Film: "Pacific Rim"; Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Ron Perlman, Rob Kazinsky, Max Martini, Clifton Collins Jr., Burn Gorman, Larry Joe Campbell, Diego Klattenhoff and Brad William Henke; Director: Guillermo del Toro; Rating: **
"Pacific Rim" is a futuristic science fiction film that deals with the man versus nature conflict. The plot works on the premise - "To fight monsters, we created monsters".
It's a story layered with hints of a potentially rich but underdeveloped science fiction mythology, full of satirical and hypothetical touches that are ultimately overdosed with gladiator-style fighting sequences between the monsters and metallic robots that represent the film's raison d'etre.
The film grabs your attention at the start with a voiceover prologue that fills in the back story of this epic war between man and Kaiju - gigantic monsters. These monsters surface from the core of the earth when the tectonic plates shift and create havoc by destroying cities in a matter of minutes.
The film begins in 2020 Alaska, seven years after the first Kaiju attack when the people of Earth that formed the Pan Pacific Defense Corps (PPDC), commissioned the 'Jaegers', a 25-storied tall robots to ward off the Kaiju attacks. This unique robot is operated by two humans, one to operate the torso and the other to operate the lower section of the robot's body. It works on the 'Drift' concept, where the minds of the two pilots need to synchronise.
Two Beckett brothers Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) and Yancy (Diego Klattenhoff) initially team up to co-pilot the Jaeger which engages a Kaiju off the coast of Alaska. Their mission is unsuccessful due to Raleigh's cockiness which led to the tragedy.
What follows is PPDC commander Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) strategising how to overcome the problem. He teams up Raleigh with a Japanese co-pilot Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) and recruits Geizler and Gottlieb (Charlie Day and Burn Gorman), a pair of monster-obsessed scientists.
While every character is quirky with a back story and engaging, none of them ever really come to life, resulting in a strange disconnect between the characters and the audiences.
The plot scripted by Travis Beacham and Guillermo del Toro, though not convoluted, has a list of cliches. It lacks the element of lightness. To top it all, the dialogues are dull, making the act staid. All the actors are underused with equally robotic expressions, except for Ron Perlman, who with a snazzy outfit, as the shadowy Kaiju parts dealer, breathes some life to his performance.
Technically, "Pacific Rim" is an outstanding achievement from the director and his ace special effects team. To create the creatures of such magnitude and for the craftsmanship of bringing it to life, is no mean feat.
The cinematography by Guillermo Navarro seamlessly merges with the animated computer generated images. The smooth quick edits by John Gilroy and Peter Amundson conspire to create a dynamic visual rhythm.
The only thing that is overpowering is Ramin Djawadi's mounting background score.
"Pacific Rim" is Guillermo del Toro's loudest movie and to be honest, the din numbs your senses, forcing your mind to shut sporadically.
Watch it only if you are a metallic fan.