“ Actors: Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Ron Perlman / Directors: Guillermo del Toro / Language: English / Classification: 12 / Studio: Warner Home Video / Run Time: 131 minutes „
Star - Idris Elba
Genre - Sci-Fi
Run Time - 131 minutes
Certificate - PG13
Country - USA
Awards - I BAFTA Nomination
Amazon DVD - £7.0 DVD - £10.00 (Blue Ray)
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So, after the massive success of the rapidly deteriorating Transformers franchise and films like Real Steel, the ability to make robots look fantastic on screen and able to clunk away with efficient realism and great gusto means, inevitably, more robot movies. That will not please some but at least a guaranteed earner for the financially troubled movie studios. They want to make their summer blockbusters appeal to all ages and demographics and that's this s the way to do it.
Poor old Michael Bay has been unfairly criticized for his two-dimensional action movie approach but I think the first Transformers movie was rather good for what it was. It looks amazing and what Blue-Ray was invented for. Those robots look very real; the way Sam Raimi got Toby McGuire's Spiderman to look cool swinging through the skyscrapers of Manhattan. What I also find interesting from those same Hollywood critics that pan Michael Bay's stuff is they were far more lenient with arty director Guillermo del Torro here for his equally bombastic and franchising approach to his robot movie. You can bet your life if Del Torro had made Transformers and Bay had made this then Bay would have been called a copy cat and unoriginal. Well the bare facts are that Hollywood wants this type of movie more than ever and Bay, and indeed Del Torro, are simply meeting demand. Get over it! Robocop has already been remade.
The Mexican director based Pacific Rim on his love of the 1960s Japanese Anime TV show 'Tetsujin nijûhachi-go', robots versus monsters very big in that part of the world, of course, Godzilla creating modern action Sci-Fi cinema as we know it today. Modern Hollywood blockbuster movie making is all about hitting those Asian markets as well as the European and domestic ones and this type of movie is perfect for that. Who needs subtitles for robots and monsters belting each other? Interestingly, Pacific Rim did 75% of its money in overseas territories, making just $103 million of its current $411 million in the US.
Charlie Hunnam ... Raleigh Becket
Diego Klattenhoff ... Yancy Becket
Idris Elba ... Stacker Pentecost
Rinko Kikuchi ... Mako Mori
Charlie Day ... Dr. Newton Geiszler
Burn Gorman ... Gottlieb
Max Martini ... Herc Hansen
Robert Kazinsky ... Chuck Hansen
Clifton Collins Jr... Ops Tendo Choi
Ron Perlman ... Hannibal Chau
It's the 2020s....
Deep beneath the Pacific Ocean a fissure cracks open between the major plates. But it's no normal tectonic event, a time portal between dimensions opening up, something terrifying coming out of the hole, now known as 'The Breach'. The first monster makes landfall in San Francisco, huge beasts with blue fluorescent blood smashing through skyscrapers as if cardboard, conventional human firepower of tanks, jets and missiles taking six long days to kill the first one, the ogre taking out three major cities and tens of thousands of lives in the process. Six months later, the second attack hits Manila, the monsters now known as Kaiju (meaning strange beast in Japanese). They keep coming, increasingly more powerful and bigger and at closer intervals, showing no signs of letting up as cities are wiped out. This was just the beginning. Earth needs a new weapon and to come together and pool its resources to stop the Kaiju, and they do, throwing aside old rivalries for the sake of the greater good. To fight the monsters the human's create metal monsters of their own, the Jaeger Program, giant mechanical robots that match the beasts in size and power, the pilots treated like rock stars and the beasts going down hard.
By 2025 the Jaeger Program is deemed too expensive and set to close, losing more robots to the ever increasing Kaiju than they can create, just 4 left from the original 100, the enemy just too strong, the worlds big cities building giant steel walls to protect themselves instead, Israeli style.
On one of the barrier construction sites we meet handsome square-jawed Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam), once a Jaeger pilot, leaving the core when his brother Yancy (Diego Klattenhoff) is killed in action fighting alongside him. The Jaegers require two pilots, and the ability to merge the left and right side of each others brain so to control the robots, the so-called neural bridge, a rare bond found in very few pilots.
General Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) is the head of the beleaguered Jaeger team but has one last plan with his remaining budget and robots, to bomb the Breech to try and close it, and he needs the best to deliver the bombs, headhunting Raleigh. With sexy Chinese pilot Mako (Rinko Kikuchi) alongside the remaining international crews join boffins Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day) and Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) to try and figure a way to beat the monsters as the last stand begins. And they better move fast as two Kaiju have emerged at the same time, a first, and they are bigger and more violent than ever...
However much film critics want to defend this movie because of its cool director its Transformers in disguise, flipped upside down (or with A-Levels as one critic put it) and inside out if you like and great fun too, the difference being the robots come out of the sea this time instead of the ground and one dimensional non speaking creations this time. There are bits of everything here; Starship Troopers meets Top Gun, Cloverfield head-butting King Kong, cliché abundant and to great effect. Cliché comes about because it works. It is a formula movie in every way and with a classy director on board it's a good one too and enjoyable for all ages. It's Guillermo del Torro having his Tony Scott moment and loving it. Who doesn't like giant robots bashing each other?
The narrative is predictable and bombastic around the macho men and their robots and the rather tenuous plot mechanism of the time breech any excuse to make it a robot movie. The toy merchandising and video game alone must have paid for half of this film. I suspect Hollywood will find any number of reasons to get potential kids toys into CGI movies from now on in. But as long as the film is planned out and the action comes thick and fast and some likable characters on show then you can pretty much turn any B-Movie concept into A-movie returns.
The Japanese Anime /Manga themes are all but diluted out of the film and it is by-the-numbers action movie stuff. There are some surprisingly terrible accents on show to represent the international pilots but comic and side story stuff thrown in around the Ron Pearlman character to keep it appealing and not just Monsters v Robots. The special effects are strong and the film looks as gorgeous as Transformers. If you have the option then you have to see this in Blue Ray.
On the whole it will appeal to all ages and if you can go into it with no real expectations you will enjoy it, even though it's a little long at 131 minutes. Idris Elba steels the movie and likely to be Britain's biggest black movie star of all time. It sticks to some comic book traditions and loosely based on a series in current written text. I believe a loophole in that copyright meant another movie was made at the same time called Atlantic Rim, which didn't trouble the scorers.
Imdb.com - 7.2/10.0 (213,519votes)
Metacrtic.com - 64% critic's approval
Rottentomatos.com - 71% critic's approval
Guillermo Del Torro talks passionately about his movie.
Independent -'Pacific Rim is a special-effects behemoth, a toy franchise with a deafeningly loud movie attached -- Transformers with an A-level'.
New York Magazine -'It's as if Del Toro neuro-linked with a robot and then couldn't figure out how to work the controls -- and so watched impotently as the machine made the major creative decisions'.
Baltimore Sun -'A ridiculously entertaining (and often just plain ridiculous) monster-robot movie that plays like that "Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots" game from the 1960s'.
Daily Star -'Del Toro is a dreamer. He's a visionary. If you give him a pile of money to make enormous robots fight enormous monsters at the end of civilization, he will work to make Pacific Rim a movie that makes you feel all the enormousness'.
Cinema Sight -'From a pure fan-boy perspective, this film packs in a great deal of energy without feeling like a stale Michael Bay film. Guillermo del Toro mixes playful energy with outstanding effects'.
TV Guide -'Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim is awesome, scary, weird, exciting, exuberant, and ridiculous -- basically everything you want from a sci-fi action movie'.
We Got This Covered -'Pacific Rim is the perfect example of how to make an effective summer blockbuster. It has heart, brains and enough action and explosions to shock and awe just about anyone'.
Last night was the second time that I had watched Pacific Rim and I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it both times. The premise for this film is a little strange in that it is set in a future where giant inter-dimensional monsters are invading the Earth via a 'rift' between tectonic plates, these monsters are called Kaiju and the only way to defeat them is with giant man made machines called Jaegers. The Jaegers are piloted by two or three people who are intricately connected with each other and with the Jaeger via 'Drift' technology. Using this technology they work together to keep the Kaiju at bay.
