Directed by Guillermo del Toro
2013’s Pacific Rim, directed by Guillermo del Toro, is set in an age where colossal dinosaur-like creatures that bleed a radioactivity neon blue occasionally ascend, one after the other, from a crack in the pacific ocean and wreak havoc on major cities across the globe. To combat these monstrosities, the nations collaborate in building monstrosities of their own—the jaeger—a two-man machine made of metal and brawn. And they get good at winning. But, the rate of kaiju attacks has increased, and the jaeger program, the only viable means of intervention, is in jeopardy, being deemed ineffective. They need funding. But they must prove themselves. So, they need better pilots. And they need Raleigh Becket, former jaeger pilot, who retired after a botched kaiju mission 5 years ago whereby he lost his brother/co-pilot. Raleigh and the jaeger program also have the overwhelming responsibility of safeguarding the world from a race of prehistoric creatures that prove more organized than they initially thought and continue coming.
This movie is memorable, to say the least—rather sci-fi, action, and military purpose done right. It carries trumping themes of responsibility, courage, and sacrifice. It builds important characters by working past events seamlessly into the setting and incorporates captivating but subsidiary romance. There isn’t much whelm around Charlie Hunnam’s lead, Mr. Becket, but other characters certainly make up for it; Idris Elba gives an irrefutable performance as stoic, authoritative, and to be respected Marshal Stacker Pentecost. The movie lasts a steadily paced two hours in which there’s never really a dull moment, and its riveting theme music makes it feel like an abomination to look away from kaiju-jaeger combat.
“Haven’t you heard, Mr. Becket? The world is coming to an end. So, where would you rather die, here… or in a Jaeger?” —Stacker
Reviewed by Chaya J.