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The Apocalypse Has Been Cancelled! 

Robots powered by humans fighting monsters? It's all too much.
Photo: DPA

Pacific Rim will be released on July 18th 2013 in Germany

It would appear that my comment a few weeks ago concerning the impending apocalypse infecting Hollywood was premature. According to Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) in Pacific Rim, movie stars are now cancelling the apocalypse!

How to explain Pacific Rim? So, it’s like Transformers except the giant robots are fighting giant aliens… Except in Transformers the giant robots are giant aliens. So it’s like Transformers but the giant robots are man-made and the giant aliens are not robots. Oh, and they’re fighting each other. So yeah, it’s pretty useful to compare it with Transformers and I would be surprised at any staunch Transformers fan who wasn’t convinced by this alien epic.

The leading man, Idris Elba, looking very dapper at the LA Premier of Pacific Rim. Photo: DPA

The leading man, Idris Elba, looking very dapper at the LA Premier of Pacific Rim. Photo: DPA

Many of the aspects of the preceding robot franchise which so entertained and delighted fans, including myself, can be found in Guillermo del Toro’s film. The special effects are phenomenal and a true testimony to the great strides that have been made in CGI and film-making over the past decade. Pacific Rim adds something new and fresh to the giant robot genre which had grown somewhat stale by the third Transformers film where the plot of film’s one and two seemed to be on repeat. In del Toro’s movie we are also presented with this new alien species of dinosaur-like monsters which are entering Earth through a worm hole which has opened up at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

The story revolves around humankind’s continuing efforts to destroy the monsters, known as  Kaijus (Japanese for “giant monster”) as and when they come through. They also try to discover where they come from, why they are invading and if their influx can be stopped.  As the main story of our plot begins, Kaijus have been arriving in the Pacific for about a decade and the leading world powers have developed the aforementioned giant humanoid weapons, known as Jaegers (German for “hunter”), which are each piloted by two soldiers. Until 5 years ago, the Jaegers were quickly and efficiently killing the Kaijus. Unfortunately, Earth’s foe has grown in strength and ability to adapt to the Jaeger threat.

As with the special effects, the cinematography and visuals, the plot has somewhat more to offer than the three Transformers films. At a reasonably lengthy 131 minutes, Pacific Rim is just long enough to allow a relatively intricate and original plot without being so long that there are any extended moments of boredom. Right from the beginning we are offered exciting battles, huge in scale, each one somewhat different from the last. And, most importantly, we are without the two-hour lull that Transformers 3 so disappointingly delivered.

Like many films of this genre, Pacific Rim is let down by its poor script. It did not feel unintentionally corny and incredibly typical of an American, propaganda-like B-movie but just because this style of writing is intended, does not mean that it does not detract from your belief in the characters, who are relatively under-developed. Your emotive reactions to clichéd moments of camaraderie and human interaction are equally unavoidable. At least the robots themselves, lacking in sentience, are unable to speak!

In terms of the tone of the movie, think more the del Toro who made Hellboy than the del Toro who made Pan’s Labrynth. Pacific Rim is not the dark, intelligent thriller which the trailer tries to make you believe. Nevertheless, it is a rather fun, not-too-challenging action romp.

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