Del Toro has cinematic credibility and it seemed like "Pacific Rim" might be a “smart-Transformers” movie, but in all actuality it might even be more frivolous.
Visually speaking, I do give "Pacific Rim" some credit. The details that went into the look of the Jaegers and their movement are noteworthy as are most of the action scenes. But even there the murkiness of it constantly raining does take away from the biggest selling point of the movie — that of its visual flair.
The monsters look like giant CGI monsters, so there’s not much to take away from that either. Ultimately there isn’t much personality resonating from this film from any source. Usually in a movie of this ilk, a performance or two would help move things along. But that isn’t the case.
Idris Elba certainly has the charisma to help carry a movie, but he’s handcuffed right from the start by the shoddy material. Charlie Day is there to provide comedic relief, but he really just comes across as a hipster-Rick Moranis (which may work for some people). Relative newcomer Charlie Hunnam might have the look to headline a big tent-pole summer movie, but he doesn’t have the screen presence to match the epic nature of the film.
One of the best scenes in the film is a flashback involving Rinki Kikuchi’s character. It’s a very emotional and earnest scene. Under the right circumstances it might have propelled the movie in a stronger direction. But unfortunately there’s no building on that scene and Kikuchi’s character just becomes the typical damsel in distress. There looked like there was the intent to make her a strong feminine character (and let’s face it — that notion is lacking in these summer films) but regrettably she becomes the stock female character who is just along for the ride and always needs saving.
"Pacific Rim" fails to deliver in almost every way.
Final grade D+.