When monster-alien, Godzilla-like creatures (called kaiju, which means “giant monster” in Japanese) begin appearing from the waters and attacking the cities of the world, the human race comes together to devise a plan. That plan is the creation of the jaeger, meaning “hunter” in German.
Soon, the world ensues in an endless fight between kaijus and jaegers.
The kaijus, whose strengths are ranked like hurricane categories, become stronger and stronger. They are awful-looking creatures, much like those in the slimy "Alien" movies, but with less slime and more amphibian qualities.
The jaegers are huge, high-tech robots that look like Power Rangers Megazords or ginormous versions of Iron Man. Inside, they are controlled by two pilots who need to have compatible drift abilities, which is what the non-action part of the storyline is centered upon.
Pacific Rim essentially follows the cheesy, typical “saving the world” storyline. The protagonist is Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam, “Sons of Anarchy”), a skilled fighter and jaeger pilot adapting to a new co-pilot as they try to defeat the strongest kaijus. The rest of the storyline follows two obsessed researchers trying to learn everything they can about kaijus—the comic relief in the movie.
But the fighting action between the kaijus and jaegers is definitely what makes the movie more special and more intense.
The combination of sharp 3-D visuals and thrilling IMAX sound effects during these fight scenes add a significant touch to the overall movie experience. It is hard to imagine appreciating the epic graphics of the kaiju and the jaeger had the film been in 2-D. And because the movie itself takes place in a futuristic setting, the visuals are more stunning and believable.
Although much of the storyline could have been better, the greatest strength of Pacific Rim is the IMAX 3-D experience that captures the essence of the kaiju monster and the jaeger robot. Some of these scenes can almost be compared to a Universal Studios theme park attraction -- thrilling and larger than life.
For the fans: Stay until the middle of the end credits for a small surprise.