News

REVIEW: ‘Pacific Rim’ is weakest of weak

REVIEW: ‘Pacific Rim’ is weakest of weak

Charlie Hunnam, Clifton Collins Jr., and Charlie Day attend the Los Angeles premiere of 'Pacific Rim.' Photo: WENN/FayesVision

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.

Latest Stories

in National

Jobless claims signal firmer labor market

Job seekers adjust their paperwork as they wait in line to attend a job fair in New York February 28, 2013.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting the labor market continued to strengthen.

in National

Accused Boston bomber appears in court

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is depicted sitting in federal court in Boston Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, for a final hearing before his trial begins in January. Tsarnaev is charged with the April 2013 attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

The Boston Marathon bombing suspect told a judge that he was satisfied with his lawyers' preparations for the January start of his trial over the deadly 2013 attack.

in Entertainment

Third ‘Night at the Museum’ marks final film for Williams, Rooney

nightatthemuseum

The credits for "Secret of the Tomb," which opens Friday, read "In loving memory of Mickey Rooney," and "For Robin Williams - the magic never ends."

in Local, Virginia Assembly

Morrissey Resigns – Will Run For Seat Again

State Capitol (JT)

An embattled lawmaker is resigning after being convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, but he'll run again for the seat he's vacating.

in Charlottesville City, Local

Police Seek Info On Cherry Avenue Break-In

Charlottesville Police Logo

City Police say somebody broke into a house early Thursday on Cherry Avenue and went into a child's bedroom.