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Pacific Rim: It’s a Del Toro Action Movie

July 14, 2013

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I am writing this fresh off my Cinetopia trip to see Pacific Rim and the movie has a polarizing effect for sure. There’s lots to digest and dissect. But First and Foremost it’s a Del Toro Action Movie and I don’t mean that in a putdown way. He has a craft unmatched in creating sets, mood, texture, creatures along with bringing out the best of snappy dialogues, and performances with hearts on a fantasy filled CGI world. You can hear it echo throughout every movie and this one in many instances may have some of his best moments to date.

However just like his past action film, Hellboy 2, it failed to carry out its premise at the last 1/3 off the movie, however the upswing here is that the first 2/3 of the movie raises the bar so high, it’s only a fall becuase of that height, not because it was awful by any means.

The other aspect that left me wishing for more were the fights. You would think that a monster bot movie the fights would take center stage, but on this movie they are basically breaks in the Dramatic Build up. For as much as I hate Michael Bay, I kept thinking how well the Transformer movies nailed it in the fights. They were fast paced, multi dimensional, and merged well with the effect of placing the bots in the real world.

On Pacific Rim it felt like you were watching two movies, the action didn’t merge as well, even when the action went inside the bots. It was slow but powerful. Always a limb when flying and it almost felt like a WWE main event where the two old main event superstars would draw out and make you cringe for every punch and every blow. Not becuase the fight itself is entertaining but because of all the build up that led to it, forces it to squeeze out each second of CGI time and have a mini climax in all of them.

Now all the critics may latch on to this weak point, but that, compared to the script and acting of Transformers 3 or any Monster/Bots movie, is nothing.

Now if only the movie had kept the same pacing from the beginning, it would have easily been one of his best movies. However, it is still quite a feat (that until now only Christopher Nolan in IMO can do) to take an almost 200 million dollar movie and make it small, personal, likeable on its merits and not pretending to be part of the Summer Blockbuster factory.

For that he deserves a lot of respect, and should indeed have the chance to further this franchise because theres is plenty of room for movies like this one.

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11 Comments
  1. July 15, 2013 3:46 am

    Frenik, great post! Thank you for giving us heads-up on the quality of the movie without spoiling it. I hope the others have a chance to post there thoughts in the comments.

    It doesn’t come to Japan until the 9th. I suspect 4GN will see it shortly thereafter, and probably in 3D as we saw Avengers.

    “Man in suit!”

    WOOOOOO!!!

    • Blankman permalink
      July 15, 2013 1:36 pm

      I would recommend not seeing it in 3D due to the fact that Del Toro, himself, has personally gone on record by requesting that potential viewers to see the regular version. Since the Jaegers & Kaiju are twenty-five stories tall, Del Toro says that it negates any 3D effect. He was against Warner Bros/Legendary offering a 3D-version, but it was a financial decision on the studio’s part because there are moviegoers that will see it in 3D if it was offered.

      Thanks for the review of Pacific Rim, Frank! I plan on taking Katie to see it sometime this week. I cannot believe that Grownups 2 beat it for second place behind Despicable Me 2. It boggles my mind how stupid people can be to still patronize Sandler’s garbage. Unbelievable.

  2. FrenkoFrenik permalink
    July 15, 2013 2:12 pm

    It’s a difficult movie, not a traditional summer film at all. It is not nonstop action. So I really doubt it will sell a lot especially once Wolverine is out. It is more centered towards character development and the theme of relationships. It’s very similar to Hellboy in that sense, how it explored the relationship of Hellboy and Liz as they were trying to save the world, etc.

    Also Idris Elba totally stole this movie from Charlie Hunnman. I don’t think Charlie is a good lead for a big film, he is ok, but not good. Charlie Day also stole his scenes, very good and funny, much needed comic relief as well as Ron Pearlman, but he has a very small cameo.

    It was a good movie, it could have been greater had the ending delivered more but I am sure you guys will post about it once you see it.

  3. July 15, 2013 2:54 pm

    Thanks, guys. I will try to see it in 2D if it is offered in that format. If not, we may just hold off and order the DVD/BluRay disc combo.

    Love to hear that like Hellboy, it is about the character development. Definitely room for sequels then, too!

    EDIT: ty has his review up now, too.
    http://www.saityrus.com/cancel-the-apocalypse-impressions-of-pacific-rim/

  4. FrenkoFrenik permalink
    July 15, 2013 4:30 pm

    ok unrelated:

    How did that went through a news room?

  5. July 16, 2013 8:45 am

    Good post Frenik, I agree with all the above. It’s a good movie, and great for the kids. I felt Hellboy 2 was better than the original, and oddly enough, allowed for more character development. This movie could have been a bit longer to establish the characters more. More than anything, I feel that it was deliberately cheesy at points and didn’t take itself seriously. It was nice to see a well-done movie about GIANT ROBOTS and MONSTERS! lol. I’d see it again. No better compliment than that!

  6. July 16, 2013 5:50 pm

    Here are two more reviews:

    Cliffy B’s

    and

    Harry Knowles (which Cliffy has also read and recommends – spoilers so I haven’t read it yet).

  7. Blankman permalink*
    July 17, 2013 4:34 pm

    I finally got the chance to see Pacific Rim with Katie. I asked her if she would rather see Turbo or Despicable Me 2 instead, but my little girl knew that I’ve been chomping at the bit to see it since opening night. Katie really liked the movie & she was glad that we stuck to our guns.

    I agree with the majority of what Frank & Ty’s respective impressions were. The flick delivered despite the pacing issue. The action scenes were so much better than what Michael Bay has offered with the Transformers franchise. Seeing the destruction in reference to skyscrapers helped solidify the scale of the Jaegers & Kaiju. Bay’s unwatchable fight scenes/Transformers sequels were too chaotic to follow & who the hell told him that fighting in the desert was a good thing?!? Del Toro decision to have most of the fighting take place in a metroplis that showed the monsters & robots smashing through enormous buildings was spot on. The destruction of buildings and environments are what Godzilla, Rodan, Gamera, & other Kaiju films were built on.

    I hope that Pacific Rim finds enough success to actually warrant a sequel even though the studios have already started planning on a sequel. Ultimately, box office success dictates whether a franchise is viable. I laughed when I read Cliffy B’s “geeks vs. idiots” comment when comparing Pacific Rim moviegoers to those that will waste their coin on the Grown Ups 2 garbage. Heck, I wrote about that last week! Ha!

    • FrenkoFrenik permalink
      July 17, 2013 4:42 pm

      Yeah I think i read somewhere how studios are now, not making movies, but franchises, so it wouldn’t surprise me if it not only have a sequel but it becomes a trilogy. The only thing might be how long will Guillermo be attached to it.

      It’s a good movie but if the sequel gets paired up in a summer with Avengers 2 or when Justice League gets done, it be hard to make it a must see. More of a good redbox rental.

  8. July 19, 2013 6:42 pm

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