Critics Consensus: Pacific Rim is a Visual Treat

Plus, Grown Ups 2 is lowbrow and mean-spirited.

This week at the movies, we've got giant robots (Pacific Rim, starring Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba) and old buddies (Grown Ups 2, starring Adam Sandler and Kevin James). What do the critics have to say?

Pacific Rim

72%

Director Guillermo del Toro's work occupies the little-traversed area where the arthouse meets the fevered imagination of a hyperactive 10-year-old. And critics say that's mostly a good thing in the case of Pacific Rim, a visually stunning modern creature feature that makes up in action what it lacks in characterization. When a swarm of undersea monsters threaten humanity, a crack team of pilots take up arms -- in the form of giant robots -- to stave off mass destruction. The pundits say Pacific Rim isn't particularly deep, but it delivers the blockbuster goods in an unpretentious, affectionate fashion. (Check out RT's video interviews with the cast of Pacific Rim, as well as our gallery of the biggest movie monsters.)

Grown Ups 2

7%

Critics found Grown Ups to be a lazy, lowbrow effort from talented people who should have known better; for Grown Ups 2, they've been even less generous, calling this sequel a mean-spirited, scatological, phoned-in bore. On the last day of school in a small New England town, Lenny (Adam Sandler) and his buddies (Kevin James, Chris Rock, and David Spade) reminisce about the old days, get into trouble with a group of frat boys, and throw a raging 1980s-themed kegger. The pundits say Grown Ups 2 is stunningly inept, an indifferently-crafted film featuring broad, tossed-off gags that barely rate a chuckle. (Check out this week's Total Recall, in which we count down Sandler's best-reviewed movies.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

Comments

Prince Niko

Prince Niko

Fruitvale Station is a must see for me.

Jul 11 - 04:38 PM

Fred S.

Fred Sanford

I'll wait for it to hit Netflix, but I definitely want to see it. I'm canceling the Apocalypse this weekend.

Jul 11 - 06:46 PM

Alex Bellamy

Alex Bellamy

Well said

Jul 12 - 04:57 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

I agree, I'm quite interested in Fruitvale.

Jul 12 - 08:15 PM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

Fruitvale is definitely on my radar. I've already seen the sequel in Florida, after all. I'll be seeing Pacific Rim within the next couple days so I can get in on the conversations. Looking forward to arguing with the crew. lol.

Jul 15 - 04:37 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

The Rim Awaits! Rocket Punches and the Wild Card! Plus, I haven't see the "industry analysts" this hateful since they were trying to downplay "Inception". I'll trust Fandango's numbers (and the fact I can't get an IMAX show that isn't sold-out this weekend) to indicate a BO victory. (Also, any critic who makes a 'Power Rangers' comparison should immediately be fired and scorned as a racist.)

At least "Grown Ups 2" has given me one good laugh - when I saw that one of the two fresh reviews came, of course, from Owen Gleiberman.

Looking forward to "Fruitvale Station", "The Hunt" and "V/H/S/2". The data doc looks very good. "Crystal Fairy" is NOT the Cera/Silvia collaboration I'm looking for this year (that would be "Magic Magic"), and "Pawn Shop" director, Wayne Kramer, is NOT the guitarist of the MC5. There seems to be some confusion about this on his RT page.

God damn, Bob.

Jul 11 - 04:50 PM

StonedMagician99

Andy Spencer

VHS 2 is very good. Though the quality of the shorts is still somewhat inconsistent, their overall quality is considerably higher than that of the first film.

Jul 11 - 05:07 PM

Fred S.

Fred Sanford

That shouldn't be too hard. The first one was atrocious.

Jul 11 - 06:42 PM

StonedMagician99

Andy Spencer

I'd say the first one was alright. The first short was pretty good, and the last one was amazing. The others were mostly the latter part of hit-and-miss.

Jul 11 - 08:15 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I liked the shorts much more than the premise in V/H/S. I'd say each short was much better then the premise of V/H/S as well. My Favorite of the first was the Skype one. My least favorite was the couple on vacation.

So Andy, My question to you is The Premise of this sequel better than the first one? Looking forward to it!

Jul 11 - 10:45 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I agree that the last segment was the obvious highlight. I liked a couple of others, the Skype one was well done, the camping one was stupid but a good use of video distortion. The wrap around failed because they just let it collapse into a 10-little-Indian scenario. That's the problem with these mumblecore types, like Adam Wingard and Joe Swanberg and (arguably, imo) Ti West, is that they fall apart in the third acts, regardless of whether they're attempting horror or comedy or drama.

Jul 11 - 10:51 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Noticed the MC5 Wayne Kramer mix up, too. There are several blunders like this on RT, cannot think of others off the top of my head, though.

Jul 11 - 06:21 PM

StonedMagician99

Andy Spencer

Bob Kane=screenwriter on TDKR. JK Rowling as screenwriter on Deathly Hallows 2. Well, those are kinda blunders. I suppose they did create the source material.

Jul 11 - 08:14 PM

King  S.

King Simba

I think the reason why anticipation seems to be much higher than was it was initially tracking is because of the last minute marketing campaign Legendary did to raise awareness for the film. They reportedly spent 100 mil on marketing the film this past week alone, and it seems to be paying off. It also helps that White House Down and Lone Ranger weren't seen by very many people, meaning audiences have worked up quite an appetite for a big budget crowd pleaser. Finally, the reviews are probably playing an important factor. While some films like Transformers or Twilight could print their negative reviews on their posters and people would still see them, Pacific Rim is the kind of film that many were probably on the fence about and could easily be swayed by reviews. Lone Ranger, for example, was initially tracking for a 70 mil 5-day opening before reviews came in. By screening Pacific Rim early for critics, Legendary seemed to have managed to build anticipation for it similar to what happened with Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

As for the Power Ranger comparisons, I don't see what is so dreadfully wrong and racist about that. It's the example of monsters vs. robots that people in the west would be most familiar with, so it's not a surprise they're using it as a comparison. Now if they were calling Pacific Rim a rip-off of Power Rangers then yeah that would show their ignorance, but most who bring it up are simply using it as a negative comparison (e.g describing it as "Power Rangers on steroids" or "Power Rangers meets Transformers and not in a good way").

Jul 11 - 11:39 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

They're making the Power Rangers comparison because they have no other way to critique beyond analogy. I tire of "its Michael Bay on steroids" or "its Transformers with a story". Is this how you evaluate a movie? Beyond a straight emulation thats provable, these statements seem lazy and the critic a lost cause before the opening credits even roll.

Jul 12 - 12:19 AM

Todd Knaperek

Todd Knaperek

It's more stereotyical Japanese sci-fi than anything. Most of the stuff out of Japan features some sort of Kaiju fighting some giant human-powered robot, whether it be Power Rangers, Big-O, Evangelion, Voltron, Robotech, Power Rangers, Godzilla, etc. etc.

Jul 13 - 09:21 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

No. What that means is that - "this is literally the only other Japanese thing we know about this side of the samurai". "Rim" can be (and has been!, people who don't read) compared to a number of things, but Power Rangers ain't one of them. It is as racist as someone who compares Tyler Perry movies to Shaft. It's lazy, ignorant, tacitly implying worthlessness of the culture, and...oh!...totally inaccurate!!!

And I'm still reading hate that has nothing to do with this last minute marketing. The Variety thing had nothing to do with marketing, but was intended to dampen enthusiasm. Analysts are still downplaying Fandango's advanced ticket sales numbers. And I noticed how you didn't mention Warners, as they're actually the ones doing the marketing anyway, but I've already brought up how the beef between them and Legendary might be the interests diverge.

Jul 12 - 12:28 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I agree with Janson on this. Del Toro's imagination is amazing and just because he took inspiration from stuff he liked as a kid doesn't make all that stuff Inherently Japanese. That's like saying Shao-lin soccer is clearly inspired by Brazil because Pele was a great soccer player.

Jul 14 - 11:19 AM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

I've cast my ballot, Janson. And you get my vote just on the strength of your zealous hatred of Power Rangers alone. It is definitely a sorry comparison, in fact, to any kaiju related or similar Japanese property. At least referencing Macross Zero or Voltron or even Big O shows knowledge of the genre. Not to mention taste.

Jul 15 - 04:58 AM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

Any self respecting commenter (or critic) would reference Voltron before Power Rangers. ;)

Jul 15 - 04:43 AM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

LOL!! Agreed entirely on your Power Rangers comment, Janson!

