Pacific Rim (12A)

Film

Science fiction

Pacific Rim

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Mon Jul 8 2013

To be fair, ‘Pacific Rim’ never promised to be anything more than a monumental robot-monster smackdown. Throughout the promotional campaign we’ve barely seen a human face, aside from a brief flash in the trailer of Idris Elba bellowing about the apocalypse. So to turn around and accuse ‘Pacific Rim’ of being inhuman does feel a little churlish.

But it’s simply impossible to overlook. As the film opens we’re introduced to skyscraper-sized automaton Gipsy Danger and her pilot Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam), as they battle against the ongoing threat from the ‘kaiju’, monsters from another dimension who slip through a portal in the depths of the ocean. Raleigh is the tough, silent type, constantly battling his boss, the gloriously named Stacker Pentecost (Elba) – also the tough, silent type. As is his protegé, Mako (Rinko Kikuchi). And his trusted Aussie sidekick (Max Martini). Indeed, the only characters who aren’t tough and silent are a pair of irritating mismatched science geeks, one apparently channelling Dr Strangelove (Burn Gorman), the other JJ Abrams (Charlie Day).

The action set-pieces are superb: thunderous, rain-soaked, and beautifully detailed – you can almost feel the rust and the slime. They’re also a tad repetitive. By the climax, we’re starting to feel like we’ve been punished enough. But if Del Toro is pitching for an audience of 12-year-old boys (and we do mean boys: this is old-school macho), he’s done a bang-up job.

Still, there are times when ‘Pacific Rim’ could be the work of any jobbing Hollywood director – the warmth and idiosyncracy that characterises Del Toro’s finest work, from ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ to ‘Hellboy 2’, is absent. ‘The Avengers’ proved that a slightly left-of-centre director like Joss Whedon could find a home in the heart of Hollywood without losing the personal touch. With ‘Pacific Rim’, Del Toro doesn’t even seem to be trying.

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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Jul 12, 2013

Duration:

131 mins

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

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wildkatwriter

Big, nasty, bitey, flying mosters v big, lumbering robots - what's not to like? PRACIFIC RIM is perfect if you're an 8-year-old boy; anyone else might find it a bit tedious. If you're not an 8-year-old boy, you're certainly going to wonder about the logic, as the plot has holes you could drive a robot through. The monsters are dinosaurs, basically - why are they so impossible to destroy? And why does anyone think building a very high coastal wall will keep out things that can fly? Duh!!! But what's shocking about Pacific Rim is that director del Toro, who's given us visionary worlds in Pan's Labyrinth, is so unimaginative here. Everything's borrowed: the monsters are from Godzilla, the robots...c'mon. They're Walkers, from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, with added radiation. "Rim" would never pretend to be subtle, and gleefully deals in stereotypes - Australians are brash, British people uptight, scientsits geeky and bespectacled (no - really?). The competent cast seem to have read the script and decided to turn their performances all the way up to 11, except for Idris Elba, who turns his up to about 17. He's a great actor but if you want to see him acting, watch MANDELA. Here, he's shouty, posturing and wooden. Admittedly, he has the very worst dialogue ("One, never touch me again. Two, never touch me again," and "The Apocalypse is cancelled!"). Rinko Kikuchi, as apparently the only woman left in the future apart from a few newsreaders, is the only person who gives her character subtlety and sensitivity. The best you could say of "Rim" is that it's gleefully bad, and it doesn't take itself too seriously. But it's preposterous, as anonymous as it's noisy. Given that the title's a gift to any self-respecting porn director, I wonder what the inevitable porn version will be like? No, actually I don't want to go there...

