Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim is a strange beast. While some genre fans consider the science fiction monster movie one of the year’s best, many also decried it as one of the dumbest films of the summer. There’s no arguing that the film was full of imagination with its creature and robot design, but it lacked conviction and an engaging story. Was Pacific Rim just a dumb action movie, or a middling film with serious storytelling problems? Like clockwork, the people at CinemaSins have put together a new video for us: “Everything Wrong with Pacific Rim.”
The problem with Pacific Rim is the way its story was was told. It was far too silly for anyone to take it seriously, but at times it feel like Guillermo del Toro was trying to recount the most important tale ever told. It suffered from an inconsistent tone and story structure. It didn’t help that the film’s protagonist was as hollow as the concrete wall surrounding Sydney, Australia in Pacific Rim. Charlie Hunnam’s Raleigh Becket was a bland character with a clichéd backstory and little to no personality or charm.
Pacific Rim‘s opening sequence was too long and felt more like an exposition dump than a way to get an audience into the movie. Some of the world’s backstory could’ve been told throughout the film instead of all frontloaded. According to CinemaSins, it was 17 minutes into the film before the actual story got started. Pacific Rim‘s story was not big enough to justify such a long introduction.
CinemaSins points out that perhaps Pacific Rim should’ve opened with Mako Mori’s backstory, and why she wanted to become a pilot. It was one of the more memorable moments in the film and a traumatic moment like that would’ve gotten the audience engaged in a hurry. They think Rinko Kikuchi’s Mako should’ve been Pacific Rim’s main character instead of its sidekick. She was more likable and interesting as a character than Hunnam’s ho-hum performance as Raleigh Becket.
As flawed as Pacific Rim may be, del Toro’s film was popular enough with audiences around the world that Legendary Pictures might greenlight a sequel. Pacific Rim grossed $407.6 million worldwide, against a production budget of $190 million. While that seems like a profitable film, Pacific Rim needed to make more money to be considered a breakthrough hit.
Nevertheless, Guillermo del Toro and the film’s co-screenwriter Travis Beacham (the guy who named everything in the film as if he were a 12-year-old boy) are working on the sequel film’s screenplay, in the hopes that it will be made one day. If it took del Toro five years to get a sequel to Hellboy off the ground, maybe it will take another five years to get Pacific Rim 2 into theaters. According to the Mexican director, the Pacific Rim sequel would include even bigger Jaegers and Kaiju, as well as a melding of both beasts into one big monstrosity.
Pacific Rim is now available on Blu-ray/DVD and as a digital download. Hopefully, it will be available on Netflix Streaming soon.