When Guillermo Del Toro announced his big-budget Transformers vs Giant Japanese Monsters film Pacific Rim (2013), The Asylum simply switched US seaboards and delivered their own low-budget mockbuster version and released it four days before Del Toros films went into wide release. Pacific Rim never quite proved the massive hit that was expected, nevertheless The Asylum have produced a vigorous knockoff. In fact, Atlantic Rim emerges as one of their better mockbusters.
They copy the basic premise of Pacific Rim in serviceable ways. Both films are stuck with the fundamental improbability of why humanity would build giant transformer-type mecha to go into combat against invading alien monsters. Del Toro nimbly allowed his set-up to take place in the future after such had been decided thus avoiding any need for detailed explanations; The Asylum fail to avoid that trap so are stuck with the implausible notion that the US military has just decided to build a series of giant-sized military combat robots. Even more improbably, on their first outing these are just sent down to the ocean floor to investigate the rift there where you cannot help but think that untested giant humanoid robots seem unlikely choices for deep sea exploration as opposed to say submarines. (They dont exactly seem built for easy underwater navigation, have major problems dealing with depth pressure, and you would imagine the vast weight of them would make buoyancy and returning to the surface problematic).
That said, the effects are far better than usual for most of The Asylums films. The scenes of mecha and monsters in combat look quite reasonable for what is a low-budget film. There are even one or two shots that sing out as being really great especially a fantastic shot where Red emerges from the ocean, towering up over the people gathered on a beach. There are some other fine moments with the Armadas fighting over the cities or shots of submarines being tossed out of the ocean and colliding with aircraft carriers. The cast are generally likeable with Graham Greene standing out especially well as an ironhorse general.
The Asylum made a sequel with Atlantic Rim 2 (2018).
Director Jared Cohn first appeared for The Asylum with Born Bad (2011) and has become a prolific director for them with the likes of Bikini Spring Break (2012), Hold Your Breath (2012), 12/12/12 (2012), Jailbait (2014), Bound (2015), Little Dead Rotting Hood (2015), Evil Nanny (2016) and King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (2017), before moving out on his own with Buddy Hitchins (2015), Hulk Blood Tapes (2015), The Horde (2016), Death Pool (2017), The Domicile (2017) and Halloween Pussy Trap Kill Kill (2017). Screenwriter Thunder Levin later went on to write Sharknado (2013) and sequels for The Asylum.