One of the Jaeger is called 'Gypsy Danger' which is piloted by the Becket brothers who are unlikely heroes. Unfortunately the older brother Yancy is killed during a battle with a Kaiju leaving Raleigh to bring the Jaeger back to land on his own. We then pick up the story five years later where Raleigh is working as part of a building crew who are building a Kaiju proof defence wall because the world government has decommissioned the Jaeger programme. This could make for a boring film about building contractors but the story is rescued by the appearance of Raleighs former commanding officer Marshall Stacker Pentecost who has a plan to close the 'rift' and stop the Kaiju attacking the Earth. Will this plan work, will mankind be saved by this unorthodox last ditch attempt from a crew of ragtag renegades? Watch the film to find out.
The action starts from the off with an epic fight scene between 'Gypsy Danger' and a Kaiju. This is attention grabbing and plot setting in the first five minutes and if you don't pay attention you will spend the majority of the time watching the film feeling a little puzzled.
The majority of the action scenes are set at night so this film is best watched with the curtains closed so as not to miss a second of detail. The Jaegers are impressive and not dissimilar to the Autobots from Transformers. The fight scenes are obviously CGI but that does not detract from my enjoyment of a well choreographed action scenes that have the right mix of tension and enjoyment.
The acting does leave a little to be desired with a lot of over delivered lines and extra macho voices from the Jaeger pilots and stereotypical science nerd action from the research team. The love interest (Mako Mori) is obvious from the moment she steps on screen but it does take a while to work out the relationship between Mako Mori and Stacker Pentecost.
I can't recall anything bad about the soundtrack so it must have been appropriate to the scenes.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Pacific Rim, it is a great way to waste a couple of hours.
If you only see one giant inter-dimensional sea monster versus man made giant robot film this year then make sure it is this one.
Thank you for reading.
Again I find myself writing a review with a different opinion to most on here. Chiefly because I really enjoyed Pacific Rim. The storyindividualed on the eternitywhich tale of Humans been attacked by extra terrestrials, this time however they come from beneath the sea.
The film dives straight to the action with an opening scene of a battle between the extra terrestrial kaijus and our gigantic robot weapons the Jaeger. A brief history of the war follows to set the scene for the rest of the film, then we are off into the main body. I wont go into any details regarding the plot, but I will say that it is a fairly generic disaster/action movie plot. However I didn't find this detracted from the film, to the contrary I felt it benefitted the film. It makes it very easy watching, you don't have to concentrate too hard following complex story lines, and you can just sit back, relax and enjoy. Go looking for plot holes and you will find them.
Visually the film is stunning and I think this is where it's strong point lies, it really is a feast for the eyes. The robots are all individual as are the Kaiju which makes each one interesting to look at, and they are so big. The movie really is set on an epic scale which again I found to be a great feature. It adds to the film's prevailing sense of just been awesome. It is big,loud, great to look at and everything an action movie should be.
The only negative I really found was some of the acting is a little wooden, although Idris Elba is phenomenal giving a great performance which really shines.
Overall I say give it ago, but don't scratch too deeply below the big metal surface.
When I saw the trailer for Pacific Rim, I was desperate to see it as it looked like my kind of film; set in the future and full of action-packed battles. However, I am disappointed to say that this film did not meet my expectations. In the film, Earth is invaded periodically by a monster race called the Kaijus, who rise from a rip in the ocean floor. In order to protect humanity, huge, transformer-like machines called Jaegers have been built to combat the alien invasions.
Pacific Rim is directed by Guillermo del Toro, also the director of Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth. It is written by del Toro and Travis Beacham (writer of Clash of the Titans). It is a Legendary Picture and Warner Bros. film, released July 4th 2013. It is 132 minutes long.
I started to lose the will to live when I was watching this film. The story line was poor and repetitive; it was so predictable it was terrible. The characters' backgrounds were explored briefly, but there was nothing original or in depth about them. I guess it is normal for action movies to be purely about the action, however in this film I felt like they should have at least had a bit more depth to them after they had decided to go into the characters' history.
The acting in Pacific Rim was poor, despite a good cast. Idris Elba, from Luther, clearly gave the best performance in this film and his character was perhaps my favourite in the film. I think it is hard to look good in a bad film, so he deserves credit and I think he was a far better choice than Tom Cruise, who was originally cast in his place. Charlie Hunnam on the other hand was shocking. I had heard good things about him as an actor from his performance in Sons of Anarchy, however in Pacific Rim he was wooden and often over exaggerated which made his acting skills appear amateurish. Similarly, Charlie Day's character portrayal was disappointing. His usual performances are in comedy film such as Horrible Bosses, and while in Pacific Rim his character (a scientist) was supposed to be humorous, it just didn't fit with the film in total and I think that a more serious performance might have been a better route to take.
On a positive note however, the special effects and action scenes were impressive and definitely had my attention. I also thought the soundtrack was good. The battles between the Kaijus and the Jaegers were exciting and thrilling, often taking place in different settings, such as in the middle of the sea or in the centre of large cities. The Kaijus and Jaegers themselves were also quite varied in appearance, and detailed too. However, there were a few too many battles and I think the film could do with being around 20 minutes shorter as it was starting to get tedious.
Also, throughout the film I couldn't help thinking that they'd stolen the idea of monsters rising periodically from the centre of the earth from the Demon Cycle book written by Peter V. Brett. In his books, daemons rise from the core of the earth on a night and attack humans, and this film just seemed to use the idea, which I found rather irritating. Furthermore, the similarities in design between the Jaegers and
Iron Man are undeniable, with them even having the same glowing circle in the middle of the chest. More original and creative designs could have been invented I'm sure.
This film seems to have generally positive reviews from websites such as Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, however I really fail to see where this comes from. Yes, the action is good yet it's also repetitive and predictable and the film generally lacks substance and the acting really lets it down in my opinion. It was trying to be too many different films as once, and hasn't succeeded in being any one of them. Unless you're in it solely for the action and nothing else, I wouldn't recommend this film to anyone. A total disappointment and not worth £8 cinema ticket!
I have to admit, I really didn't think that I'd enjoy this film, it just looked like another Transformers rip off, but boy was I wrong. This film is about the Jaeger programme, a host of giant robots controlled by two pilots whose brains are connected so they control the robot as one. The programme was developed in order to fight the threat posed by the Kaiju, giant sea monsters that have come through a giant rift in the ocean. These giant monsters are a threat to humanity and the Jaeger programme seems to be the only thing that can come even close to defeating them.
This film is full of action, but it is nicely balanced with the story so that it doesn't take over the story. Godzilla definitely comes to mind when you're looking at the Kaiju (as does the Balrog from Lord of the Rings), but these monsters are far more advanced. Robots vs. Monsters is an age old story but this was far more interesting as there seemed to be a hidden agenda behind the monsters appearance. There are some sci-if elements to this film and you can imagine the Kaiju as massive aliens from under the sea. The methods used to fight the Kaiju are actually rather clever and deep thought and planning goes behind each and everyone of their attack preparations so this isn't one of those movies full of CGI and pointless fighting.
The acting is absolutely superb. There aren't many big names in this film, though I still recognized most of actors by face. This film is actually pretty charged with emotion as each and every character has a personal backstory, most of the, involving some sort if tragedy. The actors were all able to switch between playing the tough bad-asses and damaged man with a heavy past with ease making this a top notch film.
All in all, I'd highly recommend this film to lovers of Transformers, Godzilla etc. as this is a brilliantly executed film filled with smooth onscreen action and an interesting plot line.
*Film only review*
There is a rift under the sea that is allowing monsters through to Earth and they are attempting to destroy the human race. In order to beat the monsters, humans had to build machines (powered by humans) that are strong enough to defeat the monster threat. The monsters are known as Kaiju and the machines are called Jaegars.
