Mega Fan vs. Giant Cynic: Pacific Rim

With the success of Guillermo del Toro’s most recent film, Crimson Peak, we decided it was time to ask for judgement on his dividing Hollywood venture, Pacific Rim. This week, Iqra Choudhry and Imogen Scott-Chambers battle out whether this robot-monster smash-em’-up is a sci-fi hit, or rather just a drop in the ocean (into the rift...geddit?)

Iqra Choudhry
9th November 2015

Mega Fan: Iqra Choudry

To the majority of filmgoers, Pacific Rim was just another summer blockbuster. To some of us, it was a brilliant apocalyptic offering from the mind of Guillermo del Toro. Give the man a budget and he will CGI like no one else, bringing to life monsters and machines that spit on Michael Bay’s Transformers movies (yeah, I went there). It’s soundtracked by Ramin Djawadi from Game of Thrones, for that added epic grandeur, too.

Pacific Rim is visually stunning, but it is also a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously: it’s just fun. The comedic relief provided by Charlie Day and Burn Gorman is brilliant (and the It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia fan in me was in raptures).

Pacific Rim is that rare thing - a film with a strong female character. Rinko Kikuchi’s character provides a counter-balance to Charlie Hunnam’s lead. She is just as important, and unlike most tired female leads in monster blockbusters, she can kick some serious ass.

Giant Cynic: Imogen Scott-Chambers

Pacific Rim is like Marmite. You either love it or you hate it – and, my, do I hate it. Guillermo del Toro is an otherwise visionary director, and yet, every scene in Pacific Rim is flat and ordinary, unrelentingly jam-packed full of CGI and then more CGI until the audience gets a side order of CGI with their already super-sized CGI buffet of a film.

Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba fail to shine in this overly-complicated sci-fi flop, as all the acting is drowned out (literally) by all the computer-generated ocean shots. The actual plot is sketchy, because, let’s face it, it’s basically Transformers but in the sea; the Kaijus, who come from an interdimensional rift beneath the ocean (!), simply fight the Jaegers (massive human-operated robots built by a dystopian version of the UN), leaving the film’s human element unnecessary and boring.

At the end of the day, don’t waste your time on Pacific Rim - watch Pan’s Labyrinth instead.

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