Jul 15 - 04:38 AM

StonedMagician99

Andy Spencer

I'll see Fruitvale if I can; I'll see if any theater near me is playing it. Same with The Hunt. VHS 2 was actually a very good horror film; far better than its predecessor.

Jul 11 - 04:58 PM

The MFer

The Mother Fucker

This is a sad day for me. I pray Sandler will stop these shitty Grown Ups and Jack and Jills and go back to the Punch-Drunk Love and Happy Gilmore times.

Jul 11 - 05:03 PM

StonedMagician99

Andy Spencer

Not until his shitty movies stop making making money.

Jul 11 - 05:06 PM

Justen Noll

Justen Noll

I want Sandler to return to his top form too

Jul 12 - 12:39 PM

StonedMagician99

Andy Spencer

Not until his shitty movies stop making making money.

Jul 11 - 05:06 PM

StonedMagician99

Andy Spencer

VHS 2 is very good. Though the quality of the shorts is still somewhat inconsistent, their overall quality is considerably higher than that of the first film.

Jul 11 - 05:07 PM

Fred S.

Fred Sanford

That shouldn't be too hard. The first one was atrocious.

Jul 11 - 06:42 PM

StonedMagician99

Andy Spencer

I'd say the first one was alright. The first short was pretty good, and the last one was amazing. The others were mostly the latter part of hit-and-miss.

Jul 11 - 08:15 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I liked the shorts much more than the premise in V/H/S. I'd say each short was much better then the premise of V/H/S as well. My Favorite of the first was the Skype one. My least favorite was the couple on vacation.

So Andy, My question to you is The Premise of this sequel better than the first one? Looking forward to it!

Jul 11 - 10:45 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I agree that the last segment was the obvious highlight. I liked a couple of others, the Skype one was well done, the camping one was stupid but a good use of video distortion. The wrap around failed because they just let it collapse into a 10-little-Indian scenario. That's the problem with these mumblecore types, like Adam Wingard and Joe Swanberg and (arguably, imo) Ti West, is that they fall apart in the third acts, regardless of whether they're attempting horror or comedy or drama.

Jul 11 - 10:51 PM

I fight for the users

Ian Fastert

If you see Grown Ups 2 this weekend........

Jul 11 - 05:10 PM

The MFer

The Mother Fucker

You have Tron Legacy as your profile pic therefore you can't talk bad about anyone.

Jul 11 - 05:31 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Maybe he's representing the Soundtrack?

Jul 11 - 10:46 PM

King  S.

King Simba

Tron Legacy was Oscar worthy compared to what Sandler has churned out recently. Not to mention the film looked fantastic so I can see why a lot would want to use it as a profile pic even if they weren't too fond of the movie as a whole.

Jul 11 - 11:12 PM

I fight for the users

Ian Fastert

It depends on what you expected from it. I didn't expect it to have a fantastic story, I expected it to be a lot like the first, and it was. (Plot weak, Looks great for the time) It also is better than ALL of Adam Sandler's movies combined. (Except Punch Drunk Love, which is great.)

Jul 14 - 10:36 AM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

I think Tron Legacy gets way WAY too much hate shoveled at it. It didn't change my life or anything, but no way its the Uwe Bol/Ed Wood level train wreck that some folks make it out to be.

Jul 15 - 04:46 AM

The MFer

The Mother Fucker

You have Tron Legacy as your profile pic therefore you can't talk bad about anyone.

Jul 11 - 05:31 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Maybe he's representing the Soundtrack?

Jul 11 - 10:46 PM

King  S.

King Simba

Tron Legacy was Oscar worthy compared to what Sandler has churned out recently. Not to mention the film looked fantastic so I can see why a lot would want to use it as a profile pic even if they weren't too fond of the movie as a whole.

Jul 11 - 11:12 PM

I fight for the users

Ian Fastert

It depends on what you expected from it. I didn't expect it to have a fantastic story, I expected it to be a lot like the first, and it was. (Plot weak, Looks great for the time) It also is better than ALL of Adam Sandler's movies combined. (Except Punch Drunk Love, which is great.)

Jul 14 - 10:36 AM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

I think Tron Legacy gets way WAY too much hate shoveled at it. It didn't change my life or anything, but no way its the Uwe Bol/Ed Wood level train wreck that some folks make it out to be.

Jul 15 - 04:46 AM

Kadeem S.

Kadeem Stewart

Grown-ups 2 is a must-see for me, but still critics can just kiss my Sandler critic-proof ass.

