Kaiju? Jaeger? Welcome to Mech and Monster heaven where giant robots fight horrific mutated “Godzilla” beasts. Guillermo del Toro has created a war of the worlds where the monsters come from a tear in the pacific ocean where the Kaiju emerge from another planet and terrorize the earth.
After the first monster was killed with multiple plane tank and various other WMDs the governments decided to work together (and this is what makes it a fantasy kids) and create monsters of their own. No not Mecha-Godzilla rather Jaegers. And well before I wax poetic, let’s deal with language Kaiju literally means in Japanese “strange creature” however, it is almost universally translated ln English as “monster”. Godzilla is a Kaiju, so is Rhodan, Gamera, and Mothra but enough of my childhood heroes.
Jaeger is German and means “hunter” but in military terms a “Jaeger” would be the equivalent to a “Ranger”. In Pacific Rim the Jaegers are controlled by two people who can act as the right and left hemisphere of the Jaeger brain. To do this they must “drift” into each other’s brain knowing each other’s thoughts and forming one brain. And this is important because one person can’t control a Jaeger without giving himself a cerebral hemorrhage.
So Jaeger’s hunt Kaiju and then try to kill them. Yes this is the major plot of Pacific Rim. But, and there is always a but when politicians are involved, things aren’t well with the Jaeger program it appears that the Kaiju are evolving to bigger and better Kaiju who can eat a Jaeger in one bite and save the tasty pilots for an after dinner mint. So because of this they decide to quit supporting the Jaeger program and instead build a giant wall around the countries.
But the commander of the Jaegers isn’t deterred he gathers the Jaegers to Hong Kong to make one last stand against the apocalypse (one of these days people are going to have to find out what that Greek word really means). With him is a hot shot pilot one of the only people who controlled a Jaeger by himself and lived to tell the tale.
I’m not going to bore you with the usual suspects that absolutely have to populate this movie you can see them in Top Gun, they are the same people really. However I am going to point out a major nit with this movie. In it a Kaiju emits an E-M-P (electromagnetic pulse) and shuts down the Jaeger fighting it because it’s “digital“, wait says the hot shot pilot my Jaeger is “analog” I can fight this Kaiju. Sorry folks E-M-P doesn’t discriminate analog or digital it will shut down the electronics unless we are to believe that the Jaeger piloted by the hot shot is based upon ropes and pulleys if so why would the pilots have to mind meld?
I’m giving Pacific Rim two and half Kaiju out of five