Pacific Rim 2.0 stars

Pacific Rim movie poster

Director Guillermo Del Toro goes for the gold, offering up a robots-punch-monsters movie tailor-made for the international market: modeled after Japanese anime, set largely in Hong Kong, featuring Chinese, Russian, and Australian heroes operating giant robots named with a German word, and offering a Brit (Idris Elba) as its emotional core. There's a thrilling drama with a darkly satirical finish that serves as the film's prologue, but once that's out of the way, we slide into anime's more digestible mix of overheated emotions, baleful glares, and battle poses. Plus robots punching monsters. Del Toro clearly loves big, dumb monster movies, and he's served up a rustedly handsome example here, complete with on-the-nose dialogue, battles on land and sea and in the air, shattered cities, crying children, and a motormouth scientist with a crazy theory. Fun, but not much more than that. With Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day, Rinko Kikuchi. 2013.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.

Comments

Dragonfly Nov. 28, 2013 @ 8:46 a.m.

It's both puzzling and depressing to see Guillermo Del Toro, who showed such promise with Mimic, repeatedly squander his considerable talents. And especially here, on material that's not above the comprehension of any preteen. It's cliché after cliché, and so much so that the gargantuan fisticuffs are a welcome respite from the dreariness of the plot. The CGI is almost beyond belief, and our satanic monsters are lovely to behold, but it's as heartless and soulless as all computer-generated imagery seems destined to be. The script too seems almost computer-generated, and if you thought the Saint Crispin's Day speech in Independence Day was weak then your appreciation of it will increase after you hear the one here. The presence of Charlie Hunnam and Ron Perlman, two fine actors who bring considerable power to Sons of Anarchy, only underscores how wasteful this experience is.

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