Matt Adcock’s film review: Del Toro’s Pacific Rim delivers an ocean of blockbuster entertainment

“Today at the edge of our hope, at the end of our time, we have chosen to believe in each other! Today we face the monsters that are at our door, today we are cancelling the apocalypse!”

There are echoes of Independence Day as, in the near future, giant Kaijus monsters rise from a portal beneath the Pacific Ocean and start to lay waste to our cities, and millions die.

Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim

In order to combat these Godzilla-like monsters, we humans create a new type of weapon – massive, piloted battle robots called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are bound in a neural link which lets them share the mental strain which would otherwise overwhelm a single human noggin.

The Jaeger programme under the command of Stacker Pentecost (Idris ‘Luther’ Elba) looks like might just work as we take the fight to the monsters, but as new Kaiju begin to adapt and we start losing Jaegers at an alarming rate, earth’s leaders decide to divert funding into building a Wall Of Life to try and keep the monsters at bay.

All clear so far? Well, what you really need to know is that respected director Guillermo ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ del Toro takes on Michael ‘Transformers’ Bay at his own game here and comes away victorious with a totally epic big budget blockbuster that sees some of the best special effects ever committed to screen used to bring the action to edge-of-your-seat life.

There were moments when I couldn’t help watching my 12-year-old son’s reaction to the on screen fights – he was wide-eyed and completely captivated to the point where he was making punching motions urging on the heroic Jaegers.

“That was awesome,” he told me afterwards. The boy is right.

The brave Jaeger pilots include Raleigh Becket (Charlie ‘Byker Grove’ Hunnam), a washed-up former pilot called out of retirement by the Pan Pacific Defense Corps who has to team up with Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), who was rescued from the Kaiju that killed her parents as a young girl.

There are also a Russian team and a hotshot Australian team, who are obviously better at piloting giant robots than they are at cricket.

With the complete annihilation of the human race at stake, the few final Jaegers are marshalled in a daring attempt to get a nuclear warhead into the breach and stop the Kaijus once and for all. You’ll be cheering them all the way as Pacific Rim delivers a megaton thrill-ride that demands your attention on the big screen.

See what star Idris Elba has to say about the movie in our video report