I rarely go to the movies now days. When I do, it tends to be for the types of visual stimuli that my childhood dreams were made of. Comic books come to life. Graphic novels leap to the screen...and fantasy stories materialize from the fog.
One genre that I have always pined for live action adaptations of has been the Mechanized Armor Anime. The cartoons of Japanese origin that depicted bleak futures wrought with monsters and turmoil. Mankind always found ways to fight back...often leading to epic, mind bending battle. The likes of Robotech, Macross Saga and Gundam.
...along comes Pacific Rim.
Not the cleverest of titles. Nor the most compelling of casts (there are those that absolutely love Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba..and they both do a fine job with the portions of the plot availed them). However, there is a well done composition to the substance of the movie that I found compelling. Or rather, this was a movie that I was not compelled to tear apart. The action sequences were believable in there scope and style.
The ensemble cast does a great job providing comic relief and subtle, effective texture. Charlie Day provides the type of off the wall humor that's made him so popular on "It's always Sunny in Philadelphia". Ron Perlman shows up to give us his now typecast (but still effective), heavy-weight spiel.
Where this movie really shines is with the battle scenes between the Gigantic Kaiju (Japanese for "Strange Creatures") and the saviors of humanity, the Jaegers (German for "Hunters"...giant robots, manned by two pilots linked neurologically to each other and the robot).
The movie progresses effectively, with only a minor lag due to the development of the love story between the hero and the heroine. It is a passing phase of the story and ultimately results into nothing of substance, though they do seem to have a good screen chemistry.
The battle sequences are fantastic, with each Jaeger manifesting it's own unique capabilities, load out and fighting style. The teams of pilots provide a unique character to there steeds; you tend to forget that they are in essence just tools to be used by their masters.
The storyline culminates in two epic battles first with four Jaegers versus two Kaiju. The monsters continue to adapt, evolve and get stronger as the plot progresses. The final battle unleashes a new level of terror that gives our heroes pause, but ultimately, as predicted by probably 99% of the audience, they prevail.
I won't give away the rest of the story, but suffice it to say, director Guillermo del Toro crafts exactly what the doctor ordered. This flick gets the two birds up!