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Film Review – Pacific Rim

Director:Guillermo del Toro
Screenplay:Guillermo del Toro, Travis Beacham
Cast: Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Rinko Kikuchi
Genre: Action, adventure, fantasy
Rating: **
Venue: Ster Kinekor Maerua Mall Cine 1

The year is 2020 and earth is under attack by colossal dinosaur look alike creatures called Kaiju. It is up to man to save the world through titanic robots (Jaegers) which are operated by teams of telepathically linked pilots. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes, a washed-up former pilot Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi). This unlikely duo is teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.
The first ten minutes of the movie are the most excruciating. The viewer can not tell what is going on. After flinching for what seemed to be forever, I convinced myself that I was watching some sort of preview and that the actual movie had not started and it turns out I was right. The real film only starts when Raleigh crash lands in Alaska and sets out of a dismantled Jaeger. Only then does the story start to develop.
Though the film fails to entertain in the beginning, it eventually picks up its pace as the action scenes engage the viewer to kick and punch when the pilots do so. There is humor in the Kaiju-obsessed scientists Charlie Day (Dr Newton Geiszler) and Burn Gorman (Gottlieb) who try and outsmart each other. Their antics give Pacific Rim its much needed comic relief. I am sad that funny man Larry Joe Campbell of According to Jim fame, only had a cameo role in this film. I am sure that if he had a bigger role,maybe as one one the pilots or scientists, the film would be more comical, but then again that’s just me doing some wishful thinking.
Nearly all of the battles between the monsters and robots take place in the dark, or in the rain or in the ocean which makes the film even more painful to watch. Don’t get me wrong, the Kaiju make for great movie monsters but I can not say the same about the pilot-operated robots. They are slow, heavy and it’s frustrating to see them being defeated by the Kaiju. On many instances I found myself asking why can’t these robots shoot the monsters and why can they not be faster or have the ability to fly.
Idris Elba lends his formidable presence as commander Stacker Pentecost. He is a no-nonsense leader with a past that he desperately wants to hide. Admittedly, when the movie isn’t dealing with robot-on-monster smack-downs, it’s a little boring, perhaps even tedious as it lacks human characters that engage in proper dialogue. The absence of characters with depth, makes it a drag to watch.
Bad visuals and a lack of chemistry between the characters except for that of the two scientists, lead to a noticeable lack of Vooma and this film certainly needs more Vooma. It is watchable but wears one downwith its slow action and semi-interesting dialogue.

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