Alien monsters vs. giant robots? Geek alert, people. “Pacific Rim” is so nerdy that it actually refers to its behemoths by the proper Japanese monster-movie genre name, kaiju.
The story involves an inter-dimensional breach under the Pacific from which giant alien beasts pop out and trample cities. Humankind has developed equally towering battle robots called Jaegers that are powered by human teams who have to mind-meld to control them. They’ve done a good job, but now the aliens are getting bigger and badder, the spineless U.N. has shut down the Jaeger program, and the last chance to avoid apocalypse is to drop a nuke into the portal.
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Anyone who thought the old Toho Godzilla movies should have been done with a gazillion-dollar budget, here’s your film. Yet Guillermo del Toro, once hyped as a visionary director for such works as “Pan’s Labyrinth,” turns in a product identical to what Michael Bay would have done: famous landmarks getting destroyed, a rousing pre-battle speech by the commander, crippling “issues” that our hero has to overcome and the obligatory shot of mission control applauding and cheering after victory as a Pavlovian clue for the audience to do the same.
For a chance to win one of two “Pacific Rim” T-shirts (size L), visit jtimes.jp/film.