The fact that somebody would spend $185 million to whomp up a big monsters-versus-robots movie of the sort that the old Toho mutant-lizard factory would have tossed off for a few bucks and change 60 years ago is surely a sign that something’s right with the world. Or at least with Hollywood. Or at least it will be if Pacific Rim doesn’t follow After Earth and The Lone Ranger into the currently raging bonfire of box-office despair.
The movie is a technological amazement, made with real affection for its low-rent genre, and it’s often a lot of fun. How you feel about going to see it, however, may depend on how you feel about, you know, monsters and robots.
The picture has been cooked up from decades of Japanese sci-fi films of the Kaiju (big monsters) and mecha (big robots) variety. Fervent aficionados of these pictures, of whom there are very many, can probably quote whole swatches of silly dialogue from Mothra vs. Godzilla or the multi-behemoth Destroy All Monsters.
Director Guillermo del Toro–a man in famously close touch with his inner 12-year-old–is one of these people, and what he has delivered here is a love tribute to those fondly remembered old films. The movie achieves a wondrously high standard for digital imagery employed in the service of an original concept–the ocean effects alone have a titanic power, and the mega-beasts rampaging through the picture make the Toho colossi of yore seem retiring in comparison.
Read the full review at Reason.com.