Viewster

It's easy to assume the story is nonsense from the theme and the trailers. Of course, it's even worse to find out that you were right as you watch something you thought likely to be nonsense. Sometimes its a “pleasant surprise of otherwise” - a sort of definition I have just created, but it describes an experience I have so rarely encountered with films that it seems even more authentic and unique because of being totally unexpected. I'm not a movie critic, but reviewing films and things written by others about films is a part of my job. I'm a creative writer. The amount of stuff I have watched and read while writing for movie sites like Viewster.com is impressive – in terms of quantity, of course, not quality. The fact that it's my job doesn't make many moments less disappointing at all. I'm almost allergic to the words “blockbuster”, “apocalyptic epic”, “thriller”, “slasher” , “highest grossing movie” and I won't mention the words that usually come to my mind as synonyms of those – for the sake of not using bad language. I really hoped I'd manage to avoid watching Pacific Rim, but my friends insisted that I should try. It turned out to be so different from what I had expected. No-brainer? Cliche? Poor story and ending? Perhaps. I was just fascinated by the scenes introducing the “drift” - a condition essential for the two co-pilots to effectively function as one while operating the giant Jaeger machine. It involves synchronizing and virtually living through each other's experiences and memories, and I find it such a good reflection of human relationships, that I don't care for the context where I discovered such a delight. Others may say the story is nonsense and the dialogue is nonsense, but telling something through images and scenes rather than words and storylines is the real art of cinema. It feels like the lost magic I thought I'd never experience again in the world ruled by special effects that mostly have absolutely failed to impress me. Robots and monsters were certainly the least expected companions for it, but thank you guys for luring me out from the attic of old movies. I had a great time with you.

Viewster

It's easy to assume the story is nonsense from the theme and the trailers. Of course, it's even worse to find out that you were right as you watch something you thought likely to be nonsense. Sometimes its a “pleasant surprise of otherwise” - a sort of definition I have just created, but it describes an experience I have so rarely encountered with films that it seems even more authentic and unique because of being totally unexpected. I'm not a movie critic, but reviewing films and things written by others about films is a part of my job. I'm a creative writer. The amount of stuff I have watched and read while writing for movie sites like Viewster.com is impressive – in terms of quantity, of course, not quality. The fact that it's my job doesn't make many moments less disappointing at all. I'm almost allergic to the words “blockbuster”, “apocalyptic epic”, “thriller”, “slasher” , “highest grossing movie” and I won't mention the words that usually come to my mind as synonyms of those – for the sake of not using bad language. I really hoped I'd manage to avoid watching Pacific Rim, but my friends insisted that I should try. It turned out to be so different from what I had expected. No-brainer? Cliche? Poor story and ending? Perhaps. I was just fascinated by the scenes introducing the “drift” - a condition essential for the two co-pilots to effectively function as one while operating the giant Jaeger machine. It involves synchronizing and virtually living through each other's experiences and memories, and I find it such a good reflection of human relationships, that I don't care for the context where I discovered such a delight. Others may say the story is nonsense and the dialogue is nonsense, but telling something through images and scenes rather than words and storylines is the real art of cinema. It feels like the lost magic I thought I'd never experience again in the world ruled by special effects that mostly have absolutely failed to impress me. Robots and monsters were certainly the least expected companions for it, but thank you guys for luring me out from the attic of old movies. I had a great time with you.

Gawkinson Boothroyd

Ha ha ha, it's me who's doing the laughing, but not at the film, my mirth is directed at 'Ian' the reviewer who obviously expected a more high brow experience. Get real. This film sets out to simply be a 'brain in neutral' sound and vision experience as David Bowie would say. It's unashamedly constructed like a PS3 or X-Box game which appeals to the younger (much younger) male members of the audience. And frankly what's the problem, we don't have any higher expectations. It is crafted beautifully and borrows from a host of other films right down to the realisically worn, authentic appearance of equipment first seen in Star Wars all those years ago. Who cares, just go and sit back, leave your real world cares outside and let this blast your cobwebs away. I was accompanied by my 11 year old nephew who bit his nails a lot with wide eyes and yes, actually cheered (in a quiet style) at one point. The story is nonesence, the plot is nonesense, the dialogue is nonesence, the entertainment value simple and just great fun. See it, enjoy it and then throw it away. Waste of time seeing this on your telly, get to the cinema (but opt for the 2D).

Ian

Oh how we all laughed! My first laugh at this film came about ten minutes in and as the cliches came through one by one on a regular basis by half way through quite a few people were laughing at the film rather than with it. It doesn't so much have a plot as a number of cut and pasted cliches and barely hidden copies from other films that join the cgi battle scenes together. It makes Battleship sound like Hamlet in comparison. About half way through I sussed the film out it is a remake of Top Gun. The dead brother is Goose; Mako is Kelly McGillis's character; Elba plays the Tom Skeritt ex pilot and the obnoxious Aussie son is obviously Val Kilmer's iceman. If you must watch it disengage you brain and let it flow over you you will enjoy it much more that way. Two stars only.