Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 2013. Warner Bros., Legendary Entertainment, Double Dare You. Story by Travis Beacham, Screenplay by Travis Beacham, Guillermo del Toro. Cinematography by Guillermo Navarro. Produced by Guillermo del Toro, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent, Thomas Tull. Music by Ramin Djawadi. Production Design by Andrew Neskoromny, Carol Spier. Costume Design by Kate Hawley. Film Editing by Peter Amundson, John Gilroy.
The future isn’t looking so bright when the world is beset by giant monsters, the kaiju of Japanese fiction lore, who rise from our oceans and destroy city after city and cost millions of lives. Humans have adapted to their presence by building giant robotic machines called Jaegers, operated by pairs of mentally linked pilots, but the threat looms imminent all the same. Following a pre-credits sequence, in which a star pilot (Charlie Hunnam) loses his brother to a kaiju attack, the Jaeger program is in danger of being dismantled in favour of a plan to build giant walls around populated areas that will keep the mammoth beasts out. Turns out that Plan A was working better after all, leaving our hero to step in and save the day in between angry bouts of willpower with his superior officer (a bland Idris Elba) and a muted romance with a colleague (Rinko Kikuchi). None of it makes much sense, there’s a subplot involving scientist Charlie Day and shady trafficker Ron Perlman that simply baffles me, but the sense of grandeur in the visual effects is matched by a gleeful level of fun coming from director Guillermo Del Toro behind the camera. I don’t know why every attack has to happen in rainy darkness, but I do know that I had a marvelous time suspending my disbelief and enjoying the technoporn being offered here.