Living it large, Kaiju styles

PACIFIC RIM3SR: Guillermo del Toro loves to live it large. Disengage your brain, gear up your primary cortex and enjoy.

Starring: Idris Elba, Charlie Day, Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro.

Written by Travis Beacham and Guillermo del Toro.

 Action, adventure, science fiction | 2hr 11mins | M | Violence

4 stars

Imagine all the very best moments from all the very best disaster movies rolled into one and wrapped up with themes of sacrifice, heroism, trust and daddy issues. Now add 100 foot tall, acid spewing monsters battling giant, human-run robots and you’ve got the latest film by fantasy mastermind  Guillermo del Toro, Pacific Rim.

Everything changes for humanity when a rift opens in the ocean unleashing a wave of monsters, called Kaiju, whose antics leave old Tokyo-toppling Godzilla in the dust.

In retaliation, the nations of Earth band together to create the Jaegers – skyscraper sized Robots capable of defending humanity from the Kaiju onslaught.

But when Jaeger hot-shot Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunman) loses his co-pilot and brother in an attack by a new breed of Kaiju, he loses faith in himself and the battle for survival.

Now, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, Becket must decide if he’s man enough to suit up again, or wimp out and let the Kaiju overrun the earth.

Pacific Rim is awesome – literally and figuratively.

Watching in 3D, Del Toro’s gargantuan, rocking robots are as solid as the cinema chair in front of you, the monumental monsters as viscerally and anatomically true as the chap a seat over stuffing his face with popcorn.

And with the help of Del Toro’s eye for the gross and creepy – the monsters have misplaced mouths filled with craggy rows of razor teeth and multiple eyes like spiders only mind bogglingly massive – the line between the real world and one in which transdimensional mega beasts are normal is magically blurry.

It’s fan-flipping-tastic if you’re a hardened action film fan, but not so great for younger viewers lured in by the promise of a relatively clean film. There’s no swearing or (human) blood spilled, but the baddies are relentless and terrifying.
The simplistic plot has elements of all the classics, with arch rivalry care of  Top Gun  and rousing speeches by way of Independance Day , but it lends the film a classic quality rather than a derivative one, that’s just plain fun.

Weighty scenes that could have veered into comic cliche are  buoyed up excellent performances from Idris Elba as the stoic, hard-ass Stacker Pentecost – leader of the Jaeger Program, and Rinko Kikuchi as a would-be Jaeger pilot with a troubled past, Mako Mori.

Disengage your brain, gear up your primary cortex and enjoy.

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