As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures’ wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.
The film takes place in the not-too-distant future, after an army of monstrous creatures known only as the Kaiju have risen from a dimensional rift deep in the Pacific Ocean, with the apparent intent of taking over Earth and destroying everything in their path. Humans, in turn, create giant robots called Jaegers, capable of battling (and occasionally even beating) the Kaiju in claw-to-mechanical-hand combat. The robots are roughly human-shaped, but as tall as a skyscraper and able to run, jump, fight and travel through water and upper Earth orbit.
Let’s talk about the giant fighting robots, because building such is a lot more complicated and costly than it sounds. Bigger isn’t necessarily better as I found out from my research. The bigger something is (whether an animal or robot) the weaker it becomes proportional to its body weight. This is because when you increase an object’s size, what you’re actually doing is increasing its length, width and height. Therefore the weight increases by a power of 3 and the energy required to perform increases by a power of 4. You failed in Maths? I hope not.
Back to the movie, the Jaegers (directly controlled by human minds) have two pilots acting in perfect synchronization in order to control the movements of the enormous machine. The reason that two pilots are needed is on the neural link between human and computer – known as ‘The Drift’ – which burrows into each pilot’s entire consciousness and memories in order to make them the most efficient fighter possible. The strain of such a link proves to be too great for a single human to survive it, but the Drift succeeds when bolstered by the presence of two human minds working simultaneously.
Pacific Rim will have its own fans. It feels like a self-indulged blockbuster that people will end up loving. Besides, this film is said to be Guillermo Del Toro’s (director) dream come true coming from his childhood. And seeing all that, there are plenty of things to explore and to be intrigued about. If only the plot can break some points from the mainstream storytelling, it would have been less predictable and much extraordinary. But physically, it is extraordinary. Comparable movies would be – Cloud Atlas, Godzilla and After Earth – and I give Pacific Rim 7.2 stars.