Amid a summer in which Earth has been decimated by an alien intelligence, abandoned by humanity, overrun by zombies and beset by demons,
In contrast with Earth itself, "Pacific Rim" is faring rather well — at least with film critics, who largely agree that the movie is big and booming but also smart and entertaining, thanks to the imaginative direction of
Times film critic Kenneth Turan calls Del Toro "a fantasy visionary" whose "particular gifts and passions are on display in the long-awaited 'Pacific Rim' and the results are spectacular." Although the film "very much lives in comic book/pulp science-fiction territory," Turan continues, "a number of factors combine to make it a deeper movie experience."
The film's futuristic setting and monsters are skillfully rendered, the 3-D conversion is subtle, and perhaps most important, "the flesh-and-blood people who inhabit this world have not been neglected."
Ty Burr of the
Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice similarly describes "Pacific Rim" as "summer entertainment with a pulse" and "big and dumb in a smart way." Although "Everything you think is going to happen in 'Pacific Rim' eventually happens," Zacharek says, "Del Toro shapes the movie so it's not just one booming attack after another," and his deft touch elevates the film "above your typical noisy summer bonecrusher extravaganza."
Among the dissenting voices is
Whether that's the case may be answered by one last battle: the one at the box office.