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Adam Truscott Says Pacific Rim Aims For Top Gun But Hits Hot Shots

Screen Shot 2013-07-13 at 14.21.49

The One Where Del Toro Shows Everyone Michael Bay Wasn’t So Useless After All

I’ve just read that someone thought Pacific Rim was better than Star Trek (2) and Man Of Steel.

I’ve then spent the last five minutes cleaning my MacBook with an eCloth, after I spat my Fosters out over said comment.

Because that comment, dear reader, is mental.

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to love (it looks gorgeous). But some of it had me thinking they were sending up Hot Shots rather than Top Gun. And I’m not sure that’s what they were going for….

When Elba turns up as Viper (not being facetious here – genuinely can’t remember any of their names), I punched the air a little bit. But then PR showed itself up for the flawed film it is. We get some guy from Eastenders (!), with a bizarre accent (!), saying a tearful farewell to his dog. (!!). And his Dad. I mean, it’s aiming for Armageddon levels of man tears, but its way off. In fact, it’s so far off, it’s better for me to pretend it was in on the joke. Except, as mentioned, I’m 100% it wasn’t.

So Viper, Iceman (accent man), Maverick and Kelly McGillis spend the last twenty minutes inside some beautiful CGI and model work. It’s just stunning. So much so that script aside, I’d go again tonight and watch it in 3D.

Regular readers will know I’m Mr 3D – and unapologetically so. And this has everything that is a prerequisite for successful 3D. Fire. Holograms and air bubbles.

Unfortunately, (as if they knew?), the cinema times were bizarre. It forced my hand and it was 2D or nothing.

Have you seen Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace? I ask because, in my head, the script was being delivered in that style. When Iceman was saying goodbye to the dog, he was saying, “hey there little buddy”. When people kept having nosebleeds, the script just passed me by, and instead, in really sarcastic voices, people were saying “are you alright?”

It definitely helped pass the time between the incredible opening 10 minutes. So gorgeous. Through to the Hong Kong showdown. And then finally on to the final fight.

The bits in-between ranged from misguided to terrible. Flat out terrible. We get the lot. People connecting to monster brains (!) Ridiculous links to dinosaurs (!) And its all a bit of a shame. The fact I bought into two people sharing each others brains to control a 100ft robot shows you how much they botched certain elements.

I’m 32 with a 6-year-old. I’m the definition of target demographic for this film.

If I’d followed my conviction I would’ve just taken Ethan. I knew this was a safer kind of Del Toro film. And that’s kind of the problem. Lots of it doesn’t feel like a Del Toro film at all.

The closest we get is a brilliant memory flashback. It’s pure horror. But guess what? It’s botched by a bizarre love at first sight kind of moment. Between a main character and a six-year-old…. What’s that about? I sicked up in my mouth a bit, and couldn’t shake the “imprint” bullshit of Twilight.

Thankfully for Pacific Rim it has an ace card.

I watched Luther t’other day. Yeah, yeah, I’m late to the party. Who cares. I thought it was overhyped rubbish anyway.

But Elba was superb – and he is here, too. Giant robots aside, he’s the clear highlight.

He’s obviously a huge Top Gun fan and gets the Viper role perfectly.

He plays it all so well that I resisted laughing at some of the lines he’s left with.

My god the script is an abomination in parts. The sooner QT hangs up his Mic and just writes the better. He’d re-write the fuck out of this script. And it sorely needs it.

Somehow a Del Toro regular and Elba pull it through. They work miracles, actually. Kelly McGillis is awful. When I IMdB’d her after and realised she was the girl who uncrossed her legs in the fantastic Babel I felt even more disappointed.

Don’t hear my saying I didn’t love elements of the film. I did. The CGI/Model work is insane. The score is fab. The sound design impeccable. And I love the monster design. I hadn’t picked up that all are variations of sea animals. Ethan will love that.

Even better? One of them flies. And after waiting years for JPIII to give Ethan and I flying dinosaurs, that’s a major score. But guess what? The scene peters out, rather than soars.

Another dropped ball.


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