Jul 11 - 05:44 PM

Fred S.

Fred Sanford

Sigh... This is why movies suck.

Jul 11 - 06:47 PM

Keith Allison

Keith Allison

What happened to you, man? Your ass used to be beautiful.

Jul 12 - 05:03 AM

Byron Harris

Byron Harris

Ha ha,good 'Jackie Brown' reference. +1

Jul 12 - 02:28 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

I think Grown Ups is only funny to little kidss.

Jul 12 - 06:17 AM

Frisby2007

Frisby 2007

I've seen little kids trash the film.

Jul 12 - 03:35 PM

Alberto Zeeky

Alberto Zeeky

Variety is going to eat their butthurt Pacific Rim predictions.

Jul 11 - 05:56 PM

Gary Foster

Gary Foster

From the first time I saw a CGI pissing on Adam Sandler (while he had his mouth open), I knew Grown Ups 2 was going to be shit. Watch Pacific Rim instead.

Jul 11 - 06:05 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

A lot I want to see this week. Pacific Rim lined up pretty much with my expectations on the T-meter, so I am not disappointed there, and look forward to Del Toro's vision for an epic match of rock 'em, sock 'em.

The trailers for Fruitvale Station make it look incredibly predictable and like it is going out of its way to strike an emotional core. The glowing reviews definitely make me want to see if there is more to it.

The Hunt is the most alluring release this week. Love Mads Mikkelsen, one of the best actors around. Too bad Hollywood usually only casts him in shitty tent pole releases (although his recent run as Hannibal has been extremely good). At least the Europeans recognize how awesome he is.

I would like to see V/H/S/2 just to get to see some more work from Jason Eisener (Hobo With a Shotgun) and Gareth Evans (The Raid).

Not going to like, I really want to see Killing Season just because the trailer looks SO bad.

Jul 11 - 06:19 PM

The MFer

The Mother Fucker

V/H/S 2 was awful. Not a single scary moment. It was unique, especially the 3rd tape. Well, the first tape had some decent pop out scares. The wrap around was just like the first film.

As for your comment about Mads Mikkelsen, he was in Casino Royale which gives him mad points.

Jul 11 - 06:42 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

He gets about fifteen or twenty minutes of screen time in Casino Royale, which is a shame considering he is an actor capable of holding down a movie all by himself. That said, I still love Casino Royale, and thought he was a good villain in it, just would have liked to see more of him.

Jul 11 - 10:12 PM

Paul Grady

Paul Grady

I thought the same thin,.VHS one was much better

Jul 14 - 05:20 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

King Crunk, Fruitvale Station is based on a true event that happened in 2009. It doesn't get more predictable than that eh? I'm a Michael B Jordan Fan boy through and through though. Friday Night LIghts, The Wire, Chronicle, hell I even watched Parent Hood for his brief performance. So I realized I am biased when I say everyone should see Fruitvale Station...and also fight for Michael B Jordan's right to be The Human Torch in the Fantastic Four Remake. It's time to stop complaining about Skin Colour of characters "ruining" movies. The Abominations of the first films are proof enough that Talent should always trump Looks!

Jul 11 - 10:49 PM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

Bradly, Jordan's "right" to play Johnny Storm needs no defense from us. The good news for us is that the people making comics and these films are not waiting for folks to drag themselves out of the stone age. If Trank wants to cast Jordan in the role, then it's going down.

Jul 15 - 05:36 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Fruitvale" is a tragedy, so of course it's going for some emotion. The best I'm hearing about it is that Michael B. Jordan gives a great performance.

Yeah, funny how "Killing Season" just kinda snuck out there. WTF, Bob?

Jul 11 - 10:55 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I got an inking that you hate pointless stirred up controversy and drama Janson but I would like to here your take on all the people saying Fruitvale is an EVIL film that is trying to take away my Right to own a gun! On that opposite coin that Fruitvale should be seen now more than ever that Trayvon Martin was responsible for his own death at the hands of a gun wielding middle aged white guy.

Jul 14 - 11:20 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

What's the controversy? Oscar Grant was shot unarmed in the back while face down by a police officer. What does that have to do with citizen gun ownership? If anything, the film's agenda is to spotlight these negligent police procedures, especially, like 'stop-and-frisk, that disproportioantely target minorities. More broadly, it's a broader criticism of police power (Radley Balko's books "Overkill" and "Rise of the Warrior Cop" are worth checking out on the subject).

