Pacific Rim (3D) (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner10/07/2013

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 131 mins

Disappointing robots vs monsters blockbuster that features spectacular special effects but is let down by poor acting and a painfully dull script.

What's it all about?
Co-written and directed by Guillermo Del Toro, Pacific Rim is set in a future where gigantic alien monsters known as Kaiju have started appearing through a dimensional rift in the ocean floor and attacking cities, Godzilla-style. In desperation, humanity pools its resources and builds giant robots known as Jaegers in order to fight back against the monsters. However, when the monsters learn how to defeat the robots, military leader Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) has to come up with a new strategy, so he calls in former pilot Raleigh Beckett (Charlie Hunnam) and recruits Geizler and Gottlieb (Charlie Day and Burn Gorman), a pair of monster-obsessed scientists.

The Good
The effects work is admittedly spectacular, though there's not enough variety in either the monsters or the robots, so the fight sequences quickly become repetitive. Similarly, the non-US setting makes a refreshing change (the film takes place in Hong Kong) and frees the film from the sort of flag-waving nonsense it might have become in other hands.

The Bad
The film's biggest problem is the script, which takes itself much too seriously and lacks any sense of fun; this means that the two bickering scientists feel like they've been shoehorned in for (poorly written) comic relief, so their presence is extremely jarring, even without Charlie Day's permanently squeaky voice. On top of that, the dialogue is extremely dull and the acting (with the notable exception of Rinko Kikuchi as Raleigh's new co-pilot and the great Ron Perlman as a black marketeer) is dreadful throughout – the line readings are all over the place and none of the actors manage to generate anything close to real emotion.

With a director like Del Toro unleashed on a blockbuster of this size, film-savvy audiences could be forgiven for expecting something much more inventive and challenging than this. Instead, the film plods through all the predictable beats and the script doesn't even bother to exploit its most interesting idea (no spoilers, but it's to do with what the scientists are up to).

Worth seeing?
Despite its impressive visual effects, this is a disappointing, poorly written fantasy thriller with quite possibly the worst acting ever seen in a summer blockbuster. It's also, needless to say, nowhere near as much fun as it should have been.

Film Trailer

Pacific Rim (3D) (12A)
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Content updated: 21/10/2017 05:56

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