Maybe the only thing you need to know about Guillermo del Toro's movie of monster mayhem is that Kanye West has declared it one of his favorite movies of all time. Certainly, the chatter around the big blockbuster movie has largely centered on its tracking, which has it on course to fall behind "Grown Ups 2" when it opens this weekend. Well, Warner Bros. has certainly been working hard to turn the tide with a marketing barrage of clips, featurettes and more, but whether or not it's enough remains to be seen. But they have one more hurdle to contend with...actual reviews...
The first assessments of "Pacific Rim" rose on the icy waters of the critical ocean today and they're mostly positive, which will no doubt be a relief to executives and what's more, thus far there are no outright pans of the movie, and it looks unlikely to get the kind of roasting "The Lone Ranger" did. It seems the bottom line is that those just going in for a crackin' good time will get their money's worth, but those looking for a bit more meat and potatoes may be left wanting for a bit more out of the monster mayhem. So let's dive in and see what the critics thought, from best to worst.
After that, check out yet another trailer for the film along with a clip. "Pacific Rim" crashes into theaters on July 12th.
THR: "Guillermo del Toro's paradoxically derivative yet imaginative sci-fi epic is everything that monster movies since the beginning of time might have wished they could be."
Telegraph: " 'Pacific Rim begins by defining two new words. The first is 'Kaiju,' which means giant beast in Japanese, and the second is 'Jaeger,' which is German for hunter. Over the next two hours and 11 minutes, the film goes on to offer a bold, exhaustive and utterly convincing definition of a third word: fun....Whatever our ages, del Toro’s miraculous entertainment boosts us all up to its gleeful point of view, where cities become adventure playgrounds and oceans pools to paddle in. Giant robots, it turns out, can be great levellers."
The Verge: "Ultimately, all Pacific Rim really needed to be was a clear-eyed, proficient example of high-concept thrill-ride storytelling, whether or not its 'original' premise was particularly original. But del Toro accomplishes that task and then some, making one of the most satisfying movies of the summer — and one of the best of his career — by creating not just a new world, but one whose mythology actually deserves a universe."
Den Of Geek: "The combination of larger-than-life characters, colourful, unusual production design and swirling, rivet-popping action gives 'Pacific Rim' a bright, eccentric atmosphere that's unusual in today's landscape of serious, sometimes cynical summer movies. It may be lacking in depth and subtlety, but in terms of widescreen impact and sheer enthusiasm, 'Pacific Rim' hits its mark with a killer blow."
HitFix: "You can practically hear Guillermo del Toro sitting just out of camera range and cackling at this big, beautiful, weird-as-hell thrill ride. Whatever happens with the film when it opens, this is what del Toro's heart looks like if you were to cut it open and lay it out for inspection."
Bleeding Cool: "'Pacific Rim' is one underdeveloped subplot away from summer blockbuster perfection. It’s a big dumb movie that’s fun to watch – but it manages to be epic and daft without insulting the viewer’s intelligence."
SciFiNow: "This is big, dumb entertainment that’s beautifully detailed, wonderfully shot and tremendously exciting. As endearing, brainless and awesome as a puppy with jetpack, Pacific Rim is the most fun you’ll have all summer."
SFX: "This is huge scale entertainment with guts and a heart – even if the brain is sometimes lacking during the more human moments."
3 News: "'Pacific Rim' is the big budget monster film del Toro has wanted to make for ages. He’s like a kid in a candy-store with it, and you will be too."
Total Film: "A huge, CGI-heavy popcorner that still feels personal. Come for the epic monster-on-mecha showdowns, stay for the likeable humans."
Variety: "...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...Here and there, 'Pacific Rim' reveals hints of a potentially rich but underdeveloped science-fiction mythology, full of satirical and speculative touches that are ultimately overwhelmed by the fight sequences that represent the film’s raison d’etre."
Guardian: " 'Pacific Rim' is entirely in keeping with much expensively-made effects-heavy cinema of the present time: it's put together with such artistry and such devotion that it can't help but be impressive as a visual spectacle. (del Toro's devotion to Japanese monster movies is particularly evident.) But, like 'Man of Steel' or 'The Dark Knight Returns' [sic] it can't quite bring itself to believe in its own pop-culture disposability and ends up paying the price."
Empire: "It’s as if del Toro has reverse-imagined his movie from how awestruck boys might stage mock-battles between toy lines. This is a spectacular brute of a film where size rather than technique matters."
The Wrap: " 'Pacific Rim' offers a few laughs and a few thrills, but it feels like a very large platter serving a disappointingly meager meal. Unlike its scaly cinematic ancestors, it never feels like the kind of movie that's going to inspire a seven-year-old to roar and knock over the Lego city he built for just that purpose."