#84 Pacific Rim (2013) Dir. Guillermo Del Toro
The strange thing about Pacific Rim is how it manages to be on one hand completely satisying and on the other utterly disappointing. Like all Del Toro movies the world and the design of the film is stunningly realised. There’s an enthusiasm and an optimism in Del Toro’s work which makes it so fun to immerse yourself in and feel comforted by. He’s a real storyteller, a weaver of fairy tales and fantasy adventures. You can see the young boy, eyes wide with affection and mouth open in joyful awe in everything Del Toro makes and Pacific Rim is no exception. The world and the scale is a real sight to behold and once giant robots go head to head with giant monsters you’ll feel like your money has been well spent. Where the film falters is in it’s characters. They lack nuance and texture, they feel like tired dusty archetypes. Silhouettes picked from a stockpile rather than flesh and blood. It’s a massive flaw and one that seriously hinders enjoyment in many key scenes but Del Toro’s care in other areas (the monsters and his canvas) which just about manages to keep it afloat. Not the best work we’ve seen from this filmmaker but it’s clearly a labour of love and it’s nice to see him indulge in it with such a whopping budget and force. The only tragedy is that this could have been a great, monumental slice of popcorn entertainment but it’s carelessness with characters knocks it back far too much.