This film is unique in that it brings together a Godzilla-esque beast with skyscraper-sized robots/machines akin to those fromSky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and the animated TV series of X-Men, but it does it with a captivating presence which is not reliant on any star power. That being said, it's overly reliant on another element of modern film-making; visual effects. Don't get me wrong, the effects are good...great even, but the film doesn't have much else besides effects, and when the story takes a 'time-out' and it gets into the human side, it gets boring pretty quickly and with some cliched outcomes and scenes thrown in for bad measure.
It had some cool shots and some good sequences, but it wasn't filmed nearly as well as Del Toro's ego thinks it was (with a lot of close up action which is hard to see, and all fights taking place at night, which makes it even harder to see). I was waiting for just one daylight battle, and it didn't happen, so I was disappointed. I suppose Pacific Rim falls into the same old Del Toro trap, the same as Hellboy and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army; a film that has effects and action sequences but not a lot else (like character development or suspense, build-up, or atmosphere).
I was 'into' the film, and I had an enjoyable evening watching it, but with a film like this I want to be wowed! Destruction to buildings is no longer a wow-factor (thanks to the overkill of Transformers: Dark of the Moon), and so it needed more, and on the risk scale, Pacific Rim was a pretty safe bet with nothing really happening that hasn't happened hundreds of times before. The humans won (like always), the couple fall in love (like always), villains are idiots (like always) and the good guys find a loophole to outsmart the villains (like always). Many things bugged me, like why the Jaegers repeatedly threw the Kaiju into the water, like that's going to hurt! At least stab them, or crush their heads, or poke them in the eye or something original!! Also, why did the Kaiju only send one through at a time? It must have been quite clear that the humans could cope with one Kaiju every couple of days, so why not send 100 through and completely obliterate the humans? It's tactics like this that lead to their eventual demise.
As far as the acting went, it was around average at best. Idris Elba was fine, but his character was one dimensional (although his short motivational speech was nicely done), while the other characters were nothing memorable, just fine I suppose. But none of the characters were interesting enough, and none of the science-talk was engaging enough to warrant a huge section of the film being dedicated to it.
One of the better blockbusters I've seen this year, but that says more about Star Trek Into Darkness, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, White House Down, and Fast & Furious 6 than Pacific Rim.