It’s an image as mythic as it is commercial: a metal giant so immense you have to stretch your brain to take it all in, snorting and stomping and outfitted with ingenious weaponry, and sequestered deep inside — unimaginably tiny amid the clanging machinery — the humans who control it with their minds.
As a metaphor for the state of modern Hollywood filmmaking, that’s hard to beat.
As the springboard for a muscular pop vision, it’s pretty impressive, too. “Pacific Rim” is, hands down, the blockbuster event of the summer — a titanic sci-fi action fantasy that has been invested, against all expectations, with a heart, a brain, and something approximating a soul. Amend that to most expectations, since the news that the prodigiously talented Guillermo del Toro was tackling his most mainstream film to date had fans of “Pan’s Labyrinth” and the “Hellboy” series crossing their fingers and holding their breath.
Uncross and exhale, because “Pacific Rim” honors both the requirements of modern mega-cinema — monsters and robots, stalwart heroes, global calamities delivered in crystalline 3-D digital imagery — and such unfashionable verities as well-developed characters you care about and witty, passionate storytelling. The movie wants to be the biggest “Godzilla” movie ever and a rousing tale of human solidarity and a straight-up summer hoot. It achieves all three with uncanny confidence.
Read the entire movie review on Boston Globe's website.