Come and sea what Del Toro has

by Staff Reporter

THE first time I saw the trailer for Pacific Rim, I thought of it as just another city-flattening, CGI overdose that I would inevitably watch, but not particularly remember by the time my Dr Pepper had been polished off and the popcorn swept up.
Then, I caught a glimpse of who was at the helm. Surely the director of Pan’s Labyrinth wasn’t being given nearly $200 million to make a movie about giant robots?
But, this is the new Hollywood, where the director of a memory-loss thriller gets handed the keys to the Batmobile and turns it into an international juggernaut.
The days of Emmerich, Bay and McG ruling the action roost unmolested are long, long gone.
The days of cerebral directors bringing brains to big budgets are here.
To underscore that point; look at that cast!
Cult TV favourites abound and not a Diesel, a Johnson or a Statham among them.
Charlie Hunnam! Idris Elba! Charlie Day! Fanboy deity Ron Pearlman!
So goes the theory, anyway.
In reality, Pacific Rim is best when its focus is on the giant robots beating the tar out of giant aliens.
How all of this comes about is incidental. Basically, a massive portal opened up a few years back in the, you’ve guessed it, Pacific Rim.
That brought about an influx of assorted alien life forms that destroyed cities and basically made life thoroughly unpleasant for island nations and coastal cities (unlucky, Ireland).
Millions perish but the human race gained the upper hand by creating massive humanoid robots that are controlled by a cerebral link to two pilots.
It’s two pilots because the strain is massive and it gives a reason for Hunnam’s Raleigh Becket (excellent action hero names are a theme here) to be washed up, reluctant and haunted.
The Holy Trinity of an action hero’s backstory, essentially.
The massive robots are being overrun, however, and the worlds government put the robots on ice, instead aiming to build a wall around the cities in order to keep the aliens out – aliens being known for their inability to scale walls.
Unfortunately for those pen-pushers in Washington, Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost (see? Great name) is a loose cannon and plans to end this thing, once and for all.
What follows is a bunch of scenes of cities getting smooshed and flattened as the battle rages.
If you thought Man of Steel had a gratuitous level of city-based collateral damage, avoid this one.
There are constant references to the need for the pilots of the Jaeger robots to be compatible with the technology that runs the mechs.
What this means is never fully articulated, but it seems to mean just being a bad ass who likes killing aliens.
It is, however, the best advice you will get when watching the movie; get into the mindset of robots v aliens and enjoy the show.

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