Sunday, 14 July 2013

Pacific Rim

Big budget, bright lights, loud noises and heavy does of CGI, the summer blockbuster has become a staple of the the cinematic year hoping to thrill its dozens of enthusiastic spectators. Entertainment is key due to blockbusters' infamous focus on action over story and for Guillermo del Toro's new colossus film, Pacific Rim, this couldn't be more relevant. Boasting huge man-made machines battling giant monsters it's no surprise that it's being compared to the 'transformers' franchise and whilst it may not be as monotonously dull it shows to be just as narratively poor.

 Of course the plot isn't the primary point of appeal in the film with the glaring titan brawls taking pride of place, however without a sufficient and engaging enough story proceeding the action then it becomes useless, watching epic fights of man vs. beast may be momentarily entertaining however it's ultimately pointless. It's around the year 2020 and a hole at the bottom of the pacific ocean has been ripped open allowing hellish beasts called 'kaijus' to cause mass destruction on earth, after military tactics prove ineffective the world is forced to retaliate by constructing towering controllable machines, or 'jaegers', to fight them. Following a harrowing experience whilst controlling the 'jaeger', pilot 'Raleigh Becket' (Charlie Hunnam) leaves the programme only to be re-assessed years later as he returns through the persuasive voice of superior officer  Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba). With a plan to kill the monsters off once an for all it falls to 'Raleigh' to execute the mission.

Whilst the plot may not be diverse or hugely engaging the action certainly makes up for lost time being bold and hugely entertaining with the weapons and abilities of the 'jaegers' appearing nonsensically out of nowhere to sarcastic chuckles and enthusiastic 'woops' as a 'kaiju' comes crashing to the ground. Living up to its epic blockbuster status the action sequences are huge amounts of fun due to the fact that the film knows how ridiculous it truly is. With this however comes the lack of attention towards the story and characters, focusing too heavily on the high budget action instead. Surrounding our protagonist throughout the story are a plethora of exaggerated , stereotypical characters with poorly developed backgrounds and did very little to contribute anything towards the film aside from the occasional cliched 'one-liner'. Hindering any chance of character enthusiasm are the relatively average performances of the cast with protagonist Charlie Hunnam looking hugely bored throughout supplying a lack-luster performance. Exceptions appear in the forms of both Idris Elba who clearly enjoys playing his exuberant character and also Charlie Day who provides some fitting comedy in amongst violent scenes as a bumbling government scientist.

 Achieving in its primary purpose tho entertain, Pacific Rim does little else to thrill its audience being sluggish and hugely predictable for the most part. Being overly excessive in its action scenes the film forgets about its other necessary elements crucial to make the film mesh. If your're able to ignore a frustrating screenplay, a lot of fun is to be found within Pacific Rim however its difficult to neglect even when confronted with a monstrous brawl.

6/10- Lazy writing makes this film more dumb than fun.

Calum Russell

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