Dino-mite robots

Pacific Rim (M)
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Charlie Day.

IN THE arena of big, dumb fun, it doesn’t get much bigger and dumber than this.
Pacific Rim combines giant robots with monster dinosaurs aimed squarely at the 12-year-old boy market … and their dads.
And films don’t get much larger than this – the protagonists are “2500 tonnes of awesomeness”.
The robots are like walking skyscrapers, as are their Godzilla-like foes.
The amphibian monsters, known as Kaiju, have appeared through a space warp in the floor of the Pacific. The beleaguered humans are abandoning efforts to fight them, facing on a containment policy via a giant wall project.
This means the robot fighters “Jaegers” are in decline – until the wall is breached and a handful of Jaegers are thrown into the frontline.
A twist is that the Jaegers are driven by two neurally linked pilots who reside in the machine’s head.
That about does it for the plot, and who needs much character when you’ve got this much empty spectacle?
It’s a beautifully rendered world, and the detail is impressive, with the fights taking place in a range of environments, from city streets to the ocean floor – even Sydney Harbour gets a monster visit.
The film is a bit overlong, but mostly the ideas here do hold the attention – particularly if you’re 12, or perhaps 12 at heart.
Oddly, the movie continues the modern technique of having a quasi-climax and ending, followed by the real ending 30 minutes later. That said, it’s still better than a lot of what’s on screens at the moment.
– Jason Beck