News

REVIEW: ‘Pacific Rim’ is weakest of weak

REVIEW: ‘Pacific Rim’ is weakest of weak

Photo: YouTube

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy | Run Time: 132 min | Rated: PG-13
Director: Guillermo del Toro | Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day

By: George Wolf

We’re on the edge of an apocalypse and Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) needs to let go of the past if he wants to save our future.

It was from the sensory-overload seats this week that I took in the IMAX 3D extravaganza that is Pacific Rim – the story of a boy, a robot, and a lot of clichés. Who’d have thought wretched excess could be so dull?

Director Guillermo del Toro tackles his biggest project to date, dropping $200 million on yet another monster movie. Whether a vampire, a mutating alien, a ghost, another vampire, a Hellboy or a labyrinth full of creatures, del Toro does have a preoccupation with monsters. (And Ron Perlman.)

This time the beasties are sort of sea creatures from another dimension in a film that amounts to Godzilla meets the Transformers. The generally capable, sometimes spectacular director doesn’t stop cribbing ideas there. You can find Aliens, Real Steel, maybe some Top Gun, even a little Being John Malkovich in there if you really try.

Indeed, there’s nary a single truly unique idea in the picture. Instead, del Toro relies on the abundance – glut, even – of cinematic clichés to free himself up to focus on more technical stuff, and technically speaking, the film’s pretty impressive. But not overly so.

Del Toro’s real passion seems always to have been in the creation of monsters – dude loves him some tentacles – but too few of these creatures are visually articulate enough to be really memorable or impressive. Without that, the visceral impact he’s after never fully materializes.

Sure, the concussive sound editing and even more abusive score take the experience up a sonic notch, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Combined with sloppy scripting and performance that are – well – bad, the self indulgent Pacific Rim manages to be the least impressive blockbuster yet this summer. And it’s been a pretty weak summer.

Verdict-2-0-Stars

Read more reviews by George Wolf.

Recent Headlines

55 mins ago in Sports

The weekend sports schedule

Fresh
superbowlball

Here’s a look at some of this weekend’s major sporting events.

1 hour ago in Sports

The week’s best sports shots

Fresh
Mark Macaspac leaps off the Super Bowl 50 sign inside Super Bowl City Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in San Francisco. The Denver Broncos will play the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A look at some of the biggest moments and best plays in sports this week.

2 hours ago in Sports

Broncos, Panthers set to deliver Super finish to season

Fresh
16-overlay-4

The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers are primed to provide a grand finish worthy of a landmark Super Bowl 50 on Sunday and cap a season of celebration by the National Football League.

2 hours ago in National

Making headlines this week

Fresh
sb50

A look back at some of the biggest stories this week and the headlines you may have missed.

1 hour ago in Local Sports

Kelsey Plum leading resurgence for No. 24 Washington

Fresh
Washington's Kelsey Plum (10) shoots a free throw during an NCAA college basketball game against Southern California, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The junior from San Diego is currently the No. 2 scorer in the country, averaging 27 points per game while helping to get the Huskies back into the AP Top 25 for the first time in more than a decade.