From the outside, Pacific Rim is just a monster movie. There are big monsters attacking the earth so humans build monster-sized robots to fight them. It had a monster budget, and a monster amount of CGI action scenes. From the outside, it may seem a bit… soul-less… and you might worry that when the action dies down the movie doesn’t know what to do with itself. But Guillermo del Toro knows his way around a monster movie, and he makes a good two hours.
Yes, there’s monsters, but it’s the people who matter, the people who save the world by sticking together.
In between epic fights, we’re told of the backgrounds of these fighters, so they become human to us, people, not just soldiers. They tell us of their reasons to fight and we’re shown the difficulties to do so. There’s sad parts, and lighter parts, there intense characters like the Marshall and funnier ones like the scientist duo, and all of them tell us a tale of how important is to remain together while facing adversity.
Because that’s exactly what Pacific Rim is, not a movie about monsters but a movie about human connection: relationships between fathers and sons, brothers, different nations of the world or simply friends — they learn that to survive, you need each other, and you have to work together. This can be seen in a smaller scale via the jaegers, where two people have to work together to pilot the robot, or in the shatterdome, where the worlds’ biggest nations (Russia, China, the U.S.…) all work in unison for a common goal.
It may not be a cinematic wonder and it certainly lacks any kind of subtlety (if you don’t like alien monster fights you probably will get bored in the action scenes) but it has good characters, good pacing, some humour and a lots of action.
It’s a monster movie with a soul, that leaves you with a good taste in your mouth.
P.S. Also, the names of the Jaegers are really cool. Your main hero robot is called Gypsy danger. Gypsy danger. I mean that is…