14-year-old boys finally get their dream movie – an aliens-versus-robots effects-fest that involves much smashing and grunting (and that’s just from the human members of the cast).
Directed by Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth), this is essentially Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla with a bigger budget as nasty, huge creatures arise from the oceans through a rift in the earth’s core and start smashing up coastal cities. Rather than just evacuate all the people inland, in the opening flashback we learn that after uselessly firing weapons from planes at these monsters, us humans decided the best way to get rid of the baddies (known as Kaiju) was to build mega-robots (named Jaegers, like the beer) to battle them one on one (well, sort of two on one, as you need two human pilots melding their minds to power each robot).
Flash forward a decade, and mentally-scarred former Jaeger pilot Raleigh (Hunnam) is called back into service by the brilliantly-named Stacker Pentecost (Elba) as the Jaegers are appearing more often. Cue lots of male posturing, flashbacks of Raleigh’s new partner’s own story (Kiuchi), and, of course, a few set pieces of monsters battling robots – usually in the dark and rain so sometimes, as in the Transformers movies, it’s hard to tell who’s actually winning.
While this does have some impressive alien/robot set pieces that will make fanboys go wild, unfortunately the script has been borrowed from about eight other sources (there is some fun, though, spotting the scenes that have been nicked from other films, from Independence Day to Armageddon and even Deep Blue Sea) and is duller than the murky waters the battles take place in. Elba makes the best of a clichéd part while Hunnam is fine if somewhat forgettable, and there is nice support from the always reliable Ron Perlman (it’s best to gloss over Charlie Day and Burn Gorman’s annoying scientists). Ultimately, it’s one for boys who love to watch things being smashed up by big machines, and best avoided by everyone else.
Is Pacific Rim suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Younger children may find the Kaiju scary, especially in later scenes when they are seen up close.
The movie is a 12A certficate and is really aimed at the over-12s (partly because younger kids will be bored!)