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HindustanTimes Wed,27 Aug 2014

Critics' review: Pacific Rim is unusually entertaining

None   July 12, 2013
First Published: 16:30 IST(12/7/2013) | Last Updated: 16:51 IST(12/7/2013)

Gullermo del Toro's Pacific Rim perches right above the rim of most sci-fi dramas if critics are to be believed.

Starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Rob Kazinsky, Max Martini, and Ron Perlman the film is a larger than life multi-starrer. And by large, we mean large.

"Pacific Rim is a big, lumbering, rock 'em, sock 'em mash-up of metallic heft and hyperbole, a noisy, overproduced disaster flick that sucks its characters and the audience down a vortex of garish visual effects and visibly cartoonish action."

"And you know what? It's not bad!" writes Ann Hornaday in The Washington Post.

Even Tom Long of The Detroit News can't help but remark upon the sheer mammoth-ness of what he witnessed on the screen.

"There's no way to watch this movie without being visually overwhelmed (well, maybe eventually on your phone). If having your eyeballs beaten out of your head for two hours sounds enticing, this one's for you.

If, on the other hand, originality and subtlety are your cup of tea, perhaps you'd best sit at home."

More so, Long summarises the film as "wildly derivative, pleasingly grimy, plainly corny and astonishingly old school. But mostly it's just out to crush your skull with its gigantic-ness."

The film invokes many others in and around its genre. Perhaps, the familiar touches are what render it endearing to the critics.

What's more interesting is that the 25-storey high robotic Jaegers look much like Iron Man. Gigantic Iron Men, actually. So is the film 'inspired'?

"Iron Man isn't the only movie Pacific Rim conjures in the course of its overlong running time. The central standoff between fantastical creatures bears echoes of Mothra vs. Godzilla, as well as the anime classics that del Toro has cited as inspirations. The visual design recalls TRON, some plot elements recall Inception, the crunching action recalls Transformers and the relationships recall Top Gun, wherein a group of cocky flyboys try to one-up each other in the name of saving the world," notes Hornaday.

Phew! But that's not all.

Here's what Christopher Tookey had to say about the 'inspired' touches in The Daily Mail, "Though virtually every story element is lifted from other movies, from Armageddon to RoboCop, lip service is paid to human emotion. And there's spectacle and imagination enough to give you your money's worth."

"It looks as though Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) sat through all three Transformers movies and decided he could do better," Tookey jokes.

Ian Buckwalter appreciates the film for its short running time in National Public Radio.  "A speedy prologue wastes no time setting things up, which (thankfully) allows the movie to avoid the 2.5-hour-plus running times currently plaguing event movies at the multiplex," he writes.

"Pacific Rim delivers plenty of the thing that's been lacking in this summer's event movies: fun. Monsters, robots, grand heroism and a few clever jokes: Sounds like a perfect Saturday afternoon to me," declares Buckwalter.

Dana Stevens, The Slate catogorises Pacific Rim as a kids film.

"Pacific Rim is unashamedly a film for little kids-at times it feels almost like a very well-made "look at my toys" YouTube video by a little kid, albeit one with a staggering collection of action figures."

Err Dana Stevens, it's a PG 13.

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