Today we are cancelling the apocalypse!
I have been a fan of Guillermo del Toro (Blade 2, Hellboy 1&2) since seeing Pan's Labyrinth and learning about the man as a visionary with an eye for detail. When it comes to filmmaking, he's as "hands on" as anybody. When Pacific Rim was announced to have del Toro directing, it piqued my interest more than if some no-name independent filmmaker had been given the job.
So suffice it to say, after having higher than average expectations, I was a bit disappointed by this movie. Written as an homage to Godzilla and other classic Japanese monster movies, it seems that more time was spent on the look of the film then anything else. The gargantuan (ha ha, I finally get to use it in a sentence) monster battles mostly deliver but, there's not much substance to the story and characters.
Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) is little more than one-dimensional in the lead role, while Idris Elba (the Wire, Prometheus) commands in all of his scenes. Charlie Day (Horrible Bosses, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Ron Perlman (Hellboy) add some funny moments to an otherwise droll script. Even though the visuals are pretty cool, some of the CG looked cartoony, which is probably why most of the action scenes are set at night or under cloud cover.
The Good- awesome monster battles, art direction, most of the f/x, sound, some humor, monster design and gore, Ron Perlman, and the red shoe scene.
The Bad- writing, contrivances, clichéd story copying, character depth, pace, musical score seemed to be trying too hard, and some cartoony CG.
The Ugly- The baby Kaiju (monster) umbilical cord scene, grossly cool! Also, this is the 2nd film this year (Oblivion) to have similarly copied the ending to Independence Day. Come on, Hollywood. Can't you think of something just a little original?!
Over an hour of footage was cut to shorten the runtime, which might have given more insight into the characters but, would have probably also made the movie drag even more than it already does. Stay partially through the end credits for a cool scene. If you're into Godzilla type action, see this at the drive-in or the matinee but, don't expect much more than that. Rating 6 out of 10
Pacific Rim (2013)
PG-13 | 2h 11min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 12 July 2013 (USA)
As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Writers: Travis Beacham (screenplay), Guillermo del Toro (screenplay)
Stars: Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi