The Guillermo del Toro monster film celebrating Kaiju cinema
(Credit: Gage Skidmore)

Film News

The Guillermo del Toro monster film celebrating Kaiju cinema

The visionary director Guillermo del Toro has had a longstanding cinematic love affair with monsters and their inherent humanity. From his independent horror drama debut Cronos to the Oscar-winning The Shape of Water and the Netflix adaptation of Pinocchio, del Toro has consistently explored the dichotomy of humanity and monstrosity within us.

And now, his epic monster film Pacific Rim is scaling the Netflix charts, claiming the tenth spot on the top ten list of films in the US. Directed and co-written by del Toro himself, Pacific Rim boasts a cast that includes Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, and Rinko Kikuchi. 

The film takes audiences on a thrilling ride into a world where humanity is under siege by colossal sea monsters known as kaiju. To combat this threat, Jaegers, towering humanoid robots controlled by pilots, are constructed to engage in epic battles to save humanity from extinction.

Del Toro’s vision for Pacific Rim was clear from the start. In his own words, he aimed to create “a real earnest, loving poem to the kaiju and mecha genre.” He explained to Den of Geek, “I kept saying that [Pacific Rim] is technically complex, but I want the movie to be simple. Not as a defect, but as a quality that allows me to keep my 12-year-old self in command of what the movie needs to do, which is to provoke awe and love for these creatures and robots.” 

Upon its initial release, Pacific Rim garnered mixed to positive critical reception, with praise for its stunning visuals and thrilling action sequences tempered by critiques of its narrative depth. However, what remained undeniable was del Toro’s unwavering passion for his subject matter, evident in every frame of the film.

Pacific Rim celebrates the legacy of kaiju eiga—Japanese giant monster films—by paying homage to their iconic elements. From towering monsters wreaking havoc on cities to the awe-inspiring battles between giant robots and otherworldly creatures, the film embraces the quintessential aspects of the genre.

Beyond its blockbuster appeal, as Pacific Rim continues to climb the Netflix charts, it’s clear that del Toro’s blend of spectacle and heart resonates even after a decade since the film’s release.

You can watch Pacific Rim on Netflix and catch the trailer here: