Review: Pacific Rim
09:12 26 July 2013
Pacific Rim throws out an entire movie in its opening 10 minutes. In a breakneck montage, we see the first attack by giant sea monsters from another dimension, the levelling of San Francisco, the creation of giant robots to defend the Earth, the first seven years of the war and its social consequences.
It’s an exciting opening – if they can rattle through all this good stuff in the opening montage, just imagine what must they have for the actual film?
Two hours later you know that they indeed threw away the entire movie in the first 10 minutes. In a summer of sequels and begin-agains, this Transformers versus Godzilla concept counts as an original movie but it has been shaped into a very old hat.
The storytelling is so listless and casual that the odd good idea or moment of novelty has no impact.
Everybody wants to see giant robots fighting giant monsters and, in Pacific Rim, you will find yourself wishing you could see giant robots fighting giant monsters.
Every scene is shot in a drab, rain sodden, metallic, indistinguishable blue murk. Most of the film is set in Hong Kong, one of the most visually striking cities on earth, but it’s a faceless nowhereville here.
The non-star cast make little impression – anonymous flawed Daniel Craig clones grunting at each other or an excruciating caricature comic relief scientist.
External evidence shows they are capable performers but the characterisations are so thin and the dialogue so witless, everybody flounders. The only successful performance is a girl in a flashback sequence who is so heart-wrenchingly terrified during a monster attack she briefly fires the film into life. Guillermo Del Toro is surely the most overrated director currently working.
Any number of directors could’ve done something better with this material and that includes Michael Bay – he would at least have shot it in daylight.
PACIFIC RIM (12A)
Director: Guillermo Del Toro
Starring: Charlie Hunnan, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman and Ron Perlman
Length: 131 mins