Maksim's Review of Pacific Rim
In a summer season overcrowded by blockbusters and big-budget flops, Pacific Rim is probably the most visually stylish and pleasing of all deliveries. Colorful, loud and bearing the unmistakable dark signature of Guillermo del Toro, this movie may have extremely weak story and huge logical holes, but it entertains in a way in which half of the other summer 2013 releases failed to do. By mixing up Hollywood clichés, references from other blockbusters and Japanese pop-culture, Pacific Rim is definitely a wild pop-corn ride on the back of the huge robot.
The concept of Godzilla-like aliens versus huge robots fighting in the ocean is a guarantee for a mindless action, loud action sequences and simple, easy-going story. Without losing time, the audience is introduced to a world in which dinosaur-like aliens called Kaijus are threatening the mankind and only huge robots, driven by "neuro-linked-pilots" are capable of protecting the world. The stakes gets bigger when the frequency of Kaijus coming from the ocean increases, they become bigger and everything show that there would be a possible "mass-invasion". This is fully enough to engage not only 12-year old boys and girls, but also viewers who are up for a pure summer entertainment. Even though there are no A-star Hollywood actors (with partial exception for Idris Elba), Pacific Rim does not suffer. On the contrary, the relatively unknown Charlie Hunnam (who strikingly resembles Heath Ledger), delivers fresh and pretty energetic performance. What is insufficient in terms of casting presence is skillfully compensated with mesmerizing visuals by director Guillermo Del Toro. Boring heavily from the Japanese pop-culture, his dark, neon sci-fi portrayal captures the attention of the audience and deliver a true guilty pleasure.
Unfortunately, what deprive Pacific Rim from becoming a stunning movie and possible franchise (apart from the weak box-office performance) are the huge logical holes and absurd plot issues. Even a kid will ask himself the logical question why do robots need to go into full-contact fight, when they have plasma weapons and rockets which are sufficient to kill the Kaijus? Or why don't the robots use swords to gain the upper hand from a distance and from full contact? If one is ready to forgive this first big issue, for the sake of having a more dramatic movie, the other small logical flops such as the fast balloon-decompression of Mako and Raleigh (coming from the ocean bottom to the surface in such a way is simply absurd) and the full-neon lighted Hong Kong after the initial Kaiju electro-shock are simply annoying and truly damaging the movie.
In conclusion, Pacific Rim is a movie which delivers what it promises: stylish popcorn entertainment. With the direction of Del Toro, the mindless entertainment is guaranteed, but unfortunately the movie lacks the substance which many expected from a movie created by the director of Pan's Labyrinth and the producer of The Orphanage.