In the near future, humanity comes under attack from aliens which rise from the ocean. To fight back, humans create giant robots to fend off the invaders. These are piloted by people such as Raleigh, who has seen his share of tragedy…
Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim follows the formula laid out by many previous apocalyptic blockbusters. The film ticks all the expected boxes – tragedy spurring the hero on, the archetypal characters, fate being left in the hands of the underdogs and so on.
Where the film excels is in its execution. The action sequences offer fantastic spectacle. These scenes are immensely entertaining. Pacing is good for the most part, although there is a slight lull in the middle.
There is a real diversity to the characters in Pacific Rim. There is an emphasis on the crisis bringing humanity together rather than creating division. It is here that del Toro’s film deviates from the norm. Nevertheless, it is always apparent that the young, chiseled, white American male is going to have a pivotal role. It is a shame that the film does not follow through on its heterogeneity.
The premise of Pacific Rim seems like something the Syfy Channel would produce. However, it works as a big-budget film. High concept in the extreme, the film plays on the silliness of the idea. This generates some welcome humour.
The cast performs well in Pacific Rim. Charlie Hunnam certainly looks the part of the hero, and Idris Elba seems to be having fun. Meanwhile, Charlie Day appears to channel Rick Moranis in a gratifying manner.
Pacific Rim faces limitations in its unwillingness to diverge from the template. The fact that it does not take itself too seriously is what makes the film enjoyable.