Directed by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy), written by del Toro and Travis Beacham (Clash of the Titans).
The plot is interesting and it kept my attention despite the fact that you can pretty much predict what will happen throughout the movie. It is a little long; it feels like the movie should end about half an hour earlier than it does. Pacific Rim wastes no time with back story, it gets right to the action and rarely lets up. Think Transformers in the sea, it is a surprise that Michael Bay didn't play a part in such an action blockbuster.
At times it did look like an updated Power Rangers, it must be inspired by the Mighty Morphin' TV show as the similarities are plain to see. The operators of the machines are even called rangers. I was expecting the finale to have the machines lock in together, but it didn't happen. Gutted.
Considering the film is all about the action, it needed great effects or it would fail. The CGI certainly lived up to my expectations; I would recommend you catch Pacific Rim in 3D if at all possible as it truly shines in the format (without any gimmicks). It looks brilliant; I can quite easily believe that giant monsters were taking on metal machines all over the world during filming. The action scenes are great and it didn't get too crazy a la the aforementioned Transformers in which I often struggled to know who was who and who was winning each fight. There was a nice variety in both the Kaijus and the Jaegars, which gave the movie a bit more personality as you can see them as real characters.
I must say that I did struggle at times with the technology in the machines. The two rangers control it, one is essentially the left brain and the other is the right. They enter a 'drift' to get aligned to each other and the machine so that they can fight. Clearly it is a high tech piece of equipment, but then they would hold a button down to work an intercom and the illusion was over. Surely they could come up with something a little better than that.
If you look past the action and take note of the actors in Pacific Rim, you might be a little disappointed. It is led by Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) who plays Raleigh Becket, a fearless and unconventional ranger who is somewhat of a legend in the field. Sadly his acting skills aren't up to much. The whole film comes across a little melodramatic and Hunnam is at the helm of it all. I thought he warmed up a little as the movie went on but that might have just been because I was getting used to his acting 'style'.
Idris Elba (The Wire) is a little too good to be in this film, I assume he was tempted in by Guillermo del Toro but this isn't a classic. Elba is a strong presence on camera and is easily the best actor involved in the movie. He does his best in his portrayal of Stacker but as I said before, it is more melodrama than quality drama, the script is often too clichéd.
Rinko Kikuchi (Sideways) plays the part of trainee Mako Mori, who is exceptionally skilled but too emotional. Kikuchi is alright, the characters back story has been seen a million times before and there's not really chance for her to impress.
The rest of the cast is definitely a mixed bag. Rob Kazinsky (Eastenders) played ranger Chuck, his Australian accent is awful in this movie. He goes from Australian to Londoner and back round over and over again. It is good to see a former soap star do something decent in the US but his accent is shameful in this. The two scientists in the film are stereotypes and a constant annoyance to me. I imagine some will love them but I was hoping they would get killed whenever they were on screen,
Pacific Rim is by no means a bad film but there isn't much to enjoy once you get past the breath-taking action. The acting is mostly bad, which gives it more of a B movie feel (and I don't mean that in a good way) than a top blockbuster. The effects are great and it is worth watching for that aspect but don't go into it with high expectations as you are likely to be disappointed. There isn't much originality in the movie, which is the most disappointing thing. It is a load of stuff we have seen before bundled together in a pretty package.
It has somewhat of a sudden ending, which may be a blessing in disguise as the non-action scenes weren't memorable. I would recommend you watch Pacific Rim, either at the cinema or on a big TV, but accept that you are only there for the monster mash. Do not expect a life changing experience.
Charlie Hunnam - Raleigh Becket
Diego Klattenhoff - Yancy Becket
Idris Elba - Stacker Pentecost
Rinko Kikuchi - Mako Mori
Charlie Day - Dr. Newton Geiszler
Burn Gorman - Gottlieb
Max Martini - Herc Hansen
Robert Kazinsky - Chuck Hansen
Also posted on Ciao under the username shabbating
Pacific Rim is a 2013 film directed by Guillermo del Toro and is a mixture of transformers, Godzilla and power rangers.
