Pacific Rim: Stupid, lazy screenwriting disguised behind impressive CGI and an unflinchingly fun modern take on kaiju movies. The characters are depicted with as much emotion and personality as the robots -- none. But it's fun seeing Guillermo Del Toro play with his action figures and the absurdity of the plot, which takes no breaks to evaluate plausibility or sensibility, is charming.
This is easily the worst movie I've seen in a decade. Not only are the things Thrax points out true, but the movie has no sense of neuroscience, robotics or even physics for that matter.
I have vented my frustrations here for you to enjoy.
If you decide to proceed and watch anyway, I encourage you to do so completely wasted. You'll never get those two hours back.
The mechs are piloted by a neural interface; they use your brain to control the mech. Which seems like a pretty cool bonus to an already awesome premise of HUGE robots. The pilots are strapped into robots inside the mech's head but despite the neural interface, they have to move around to do the fighting... ok fine maybe it helps with the signals. But then they spend every combat sequence pushing buttons inside the cockpit! I'm not sure what the neural interface is for except to see the memories of the copilot and to make robots shoot allies accidentally.
Next, they insist that it takes two pilots to control the mech because it's too much "neural load" for a single pilot. Cut to early pilots grasping their poor brains as they try to move an identically shaped, although larger, version of their body; because yea, body size is proportional to brain size requirements. They even reference dinosaurs as having two brains at some point, because of their size (wow). They proceed to show a graphic of how the neural interface works, each pilot uses one hemisphere for one half of the robot. Not sure how that reduces any neural load at all... To further emphasize that they had no intelligent consultation on their movie premise or execution (and to be nit-picky) they only use the cerebellum from the left pilot (see terrible in-movie graphic).
These mechs, ~40 stories tall and made of anything from solid iron (wtf rustbucket) to titanium, are air lifted by 8 Chinook-type helicopters into combat. A single helicopter can carry a payload of 8000 lbs and I'm pretty sure those mechs weigh a hell of a lot more than 60k lbs, likely by an order of magnitude. To give you a reference, a sedan weighs about 3k lbs, so that many helicopters can carry about 20 cars - impressive. But, if you stacked up 20 cars it likely wouldn't even reach the knee of one of these robots.
While fighting one monster, they use a boat as a sword. No way in hell an oil tanker can be held at one end and repeatedly used to pummel a giant monster.
At some point after the first mech ever loses to a monster, the world leaders decide to defund the mech project in favor of the Pacific Rim Job; a giant wall with guns around the ocean. It fails but yea, duh, that's about all they got right in the movie. Anyhow, their logic is that these mechs can no longer 1v1 the monsters so scrap 'em. Yeah, because that's more intelligent than just sending 2 mechs against a monster. Keep in mind, at this point the monsters only show up every several months and they always show up from a single spot in the Pacific Ocean and they have several dozen of these mechs on standby.
Carrying on from that, they never do a good job talking about numbers or combats. Sometimes it sounds like there are 100 mech pilots and they're undefeated. Then later it sounds like winning a few fights is a miracle and most mechs get destroyed. That's a minor point but they basically said whatever they wanted to set the tone for whatever scene it was.
The fight scene between the guy and girl was shit. But hey, for some reason it meant they were brain buddies.
Then when they are in the mech together for the first time it is also the first time they brain synch. Yeah, that makes sense, let's do this incredibly traumatic brain synchronization for the first time while you're connected to this huge ass destruction machine surrounded by helpless tiny people. Obviously they all almost die when the pilots lose their shit. Oh and the only fail safe is to pull out some plugs in the a room on the other side of the building and that magically dissipates all the energy in a plasma cannon. Clearly this has never happened and everyone else always has no problem with this trauma. Another instance of twisting things around to set the scene and obviously poor insight to how things would actually be done.
Later, in another mech-monster fight, a beast grabs hold of a mech and carries them to the edge of space. Using its flapping wings. Wonder why we don't use those things on the ISS? Seemed effective. And to carry a mech with it? I guess it probably does have about the lift of those 8 helicopters so maybe I'm beating a dead horse here. Moving on, while their being carried into space the copilot suddenly announces that they have a built in sword. They use that sword to 1-shot the beast carrying them. If they have a sword built in, why did they use a boat like a sword in an earlier fight? If their sword can 1 shot this giant monster, what was the problem with any of the other monsters?
As you can imagine, killing their lift at the edge of space sends them falling back down. They manage to fix their coolant leak (by button mashing, because why use the neural interface for things like that), and then they turn on some gyroscopes and land on their feet no problem. Que astonishing cut scene through ruble and smoke on thermal imaging goggles to confirm successful landing. Hooray physics.
The monsters keep getting bigger and stronger, which makes sense, things need to escalate for the movie to get more interesting. They claim it's because the monsters are evolving, but they kill every monster that comes through and they also say nothing can go back through the gate. Yup, that's how evolution works. Just like a tower defense.
Don't even get me started on linking minds with an excorporeal brain of an alien. Or that when he does so, his linking headset can seemingly bounce around wherever while he's linked and it doesn't impact the connection. Also that synch evidently connects him to the hive-mind and the monsters are gonna get 'em!
Aliens have EMPs which is cool, obviously they got some info back through the rift and they know all about electronics. But don't worry, the one guy's mech is "analog" so it can run just fine with it's analog nuclear reactor and neural interface. I almost died laughing and had to pause the movie at that point. You know, for fear of missing something even more stupid.
Then the guy in charge decides he's going to pilot a mech for t he big finale because why not. I'm sure he's a better choice than the hundreds of other pilots they've shown. Even with his radiation poisoning and they claim that if he gets in another mech he'll die. The start of that makes sense, he fought with a first gen mech that got damaged and he spent 3 hours exposed to radiation and now he takes medication to fight rad sickness. But really, hopping in a modern mech is going to kill him? Yup... that's how radiation works. Of course, this is a moot point anyway because he blows up the ocean before he can die of instant radiation poisoning.
How the hell do they have a wireless signal through that dimensional gate? I can't get wifi on the other side of my house but they get it across dimensions; that's pretty sweet. I want their wireless provider. Also the hive mind wireless goes through the rift no problem, too.
Then, somehow, after missing the window to detonate the nuke and collapse the gate (as monitored on wifi from home base), the guy ejects and blows up his mech inside the alien world. This one attack that missed by a long shot evidently destroyed everything and the world is saved.
To close things out, the female pilot swims between life rafts in the ocean wearing a full suit of armor. Then, she revives her co-pilot by squeezing him too tightly (you know, rather than giving the guy CPR) for that happy-go-lucky cliche ending.
My sarcasm muscles hurt.