Movie Review - Pacific Rim

I had no interest in seeing this film, even though I do respect its director Guillermo del Toro. It ended up being what I thought it would be. It's just an excuse for huge robots to fight huge monsters, both of which being the size of skyscrapers.

At first, when I saw the trailer, I was reminded of the cheesy fights in the TV series Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. As cheesy as those fights were, I prefer them to the fights in Pacific Rim because at least the TV series gave the monsters personalities. I'm not sure if del Toro wanted the monsters to just be wild animals or large alien soldiers with some semblance of intelligence. If it's the former rather than the latter, it would be a first for him because typically del Toro's monsters are intelligent, be it in Hellboy or Pan's Labyrinth.

The premise is that a portal to a world where these huge monsters, nicknamed Kaiju, live has opened up underneath the Pacific Ocean and allows them to enter our world and wreak havoc to the countries that lie along the Pacific. Those countries and the world have subsequently come together to build equally-size robots to fight them.

The problem is that I didn't get how the portal worked and what the rhyme or reason to it was. Was it a portal that was always open? Was it opening and closing randomly or at same kind of interval? I never understand it.

Of all the movies, this is del Toro's dumbest. He doesn't seem to give any intelligence to his monsters. He doesn't explain this portal. At the end, he comes up with a solution that is equally dumb because it's a solution that could have been achieved at the beginning as to make all the events in the movie pointless.

There's even a pointless section with Charlie Day who plays a scientist trying to get a brain from one of the monsters. It's pointless because it ultimately has no bearing on the plot or the action.

It's sad to say that Transformers (2007) was smarter and more entertaining than this. The special effects would be the best thing going for it. Unfortunately, all the fight scenes are at night, which obscures a lot. At least, Transformers had the right mind to have its fights during the day.

Being a fan of Idris Elba, I was disappointed that more wasn't done for his character. He's basically occupying the same space he was in Prometheus (2012). The fate of his characters in both resulted in a very lackadaisical response. Del Toro doesn't do enough to make the audience care for him.

As cliché as it sounds, he needed a romance. I was hoping for one such between him and Charlie Hunnam, the so-called lead character in this movie but with nothing distinguishing about him. The relationship between Elba and Rinko Kikuchi who plays the daughter-figure for him isn't enough. If there were a stronger bond between Elba and Hunnam, that would have been better.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief language.
Running Time: 2 hrs. and 11 mins.


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