- Loving Film
- Weekly Features
- Other Features
- Review Index
- Rating System
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
|By Sati.||Tuesday, July 23, 2013||2013, Action, Guillermo Del Toro, movies, P, Pacific Rim, review, sci-fi|
Let me say this upfront - I don't mind silly movies. Just few days ago I had a great time watching Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in The Heat. It was dumb, but at least it wasn't boring. This is pretty much the minimum I ask of summer film - to entertain. So when I was checking my text messages during Pacific Rim, I knew that it failed for me.
When I saw the trailer for Pacific Rim I knew I wanted to see that - it looked cool and Idris Elba, for whom I'd see anything, was in it. It also looked pretty unique, considering how it is Guillermo del Toro's film and he usually has something new or different to show to the audience. Well, unfortunately, Pacific Rim's silliness crossed the boundaries of my endurance and its potential uniqueness was beaten to death with the piling cliches.
The plot is simple - one day monsters called Kaiju emerge from the sea and attack humans. Humans build big robots - Jaegers, to retaliate. The robots are controlled by two pilots, located inside them. The pilots have special helmets and through them they have a bond of memories etc. For some time it works and the threat seems to be gone - humans win more and more battles. And then Kajiu attack again.
The main problem with Pacific Rim is the fact that the two main characters - Raleigh Beckett and Mako Mori - are less interesting than monsters (or robots) in this movie. They are so flat and so one-dimensional I couldn't give a crap about either of those two. Mako is played by Rinko Kikuchi who was lovely in Babel. Here she was absolutely awful. Such a wooden performance I felt like I was watching a puppet.
Charlie Hunnan is not much better and it only takes you few episodes of Sons of Anarchy to realize this one is not much of a leading man material as it's very easy for others to steal his thunder. Well, there is not much of thunder to steal in the first place. Anyways, these two are supposed to have a bond which basically makes them better at fighting monsters - the stronger the bond, the better they do. Well, then it's a wonder their robot didn't fall on its ass and powered down immediately after it left the base, because I saw no chemistry there.
The cast also includes Charlie Day and Ron Perlman in a subplot which I assume was meant to be humorous. Some of it is funny but by the time Kajiu umbilical cord showed up I was equally bored and grossed out. There's also Robert Kazinsky (currently a fairy vampire in season 6 of True Blood) playing a douchebag with an awful accent. In fact the only two people who managed to portray some real emotions were Max Martini and Idris Elba, but I'll get to him later.
I have to say that the best performance in the movie was given by a little girl who played younger Mako in a flashback. Comparing to her most of the cast sucked. That flashback scene was actually the best part of the movie - this right there is what the movie should have been. Idris Elba's character finding that girl and being the film's lead. Especially, seeing how that relationship was the only believable and well established thing in the whole film. And how his character was the only interesting one and charismatic enough to keep you watching. That flashback scene was also the only moment in the whole film to have genuine emotions.
Instead we got what was basically a 90-minute long setup to the conclusion you saw in every other big budget movie about Earth being endangered. Ooh, how exciting. And another problem - Kaijus. You would think that since this is a new kind of monster del Toro would give them a cool back story, right? Wrong. When we find out more about them it's even worse than if they just left it unexplained. Dinosaurs are mentioned at one point.
The film has spectacular visual effects and fantastic score from Ramin Djawadi. The fights between the monsters and robots are very well done and many times I had this thought which I always have when I watch a movie with awesome visual effects "how did they even manage to do that?!". That said the designs aren't very imaginative - Kaiju look quite boring and not especially terrifying.
On the other hand the editing blows big time - it's chaotic during fight scenes, which is not a big problem, but the transitions in more peaceful scenes are just jarring.
That said, I have to compliment the movie for not falling apart 40 minutes before its end like most of summer blockbusters. It fell apart to pathetic pieces 20 minutes before its end. So that's still an achievement.
Alright here come spoilers. They have Idris Elba's character blow himself up for humanity. AGAIN. When they started talking about detonating the reactor I was half-asleep but I awoke in terror and I said "what? AGAIN?!". It was like I moved back in time to a year ago when I was watching Prometheus (a much, much better movie in every conceivable way). All Elba was missing was a baseball cap and "HANDS UPPPPP!".
This movie is supposed to be unique. And they have a black guy kill himself to save the humanity?
No, no, no. Wait.
They have the only interesting character kill himself? Woah, nice going. Well, at least now I don't have to watch a sequel, which probably won't happen either way seeing how the film is flopping all over the place.
Is there a bigger cliche in this type of movies than heroic death that could have been avoided (they had fucking escape pods there)? Geeky science guy? Uncooperative government guys? Personal tragedy of the protagonist to get you to care about him? Check, check and check again.
Pacific Rim is silly and boring and despite its impressive visual side and special effects it's really not worth your time. I have yet to see a good blockbuster film this year.
I'll give this to that movie - at least the dog lived.
And that's pretty damn unique in today's cinema.
Pacific Rim (131 min, 2013)
Plot: 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: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi