Sunday, 16 February 2014

MOVIE: Pacific Rim (2013)

Pacific Rim

US 2013, 211m, Warner Bros./Legendary

Blu-Ray: Warner (UK), Cert 12

The human race's deadliest threat has not come from the skies, but from deep below the sea. As these monstrous creatures carry out a prolonged series of attacks on cities around the world, a retired pilot and a rookie, in charge of an obsolete fighting machine, may be the world's last hope...

Okay, cards on the table. I don't generally do summer blockbusters. I am, however a fan and admirer of Guillermo Del Toro, so I was somewhat intrigued to see what he would deliver in this massively budgeted major studio outing.

On the one hand, it's a disappointment that Del Toro, in my opinion one of the most original filmmakers of his generation, has come up with a movie which adheres so closely (indeed, slavishly so) to a well-trodden template, right down to the same stock characters and situations that populate your average Michael Bay flick. The "comedy relief" scientists in particular were getting on my nerves after a few minutes.

On the other hand, this could be taken as Del Toro's personal love letter to the monster movies he grew up with and evidently loves. The film is dedicated to effects legend Ray Harryhausen and IshirĂ´ Honda (the "Father of Godzilla"), which gives a clear statement of intent as to what the director was aiming to emulate. Sadly, like all too many CGI fests, Pacific Rim's massive array of visual pyrotechnics is sorely lacking that human touch which made those masters' works so endearing. 

If taken purely on its own terms, Pacific Rim is enjoyable enough in places, but way too long for its own good. After all, your average Godzilla flick did all this and more, usually inside 90 minutes...


Original Theatrical Trailer:

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