There is really only one surprising thing about Pacific Rim: it's awesome. Featuring giant robots in battle against giant monsters, Guillermo del Toro's film draws on a range of predictable Japanese sources, of which Godzilla and the _Evangelion_ series are only the most obvious. From the get go, there is really nothing unique about the plot or the way Pacific Rim unfolds.
This is easily forgiven as del Toro has realised each clash between the monstrous Kaiju and the mechanical Jaeger in such a thrilling and beautiful way. The film's strategy is simply to concatenate a series of incredible set pieces into a logical progression. Admittedly it is a triumph of style over substance, but it is a merciful one. There is no attempt to shoehorn the robots into a context of politics, terrorism, domestic surveillance or corporate greed - all of which we have seen in recent summer films. And what a blessed relief it is not to have to sit through Hollywood's terrible political theories in order to enjoy a simple movie.