Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Pacific Rim Review

When I first heard of this movie I thought it would provide a fresh look at dealing with an alien invasion.  It actually looked like something that was mostly new and quite exciting.  After all, it has 250 foot robots fighting giant monsters from another world.  Then, I watched it and realized that it is actually nothing really new.  Almost everything in this movie is derived from another sci-fi/action source (right down to referring to a rift in time/space as a "breach." Guillermo del Toro took a lot of things that we found cool or interesting in other movies and TV shows and mashed them together into Pacific Rim.  This isn't overly surprising given that Hollywood has been suffering from a lack of creativity lately.

Pacific Rim does have decent story progression.  It gets to the point (let's see giant things smash little things while beating the crap out of each other) very quickly without a lot of origin exposition and discovering how to deal with Earth's sudden dramatic paradigm shift.  It gives you what you need to know and then moves on to the smashy smashy.  The problem is that the actual delivery of that story is quite bad.  The writing (especially dialogue) is done very poorly and it is delivered atrociously by the actors (especially Charlie Hunnam).  There is too much emphasis on getting the dramatic camera angle and not enough on telling the story.  Then they went a little overboard in making the characters seem to be straight off the pages of a comic book (the Russians, Mako Mori, Hannibal Chau, etc.) making them unrelateable (this would be forgiven somewhat if it was based on a graphic novel).  It's made worse by the large number of plot holes and logical flaws that can be seen throughout; in particular, how the Jaegers are used.

The good in this movie is in the effects, makeup and action.  The monsters and robots are fantastically created and I liked how they were all different.  Everything looks very realistic with minimal flaws.  They also stayed away from the overly shaky camera work that film makers love now for some stupid reason.  This lets the viewer see and take in the maximum amount of action and those parts are a joy to watch.

Visually, it is good.  But del Toro's efforts to make it more light-hearted than other recent summer action blockbusters wind up actually making it more of an eye-roller and forehead-slapper.  So it narrowly misses a See recommendation and gets pushed into Don't See.

1 comment:

  1. Can't say I expected too much from this movie and thankfully, that's why I came out happier than usual. Nice review Chupie.