Guillermo del Toro is best known for his dark fantasies such as Pan's Labyrinth or comic fantasy such as Hellboy. He was due to make the Hobbit but was eventually dropped.
Pacific Rim has to be one of the daftest, worst films I've watched in a very long time, the film is really a series of set battles between humans and trans-dimensional beasts called Kaijus. Kaijus are large city destroying creatures who are coming through a rift in the Pacific Ocean, they are large, scaly have vague Earth creature physiology (the first one looks a bit like a rhino, others are reptilian and others crocodilian), they only communicate through bellows and have no obvious desires at the start of the film beyond destruction. Humans soon realise that they need powerful machines to combat the creatures so build a series of huge robots called Jaegers who are so complex that they require two humans to merge their brains together to operate the machines. The twin pilots are then linked and control either the left or right side of the robot; these robots are then sent out to combat the Kaijus. The film begins with a brilliant montage section, highlighting the first attack on San Francisco, the development of the Jaegers programme and the first fight of one Jaeger called Gypsy piloted by two brothers. One brother is killed and the other manages to kill the Kaiju and get the Jaeger back to land. All this is shown as a series of short scenes and has a voice over, it is with one exception the best part of the film.
I can only assume that the screenwriter between the opening scenes and the subsequent 2 hours of the film was killed in a freakish Kaiju attack because after this opening the rest of the film is terrible. The rest of the film is a series of pitched battles between Jaegers and increasingly large Kaiju's, these are all either at night or set at sea, and have the feel of a series of levels on a classic beat-em up computer game with the end level baddies getting slowly bigger, more advanced in physical traits, more of them or a combination of the three. The main problem with the film isn't the set battles, which are thrilling, exciting, stimulating if a bit exhausting as the film jumps from one to another but the sections in between. The scenes in between are so short that characters are one-dimensional at best, stereotypical and the dialogue is corny. This approach leaves us with characters with terrible Aussie accents, Chinese and Russian pilots who seem to be only capable of grunts and a pair of nerdy scientists.
Overall, the main problem is the lack of any kind of story beyond battle after battle, it reminds me of those awful films which appear late at night on the sci-fi channels usually made with 50p and a bag of third rate special effects. In this case, we have a famous director a huge budget and a bag of one-dimensional characters coming out with terrible lines. There is the brother (Raleigh) who's looking for redemption, a Japanese girl (Mako) who survived a terrifying experience with a Kaiju, a father and son team, an Army general who's a mix of Barak Obama and Russell Crowe from Gladiator, all try their best with the lines but the scriptwriter doesn't give them a lot to work with. One of the few redeeming parts in the film is the underground gangster played by Ron Pearlman, all gold teeth and few morals.
This was a bad film made by a good director, it has a few redeeming moments, the starting montage, Ron Pearlman's cameo and the one outstanding scene where when Mako and Raleigh first mind merge we see her encounter with the Kaiju when she was around 8-9 years old. This is one of the few scenes featuring Kaiju's where it's not either dark, raining or in the sea, it genuinely scary and the little girl plays the part of a girl being chased by this huge monster is brilliant, yet never says a word throughout. I watched the film and had distinct feelings of watching transformers, a bit of Top Gun, and a bit of 100 million years BC (look it up if you want to waste 90 minutes of your life).
So overall, could have been better, a lot better.
Taken at face value, the "plot" behind Pacific Rim is likely to put a lot of people off. Essentially, it can be summed up as Godzilla vs. Transformers. If that makes you shudder just consider one thing before you decide (the thing that persuaded Mrs SWSt to come and see it): it's directed by Guillermo Del Toro, a man with a flair for both storytelling and artistic design, and a man who seems congenitally incapable of making a bad film.
Unfortunately, whilst Pacific Rim could never be described as a "bad film", it's clear that Del Toro is not firing on all cylinders. Although it looks superb, the storytelling is something of a let-down.
