NSFCCDP Movie Review: Pacific Rim (2013) – It came from the depths…and should have stayed there…

pacific_rim_movie-wideContinuing its current losing streak, Hollywood‘s latest scifi thriller, Pacific Rim, failed to impress me. m.poulet was more forgiving, primarily because of the homages paid to Japanese robotophilia and the classic scifi elements employed. I found it to be overbearing. Maybe I was taking it too seriously, I mean this was just Godzilla vs. Transformers, right? The special effects were good – more exploding buildings, underwater scenes, epic monsters, etc) but still I was actually bored at several points during the screening.

First thing that bugged me: why did they cast both Jax and Clay (Charlie Hunnam and Ron Perlman) from Sons of Anarchy on the same film? Plus Stringer Bell (Idris Elba) from The Wire? I mean taken separately in different movies, this may have been fun, but it was hard for me to separate the TV characters from the movie roles. I realized that Charlie Hunnam is a pretty unconvincing actor on the big screen (and I realized why people find him annoying on SoA).

Another thing that bugged me was the military aspect to the film which rendered it entirely predictable. I knew the final combination of pilots as soon as we saw the Hong Kong set – 90 min before the final battle. The whole father-son, brother-brother, adoptive father-daughter themes were superficial and nearly condescending. As I have pointed out on previous reviews, it seems that Hollywood is unable to create credible, likeable characters anymore. Here, the hero played without brio by Hunnam has almost no personality (other than the head cocked to the left all the time as if he has water in his ear all the time) and just has the pain of having lost his brother. Like, so what man, get over it. That does NOT constitute a character flaw, because his character remains the blond, American, perfect citizen with no skeletons in his closet and perfect fighting skills. Boring!

The other thing that bugged me in this film was the faults of scale. Sometimes the monsters seem to be bigger than buildings (oh no! not a class 3 one! oh no, class 4! Ahhh1) and sometimes they are just sorta the same size as the buildings. Irregardless of their “class”. Also, let’s say that the jaeger is about 40m tall – the head piece must be about 4m in height inside and it seems to constitute about 10% of the height of the robot. Well, at about 4km off the shores of Hong Kong, I think the water is probably 40-50m deep so seeing the robots only knee-deep in HK Bay seemed a bit ridiculous. I know, I am taking way too critical an eye to an otherwise mindless film, but still some SciFi takes pains to be somewhat believable. I found it very, very hard to suspend my disbelief.

PacRim for me was another dud. I hope that Elysium will right the wrongs thus far in 2013…I give it 2.0/5.0.


About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
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4 Responses to NSFCCDP Movie Review: Pacific Rim (2013) – It came from the depths…and should have stayed there…

  1. David Froehling says:

    Thanks for the review on this one. I too was anticipating that the story line would be disappointing. I’m thinking the best way to enjoy this one is to just embrase it for what it is and watch it in 3D IMAX and enjoy the explosions and special effects.

    P.S. I watched Sharknato (a Syfy channel original movie) the other night, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharknado I would love to read your review of this one. If there are awards for campee films this one would win an Oscar. (LOL).

  2. Matthew Hall says:

    I enjoyed Pacific Rim from an SFX eye candy perspective but overall, I agree with your points. One thing to add, given that the mind melding was such a big part to the story plot, why did the two people have to constantly yell at each other? Weren’t their minds connected or did I miss something?

  3. Pingback: TV Series: Under The Dome S01 – or better Under the Dumb? | Fino's Weblog

  4. Pingback: Movie Reviews: My Top SciFi Films for 2013 | Fino's Weblog

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