Guillermo del Toro does B-movies proud, in a big way.
Before my screening for Pacific Rim tonight over at the Alamo Drafthouse, the savvy theater runners decided to show bits and pieces from classic monster movies over the years. Godzilla was a main highlight, along with clips from Ultraman, Evangelion, Voltron and, for good measure, the brief monster sequence from Pee Wee's Big Adventure. And hey, they even threw in the homage to monsters from Crank 2: High Voltage. All of it reminded me that, well, they don't make 'em like they used to anymore. Now everything clanks along at the speed of whatever Michael Bay can process it, robo-testicles and all.
But wait, there is a glimmer of hope. And it weighs a meaty 2500 tons. Pacific Rim, the latest from savvy director Guillermo del Toro, is a welcome return to monster-land, where the nasty Kaiju have managed to rip their way to Earth through the bottom of the sea, forcing humanity to whip out their wallets and create hulking robots that can do some damage.
Among the hotshot pilots is Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam), who teams up with his brother to manage the unstoppable Gypsy Danger. However, one unexpected tragedy later, and he's a shambles, scraping to get by and forget his pain. But soon he's called back into duty by Stacker (Idris Elba), his former commander, who has not only rebuilt Gypsy to fine form, but also teams him with an unlikely partner – the equally emotionally damaged Mako (the gorgeous Rinko Kikuchi).