Set in the near future, a rift has been opened under the Pacific. Through this rift come the Kaiju, giant lizards capable of reducing entire cities to rubble. To combat the menace, the world develops the Jaegers, giant human operated robots capable of fighting and beating the menace. The trouble is the Kaiju attacks are becoming more frequent whilst the number of Jaegers and pilots are decreasing as the Kaiju learn how to defeat them. Mankind is facing extinction.
It's not that the story is bad exactly; it's just that there are times when it feels rather disjointed and derivative. I've already made the rather obvious link between Godzilla and Transformers, but there's more than a whiff of Independence Day in there too. Indeed, whole scenes feel like they have been directly influenced by Devlin and Emmerich's alien invasion film.
From another perspective, it all feels a bit of a jumble. According to rumour about 60 minutes of footage was cut out for this cinematic release, which expanded some of the sub-plots, and it really shows. Parts of the plotting feel rushed or deeply clichéd (the inevitable love interest; the father-son issues of one Jaeger team), seeming to come out of nowhere and all be resolved in five minutes. This makes them highly unsatisfying and in some instances, more than a bit annoying. As a viewer, I sometimes felt like I was being taken for a bit of a ride and treated like an idiot.
And yet, it's probably a good job that this extra hour was excised. Indeed, arguably, the film could have done with a more severe pruning. Coming in at 129 minutes it is too long and, at times, slow. After the initial, pre-titles Jaeger-Kaiju scrap you have to wait over 30 minutes for the next, during which time we are subjected to some plodding plotting and unconvincing character development. Had this time been used to flesh out characters and build plot properly it would have helped viewer engagement. As it is, it just feels like dead time; filler whilst you are waiting for the next robot-lizard scrap.
Still, whilst the plotting and characters might be disappointing, you cannot fault the visuals. Pacific Rim looks incredble. The monsters are superbly constructed and look fantastic; the Jaegers are no less impressive. Once again, Del Toro shows that when it comes to attention to detail and special effects, there are few directors who can match his vision.
Pacific Rim is full of incredible set-pieces that even for this jaundiced film-watcher were genuinely impressive. Sure, the bits surrounding the set-pieces are rather flimsy and clichéd, but I paid my money to see giant robots and giant lizards smash each other to pieces and I wasn't disappointed. But it's not just the monsters and robots that are impressive. With Del Toro at the helm, everything looks superb from the grungy Jaeger base of operations to the Bladerunner inspired vision of futuristic Hong Kong. Everything oozes atmosphere and attention to detail
I saw this film in 2D (partly because my local cinema is the world's worst when it comes to decent show times, mainly because so few 3D films have impressed me that I generally opt for the 2D version and save money). This is one I wish I'd seen in 3D, t. You can just tell from the way it's was filmed and the sheer scale of the spectacle that for once the use of 3D is probably justified.
The film is also not afraid to be a little silly and over the top. There's one scene part-way through that involves a boat, a Jaeger and a Kaiju taking a pasting. If you embrace the silliness of this sequence, you'll enjoy Pacific Rim; if you sit there thinking "WHAT???!" then you might as well go home because you're just never going to get it. Pacific Rim is big and dumb and it glorifies in it.
Acting, on the other hand is not amongst the film's major selling points. They get you through the film and do what needs to be done, but you can't see Mr Spielberg calling them up any time soon to see if they'd like to be in his next assault on the Oscars. Even the normally reliable Idris Elba is below par on this one and there were times when you felt his heart wasn't really in it. In fairness, you can't entirely blame them, since they are served some seriously cheesy dialogue. I spent half the film wondering whether this was deliberately ironic, paying homage to old B Movies, or whether the writers just didn't twig how bad the dialogue was. My conclusion was that it's the latter.
Don't make Pacific Rim into something it's not. It's meant to be a bit of fun, an action-packed fist-fight between robots and alien lizards. Yes, it's too long and the plotting is disjointed, but take your brain out of gear and let your jaw go slack at the sheer spectacle that Del Toro has served up.
Director: Guillermo Del Toro
Running time: approx. 129 minutes
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