For the love of God, see Pacific Rim

I wasn’t planning on seeing Guillermo Del Toro’s latest summer blockbuster Pacific Rim, but I’m glad I did. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved every film of Del Toro’s that I’ve seen. I thought both Hellboy movies were fantastic, better than expected on all levels. I haven’t seen some of his most famous movies, like Blade II or Pan’s Labyrinth so I don’t qualify even close to a Del Toro fanatic, but I’m sure I’d like at least one of those movies. And anyone chomping at the bit to make an At the Mountains of Madness adaptation is alright with me. But when I heard about Pacific Rim I wasn’t immediately sold on the giant mecha battling monsters concept. Sure, it looks good on paper, but how do you pull that off without it seeming like some kind of hackneyed Hollywood take on an idea that would be better suited for an anime feature? Del Toro was great at bringing mind-blowing, galaxy-spanning backdrops and creatures to the screen, but could he take a simple Godzilla-like story of Good Giant Robots doing mortal combat with Evil Giant Monsters?

The answer is yes. Holy balls, yes. This man should make every summer blockbuster for now on, because he gets it. He at least understood what needed to be done for this one. Take simple idea (robot smash monster save world), add depth through some clever plot devices and pseudo-science (the ‘neural handshake,’ the origin of the kaiju), and for the love of the goddamn Kraken get the plot out of the way and let the giant mecha begin to kick the shit out of H.P. Lovecraft’s nightmares as soon as possible and as often as necessary. Part of what makes it work is the fact that the monsters, the kaiju, are some of the coolest monsters ever in a summer blockbuster. In order for you to care about your robot protagonist, Del Toro makes the threat seem real by creating an otherworldly enemy scares the fuck out of you.

I could go long reporting on this one. I liked it that much. And normally I would reserve this for offline conversation, but Pacific Rim got pummeled by Grown Ups 2 and Despicable Me 2. Talk about mourning for your species. So go out and see this one. Imax 3d was totally worth it.

BONUS: contains scenes of Ron Perlman being a badass.