REVIEW: ‘Pacific Rim’ is weakest of weak

REVIEW: ‘Pacific Rim’ is weakest of weak

Photo: YouTube

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy | Run Time: 132 min | Rated: PG-13
Director: Guillermo del Toro | Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day

By: George Wolf

We’re on the edge of an apocalypse and Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) needs to let go of the past if he wants to save our future.

It was from the sensory-overload seats this week that I took in the IMAX 3D extravaganza that is Pacific Rim – the story of a boy, a robot, and a lot of clichés. Who’d have thought wretched excess could be so dull?

Director Guillermo del Toro tackles his biggest project to date, dropping $200 million on yet another monster movie. Whether a vampire, a mutating alien, a ghost, another vampire, a Hellboy or a labyrinth full of creatures, del Toro does have a preoccupation with monsters. (And Ron Perlman.)

This time the beasties are sort of sea creatures from another dimension in a film that amounts to Godzilla meets the Transformers. The generally capable, sometimes spectacular director doesn’t stop cribbing ideas there. You can find Aliens, Real Steel, maybe some Top Gun, even a little Being John Malkovich in there if you really try.

Indeed, there’s nary a single truly unique idea in the picture. Instead, del Toro relies on the abundance – glut, even – of cinematic clichés to free himself up to focus on more technical stuff, and technically speaking, the film’s pretty impressive. But not overly so.

Del Toro’s real passion seems always to have been in the creation of monsters – dude loves him some tentacles – but too few of these creatures are visually articulate enough to be really memorable or impressive. Without that, the visceral impact he’s after never fully materializes.

Sure, the concussive sound editing and even more abusive score take the experience up a sonic notch, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Combined with sloppy scripting and performance that are – well – bad, the self indulgent Pacific Rim manages to be the least impressive blockbuster yet this summer. And it’s been a pretty weak summer.


Read more reviews by George Wolf.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Opponents Upset Chief Illiniwek Merchandise Still Available Online

u of i urbana

Assistant Athletic Director Marty Kaufmann says the items are available because there wasn't "any edict to wipe all history or tradition from our books."

in Local

Lisa Madigan Calls for More Compassion Towards Victims of Sex Crimes

Lisa Madigan

The state's Attorney General says a shift in attitude toward victims of rape, sexual assault, and other such crimes will lead toward more of these crimes being reported.

in Local

Arrest Made in the Murder of a Former Pleasant Plains Woman

kendra hatcher

One suspect is in jail and another is being sought in the murder of a former Springfield area woman.

in Local

Alleged Improprieties Force Out Two Parole Board Members

wtax 011015

Two members of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board have been removed in the wake of published reports of erroneous filings with the state and the federal government.

in Local

Rauner Addresses Concerns of State’s University Presidents


The Governor was in Urbana Friday to address the concerns of nine presidents over universities in Illinois.