News

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.

Verdict-2-0-Stars

Read more reviews by George Wolf.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Judge Considers Whether to Dismiss Illinois Head-Injury Suit

ihsa

Cook County Judge Leroy Martin Jr. heard oral arguments Friday.

in Local

Ex-Washington Mayor Don Gronewald Dead at 83

wtax 011015

Gronewald, mayor of the central Illinois town from 1989 to 2001, died Tuesday at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

in Local

Iran Deal Gives Durbin a Shot at Political Redemption

dickdurbin2

Dick Durbin leading effort to get votes in favor of nuclear deal with Iran.

in Local

Munger Under Fire Over Outgoing State Funds

Biss and Munger

State Senator Daniel Biss says the comptroller’s office is having trouble following court ordered payments to various groups.

in Local

Legionnaires’ Disease Sickens 23 and Kills 2 in Quincy VA Home

Quincy VA Home

The Illinois Department of Public Health is taking steps to prevent more people in a Quincy veterans’ home from contracting Legionnaires’ disease.