As for Zimmerman (only half-white, and 30s, btw), even with a carry-permit, his being armed on neighborhood watch was a violation of an explicit National Sheriffs Association (which runs "official" NW programs) prohibitions on using weapons while on patrol, as well as prohibiting pursuing or confronting suspicious people. As far as I'm concerned, it was manslaughter as soon as he left his car with a loaded weapon. I'm sure others will disagree.

Jul 14 - 07:46 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Noticed the MC5 Wayne Kramer mix up, too. There are several blunders like this on RT, cannot think of others off the top of my head, though.

Jul 11 - 06:21 PM

StonedMagician99

Andy Spencer

Bob Kane=screenwriter on TDKR. JK Rowling as screenwriter on Deathly Hallows 2. Well, those are kinda blunders. I suppose they did create the source material.

Jul 11 - 08:14 PM

Fred S.

Fred Sanford

That shouldn't be too hard. The first one was atrocious.

Jul 11 - 06:42 PM

StonedMagician99

Andy Spencer

I'd say the first one was alright. The first short was pretty good, and the last one was amazing. The others were mostly the latter part of hit-and-miss.

Jul 11 - 08:15 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I liked the shorts much more than the premise in V/H/S. I'd say each short was much better then the premise of V/H/S as well. My Favorite of the first was the Skype one. My least favorite was the couple on vacation.

So Andy, My question to you is The Premise of this sequel better than the first one? Looking forward to it!

Jul 11 - 10:45 PM

The MFer

The Mother Fucker

V/H/S 2 was awful. Not a single scary moment. It was unique, especially the 3rd tape. Well, the first tape had some decent pop out scares. The wrap around was just like the first film.

As for your comment about Mads Mikkelsen, he was in Casino Royale which gives him mad points.

Jul 11 - 06:42 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

He gets about fifteen or twenty minutes of screen time in Casino Royale, which is a shame considering he is an actor capable of holding down a movie all by himself. That said, I still love Casino Royale, and thought he was a good villain in it, just would have liked to see more of him.

Jul 11 - 10:12 PM

Paul Grady

Paul Grady

I thought the same thin,.VHS one was much better

Jul 14 - 05:20 PM

Fred S.

Fred Sanford

I'll wait for it to hit Netflix, but I definitely want to see it. I'm canceling the Apocalypse this weekend.

Jul 11 - 06:46 PM

Alex Bellamy

Alex Bellamy

Well said

Jul 12 - 04:57 PM

Fred S.

Fred Sanford

Sigh... This is why movies suck.

Jul 11 - 06:47 PM

Ralph

Ralph Myers

Went to the Pacific Rim opening tonight in Imax and the theater was like not even a quarter full, the movie was pretty amazing though.

Jul 11 - 07:06 PM

Vits

Vicente Torres

Guillermo Del Toro said that he cut scenes that featured character development because A) He didn't want the movie to be too long. B) He didn't want to pretend that the movie was going to be deep. I don't agree with that (movies like these still need good scripts), but I also read all the other good things he thought of (making the movie fun as opossed to all the dark blockbusters; making sure that extras didn't die between battles), and that made me wanna see the movie even more!

It's not that GROWN UPS PART 1 was another bad Happy Madison movie. It's that it barely counted as a movie. It didn't have a real plot; it was a bunch of random situations (an excuse for real life friends to screw around). So of course that it's the first Sandler movie to have a sequel: They didn't need to think too much about another "plot".

I've admired Sebastián Silva's previous movies, but they were dramas. I don't know if I'll enjoy CRYSTAL FAIRY, an improv comedy. Specially with Michael Cera, who ruined SCOTT PILGRIM for me.

Jul 11 - 07:08 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I couldn't see past Michael Cera either while viewing SCOTT PILGRIM. I'm a huge fan of the comic series and thought all the evil exes were spot on. Ramona Flowers was also SPOT ON! I just wish I could get over how much I can't stand Michael Cera!!!

Jul 11 - 10:52 PM

vinsig0011

vincent Signorile

Just got back from a screening of Grown Ups 2 and there was no real plot to it but I laughed more then I ever thought I did. There were a lot of jokes that got annoying and made me roll my eyes after a while though

Jul 11 - 07:16 PM

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