Kaiju, jaegers, and interdimensional rifts, oh my! "Pacific Rim" arrives in theaters this week, full of oddball sci-fi jargon, and more action than audiences can shake a battleship at. Director Guillermo del Toro ("Hellboy," "Pan's Labyrinth") tackles his biggest movie to date with this epic story about a horde of monsters ("kaiju) that attack humankind from beneath the sea, and the gigantic robots ("jaegers") that humans build to fight back. Amazingly, it's not really a lot more complicated than that. But will you feel any interest in investigating its world any further?
MTV News assembled a roundup of reviews from various internet critics, who reacted in a variety of ways to del Toro's new movie. Some loved its epic sweep. Others thought its enormity became too complex. And still others admired its ambition, even if they wondered whether its director deserved to be working on more personal projects.
How Does Guillermo del Toro Do With This Epic Material?
" 'Pacific Rim' is just the kind of big-ticket sci-fi adventure you'd want del Toro to make — provided you'd want him to make one at all. The fact that a visionary director like del Toro is crafting movies like 'Pacific Rim' means there's hope for blockbusters; it's also depressing as hell. Is this what the multiheaded love-kaiju of Lovecraft, James Whale, Edgar Allan Poe, and Alfred Hitchcock should be making?" — Stephanie Zacharek, The Village Voice
But How Epic Is The Action Once the Monsters And Robots Square Off?
"Buildings topple and bridges collapse; the mid-ocean battles are so ferocious that mankind would surely be wiped out by the resulting tidal waves, if not the monsters themselves. Yet such is the blithe, upbeat spirit of the whole enterprise ('Today we are canceling the apocalypse!' is the film's signature rouse-the-troops line) that nothing in these gladiator-style faceoffs feels at stake, except perhaps the viewer's desire to see a Jaeger swing an aircraft carrier like a 2×4." — Justin Chang, Variety
How Important Are Humans In This Monsters-Versus-Robots Story?
"What follows is a profoundly epic story that also manages to stay profoundly human, as the remaining pilots and support staff of the Jaeger program overcome their differences and their issues to stand up and save the world. It's a square-jawed, straight arrow sort of story where even the hot-headed young Aussie pilot who tussles with Raleigh... is, at heart, a hero." — Devin Faraci, ,a href="http://badassdigest.com/2013/07/08/pacific-rim-movie-review-saving-the-world-saving-the-summer/" target="_blank">Badass Digest
Ultimately, What's The Verdict On "Pacific Rim?"
"Director Guillermo del Toro has crafted a dopey, earnest and occasionally visionary sci-fi action film that keeps being dragged down by its drab characters and indifferent performances. Perhaps that's fitting for a movie in which humans take a backseat to effects in terms of generating visceral emotional responses." — Tim Grierson, Screen Daily