Pacific Rim – Why, Guillermo Del Toro, Why?


The other day, I was reading a review of Pain & Gain (I forget where, or I’d link to it), and it said something pretty interesting. Basically, if a “respected” director were to make a movie like Pain & Gain, everyone would be praising him or her for being bold, daring, brave, etc. Or at least that’s the contention, and it’s one that I don’t fully buy into. Speaking for myself, I don’t care who made Pain & Gain; I don’t respect artistic visions that use horrible tragedies to make money, and I especially don’t respect the ones that want you to laugh along with characters on-screen when their real-life counterparts tortured and murdered innocent people. How does this tie in to Pacific Rim? I went a bit off the rails talking about Bay’s latest un-masterpiece, but it’s the point about people having different reactions to a movie depending on who directed it that I want to address. Would people be as excited for Pacific Rim if Guillermo Del Toro wasn’t behind the camera? Click through for the trailer and why I’m not terribly impressed with what I’ve seen so far.

I’ll start off by saying I understand certain people will be drawn to this without reservation. If I were into the kinds of anime that feature mechs and giant robot battles, I would probably want to be in the theater day one. But since that’s not my bag, I’m left to contemplate just how much Pacific Rim will have going for it outside of crazy-ass visuals.


My eyes are bleeding, but who needs blood!

This is the first time I’ve ever been even remotely hesitant about a Guillermo Del Toro movie. As far as I’m concerned, everything from Cronos to Hellboy II is varying degrees of brilliant, with special nods to Mimic and Pan’s Labyrinth. But this time, it seems like he’s going for all style and no substance. I know I’m basing this off of a trailer, but that’s all I have to go on at this point. Don’t get me wrong, though; Del Toro’s direction will probably make Pacific Rim as good as it could possibly be. For comparison, I thought Battleship could have been a lot worse without Peter Berg helming it. As is, it’s kind of boring and has an awful main character, but it wasn’t the laughing stock I predicted it to be.

The point, though, is that I don’t care who directed Pacific Rim. It could be Guillermo Del Toro, Roland Emmerich, or Uwe Boll, and my reaction would be the same: Meh. The article I mentioned above is a bit on the cynical side and seems to think that people latch on to certain directors and won’t let go no matter what. That may be true for some, but I refuse to believe that more discerning and honest viewers would give a director a pass based on his previous work. Prometheus is a great example of another movie by a well-respected director that I just couldn’t get behind. I was stoked as all hell beforehand, but once I saw it, I was utterly disappointed. I don’t think I’ll be disappointed with Pacific Rim, since I’m pretty sure I have a handle on what to expect, but I’m still sad that Del Toro chose to do this instead of something more along the lines of Pan’s Labyrinth. I’m not saying I want all of his movies to be dark and/or depressing, but I like his work best when there are characters and themes worth investing my time in.

Twitter love for Pacific Rim

So, what do you think? Are you excited for Pacific Rim based solely on the trailer, the director, or a combination of both? What if Del Toro wasn’t behind it? Would you then be more or less interested?


About Sir Phobos

Male, 30-something, hates stupid things and likes non-stupid things
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11 Responses to Pacific Rim – Why, Guillermo Del Toro, Why?

  1. I have enjoyed mecha animes, but i i’ve watched and enjoyed all different genres of anime, so i don’t know if am one of those people who should be lining up to see this on day one.

    Personally, it looks cool to me so far. Also, i think you’re giving Berg wayyy to much credit. He tried to make battleship dead serious, and it really wasn’t.

    • Sir Phobos says:

      I think if the mecha thing makes your eyebrows raise, then you’ll probably be happy with it.

      Battleship had some pretty goofy/stupid parts, but it just wasn’t the absolute train wreck I imagined. I’m not saying it’s good by a long shot, but it was more boring than anything else. I wanted a movie about that dude with no legs trekking up the mountain with his trainer. Now that would have been cool.

      • Good to know. Also, apparently Del Toro was involved in the script for this,which find reassuring.

        And i found the disabled vet thing in Battleship boderline offensive.Felt way out of place for such a dumb movie.

      • Sir Phobos says:

        Well, I’m not sure how that would be offensive, unless you’re saying that the rest of the movie is offensive in comparison to that guy. He did get his moment of action when he beat down an alien with his metallic legs! I will admit to actually enjoying that part as well.

        I dunno, even Del Toro being involved with the script doesn’t really do much for me. I’ll probably see it in theaters, though, so I’ll know if I’m dead wrong soon enough.

      • It was the usage of what i think is pretty serious subject matter(Soldiers dealing with disabilities) in a film that just did not have the substance to support it. I don’t think a dumb blockbuster is really the best place for a topic like that

      • Sir Phobos says:

        I think disjointed is a better fit than offensive, then. Taylor Kitsch’s character is offensively bad, though. I’ll say that much. He’s a fucking asshole, so why am I supposed to root for him again?

  2. filmhipster says:

    The trailer scares me as well, the characters seem a little shallow and the script looks weak. I hope I’m wrong though.

    • Sir Phobos says:

      I mean, I hope I’m wrong, too. I just look at that trailer and I wonder why it’s any different from Transformers. I think of all the people who shit on Bay for directing a brainless CG fest, but is it any better when Del Toro does it? I don’t think it is.

  3. The trailers are going to push the visuals because big special effects movies sell. They dont want to spend all that money and then NOT flaunt it. But Del Toro will deliver a good flick to go with it, I’m convinced of that.

    • Sir Phobos says:

      I just don’t see that in the trailer. In every other movie of his, the trailers still have some kind of unique spark to them. There’s none of that with Pacific Rim. If there ends up being a great story underneath the sheen, I’m all for it. I’m just not going to get excited for something that looks so generic to me.

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