Let’s get one thing out of the way first. “Pacific Rim” is not, in fact, a scatalogical sexual practice performed in an extremely calm manner. It is the edges of the Pacific Ocean, which are threatened with annihilation when a gateway opens up underwater to another dimension filled with giant monsters. Oh no! However can Mankind fight back? But of course. WITH GIANT ROBOTS.
It’s basically the climax of Aliens, where Ripley straps on an exo-skeleton and kicks Alien ass, magnified a hundred times and stretched to a whole movie. Or think of it as Godzilla crossed with Transformers, except good. And if that doesn’t strike you as ten shades of awesome, this is definitely not the film for you.
It’s admirably single-minded. There is a love interest; there is family to avenge; there is noble sacrifice. But only up to a point. Guillermo del Toro apparently stripped an hour of character stuff out in the edit, so there are practically no sub-plots or back-story. In one of the film’s many great jokes – albeit one that only scriptwriters are likely to slap their thighs over – the grizzled commander (Idris Elba) snaps, speaking for grizzled commanders in pretty much all movies, “You have NO idea who I am and where I come from, and I’m not about to tell you my whole life story. All I need is to be a fixed point.”
So if you’re expecting character development, or any real plot other than “robots smash!”, you are, as the American expression quaintly has it, s**t out of luck. But if you like some armour in your Armageddon, and if you can hoot at lines such as “Guess who’s back you one-eyed bitch, and you owe me a Kaiju brain!” or “I’m cancelling the Apocalypse!”, Pacific Rim is an instant classic.