Thought #1: I’m not pleased with the story requirements this new foreign distribution model puts on blockbuster movies. Giant summer blockbusters now need to be popular across a variety of cultures, east & west, to be considered financially successful. This means the characters and story details must become as broad as the Amazon. Which then means the emotions and stories are about as detailed as those “Dick and Jane” basic reader books from the fifties (oh see. oh see jane. funny, funny jane).
Thought #2: Charlie Day is the new Nicholas Cage but without all the weird celebrity baggage. Quirky, interesting, maybe a little high, hilarious, strangely attractive. I would remake The Rock with Charlie Day in the Stanley Goodspeed role in a hot second. Every time he was on screen, everything got interesting. From his tattoos to his creepy sidekick. Let’s rewind and remake Pacific Rim with Charlie Day playing both the Raleigh and Dr. Newton roles. Please?
Thought #3: The Kaiju are well rendered in design and presentation. In fact, other than Mr. Day, they might be the best thing about Pacific Rim. Why do they glow blue inside? What are these weird creatures that live on their skin? I want a Kaiju tattoo! I want Charlie Day to ride a Kaiju and control it with his mind.
Thought #4: Idris Elba is an excellent actor, but I swear he’s better when he’s playing flawed, darker characters. Boring! Cancel the apocalypse all you want Idris. If you don’t also get to execute someone that pissed you off, I don’t believe you. Of course, it’s not his fault. I blame the writing. And the producing. And the project as a whole.
Thought #5: What the hell is Guillermo del Toro doing directing this film? He’s a fricking artist. This was too big a film for him, in my opinion. I also believe he was hampered by the foreign story/character requirements but, as we saw with Hellboy 2, interesting visuals can’t save a thin genre story and flat characters. What do you remember about Hellboy 2? I’ll tell you – the angel with the eye wings. Maybe the golden army. That’s probably it. What do you remember about the first Hellboy? It’s a lot richer isn’t it? Yep. Pacific Rim is like Hellboy 2. The Kaiju take the place of the angel. Oh Guillermo, why waste your time on Pacific Rim? Why?
Wrap up: While the clips of the Kaiju and Charlie Day are worth seeing, you could nap for the rest of it and not feel cheated. Most of the dialogue can be enhanced by putting your fingers in your ears and going “lalalalala”.