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‘Pacific Rim’ Review Roundup: Guillermo Del Toro’s New Film May Defy Negative Hype

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With two days left until Warner Bros unveils its new franchise Pacific Rim, the reviews have begun to pour in for the much-anticipated robot- vs.-monster film.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, the movie tells the story of a war between humankind and giant sea monsters. With humanity on the verge of extinction, a washed-up pilot and an untested trainee are recruited to use a skyscraper-size robot to battle the creatures bent on bringing total destruction to the world.

After its world premiere in Los Angeles, the film, which is del Toro’s tribute, has scored a number of positive reviews and a few negative ones.

Here’s a snapshot of what some of the critics had to say:

Drew McWeeny of Hit Fix:

“Guillermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim” is a movie that is loaded with images and ideas that are fantastic, in every sense of the word, and yet I worry that we’ve reached a point where audiences shrug at the promise of the new. What Del Toro brings to the table, and not just with this film, is an endless love of the incredible… He has always managed to give even his most mainstream efforts an eccentric and particular voice, but until now, we’ve never really seen what it looks like when someone takes Del Toro off the leash.”

Todd McCarthy from the Hollywood Reporter:

“A better-and-smarter-than-average humans-vs.-monsters spectacular.”

Jordan Hoffman of Film.com gave the film eight stars out of 10 and stated:

“They don’t let 14 year-old boys direct multimillion-dollar feature films, but somehow Guillermo del Toro has channeled the interests, attitudes and fears from that mindset with a clarity that far surpasses contemporaries like Michael Bay.”

Keith Uhlich of Time Out New York also enjoyed the movie, stating:

“Though everything we see is pure, pleasurable comic-book absurdity, Del Toro somehow lends a plausible humanity to the proceedings, one lacking in most of this summer’s city-destroying blockbusters.”

The New York Post‘s Lou Lumenick gave the film a perfect score and wrote:

“The extinction of mankind has loomed again and again over Hollywood blockbusters the past couple of years, though never anywhere near as entertainingly as in ‘Pacific Rim.'”

There were, however, some weak reviews, as well as some negative ones.

Variety’s Justin Chang wrote:

“Pacific Rim’ will be enjoyable for those who measure fun primarily in terms of noise, chaos and bombast, or who can find continual novelty in the sight of giant monsters and robots doing battle for the better part of two hours. Viewers with less of an appetite for nonstop destruction should brace themselves for the squarest, clunkiest and certainly loudest movie of director Guillermo del Toro’s career, a crushed-metal orgy that plays like an extended 3D episode of ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ on very expensive acid.”

Alonso Duralde of  The Wrap says:

“These on-screen battles provide a few jolts — one of the film’s strong points is that it isn’t shot and edited in Michael Bay Confuse-o-Vision — but it’s a jigsaw of random pieces. We get a robo-fist here and a monster face there, but none of the satisfying head-to-toe action of, say, Rodan or Mothra going toe-to-toe with another zipper-backed beast.”

Ed Gonzalex from Slant had this to say:

“But in spite of its narrative richness and thoughtfulness, Pacific Rim lacks for poignancy… Del Toro may be uninterested in flag-waving and feminist commentary, but he also shuns emotional intimacy, and in the end doesn’t rise above the obligations of staging a film of this sort as a multilevel video game, a stylish but programmatic ride toward an inevitable final boss battle…”

“Pacific Rim” stars Charlie Hunam, Rinko Kikuchi, Idris Elba, Ron Perlman and Charlie Day. The film is set to hit  theaters Friday, July 12.

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