particular appearance as well, and every country at one point had one.
Speaking of the Jaegers and Kaiju, the special effects are amazing! So much effort was clearly put into making these things look real. And while the Jaegers are shown to have a lot of details to get them to work, they aren’t as crazy looking as say the robots in the Transformers franchise, with constant gears moving and not so attractive designs that just distract constantly.
And like most Del Toro movies, Pacific Rim boasts a fantastic cast of talented actors. English actor may not be a household name (although a lot of people may know him from Sons of Anarchy) but he’s an actor with great range and enough charisma to be a leading man. But I would still call this an ensemble, as many of the characters play important roles.
(The Losers, Prometheus, and Thor) is terrific as always as a military leader whose very presence rarely requires him to raise his voice to get people’s attention. Academy award nominee, (Babel, The Brothers Bloom, and Assault Girls) plays a fantastic female character who proves on several occasions that she can fight with the best of them. Refreshingly, there isn’t a clichéd romance going on between her and Hunnam’s character, rather it’s a mutual respect and admiration. Rounding out the cast is Charlie Day (TV’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and the movies Horrible Bosses and Going the Distance) as a quirky young scientist trying to discover how the Kaiju work. There’s also Del Toro regular, (Cronos, Hellboy 1 & 2, and TV’s Sons of Anarchy) as larger than Hannibal Chau, who deals in Kaiju organs on the black Market. Everyone plays their parts well, and the audience ends up caring for those we’re meant to care for because of a combination of great acting and storytelling.
I have nothing more to say except- go see this movie! We need more movies that take risks like this one!