Barge’s Movie Review – Pacific Rim

9 Jul

Guillermo Del Toro’s latest may be derivative, lack focus or theme and be essentially a Saturday morning cartoon blown up into a CGI fueled feature length film… but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is an awful movie.

Now I will be the first to admit that this is not a great movie. But let me step back a minute and explain what I brought into the theater with me. Yes I have seen just about all of the old gundam animes that Del Toro referenced when making Pacific Rim. in fact I am pretty sure I have seen a lot of the one’s he probably didn’t use but should have. I also came into this film with very low expectations, I mean when the asylum’s Atlantic Rim skim’s so close to the film’s look it is hard to not be a little concerned, even with Del Toro at the helm.

Let’s be positive for a minute and talk about the good:

  1. Idris Elba is money, you can hand him a paper thin character that is a mash up of Apolo Creed and William Wallace complete with every last quirk of both of them and what will he give you? A performance that makes everyone else look that much worse and a few good last stand speeches.
  2. There were some quality fight sequences that are among the best of the mech genre especially when talking the “new” blockbuster film era.
  3. The movie has an awkwardly self-aware tone to itself. Now this film can and should be criticized for this, but at the same time it adds a bit of levity and humor, adding a sort of “we don’t take ourselves too seriously” sort of way.

Ok enough of that lets talk problems:

  1. The movie has no identity at times, it tries to be every mech anime ever made at the same time, it can’t decide what it’s theme is…. ever. One minute it is about redemption, the next about our relationship with the past, the next the triumph of the human spirit, the failures of big government, the list goes on. It flies through all of these so fast that it never really has a message to get across.
  2. Rinko Kikuchi’s character Mako is every big eyed little girl grown up ever and the character and the forced romance with Becket just feel awkward and out of place in the movie.
  3. The actual plot of the film is a chore to sit through, it really is unnecessary and never really adds anything to the story that your average viewer couldn’t just construct for his or herself. Everything is telegraphed, predictable and a pointless rehash of a few episodes of Evangelion with some Gundam mixed in.

On the whole the film is nothing too special, fans of Mechs will find some good combat to watch, but Del Toro really doesn’t ever put his mark on the Genre. If your kids watch Saturday morning cartoons, take them to a matinee. Outside of that it is hard to find an audience to recommend the film to, not because it is awful, but because it is just a series of good CGI fights, delayed by an boring predictable story.


Note: Be sure to check back for Bobby’s take on Pacific Rim we will also talk a bit of the film on the next episode of Sexy Debate Time.

Check out Bobby’s Review of Pacific Rim Here.

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