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Pacific Rim

  • Film
  • 3 out of 5 stars
PACIFIC RIM
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Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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.

Written by Tom Huddleston

Release Details

  • Rated:12A
  • Release date:Friday 12 July 2013
  • Duration:131 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Guillermo del Toro
  • Cast:
    • Idris Elba
    • Charlie Hunnam
    • Charlie Day
    • Ron Perlman
    • Rinko Kikuchi
    • Burn Gorman
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