Directed by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Hellboy II), this is your basic live version of a giant monsters vs. giant robots anime. It seems that these Godzilloid monsters called kaiju have started coming out of the Pacific and stomping on our cities. Mankind react quickly, building giant robots to punch them back to the trenches.
Digression: Why not shoot them with missiles from airplanes or long-range gun batteries? This is not discussed, but I assume the answer is: "Our puny weapons are powerless to stop them".
Now these giant robots are controlled by a pair of pilots in cybernetic mind-meld, because why not. Mankind has gotten pretty blase about these monsters because the robots, called Jaegers, are so good. But then our hero, Charlie Hunnam, loses his co-pilot/brother to a new, badder kaiju, and now mankind is in trouble again.
Hunnam gets pulled back into the Jaeger program by hard-assed General Idris Elba. He takes a shine to Elba's assistant/ward, Rinko Kikuchi. Meanwhile, two bickering comic relief mad scientists are predicting worse monsters to come.
The scientists are a hoot:
- Burn Gorman is the fussy mathematician with a touch of autism
- Charlie Day is the tattooed Rick Moranis/Elvis Costello type who is just a little too into kaiju
But the best parts are the manga/anime elements: The robot workshop, the monsters, the fights, etc. The rest is just frosting.