IF the hulking machines from Transformers jumped celluloid to battle the monstrous title character from Godzilla, the resulting carnage would closely resemble the computer-generated sound and fury of Pacific Rim.
Guillermo del Toro’s sci-fi action adventure takes a tantalisingly simple premise – giant robots versus gargantuan aliens – and expands that idea into an exercise in technological might over emotional matter.
It’s difficult to believe the writer-director of Pan’s Labyrinth and the quirky Hellboy saga has surrendered all of the humanity, which underpinned his previous work, to oversee what is essentially 131 exhausting minutes of wanton destruction.
The script, co-written by Travis Beacham, is a wasteland of two-dimensional characters and hoary cliches, replete with the obligatory stirring call to arms against the extra-terrestrial invaders: “Today, we are facing the monsters and bringing the fight to their door... Today, we are cancelling the apocalypse!”
Grown men of every conceivable nationality pump their fists in the air, whoop and holler, energised by the titanic battle that lies ahead.
A protracted prologue establishes the emergence of alien creatures known as Kaiju from a temporal rift on the sea floor.
Humanity responds by creating the Jaegers – 25-storey tall robots operated by two pilots, whose minds are melded by a neural link known as The Drift.
Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and older brother Yancy (Diego Klattenhoff) are ace pilots of the American robot Gipsy Danger, but their run of victories comes to a tragic end at the claws of one particularly vicious Kaiju.
Five years later, Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), commander of the Pan Pacific Defense Corp, approaches Raleigh to step back inside the Gipsy Danger with a new co-pilot.
However, ballsy protégée Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), who is battling private demons, catches his eye and they forge an intense bond that might swing the balance of power back in favour of mankind.
If you like massive action sequences and CGI, you’ll enjoy Pacific Rim.
My rating 6/10
Pacific Rim is now showing at Empire Cinema, Robin Park, Wigan - book your tickets on 08714 714 714