On paper, Pacific Rim should have been a much bigger hit than it was. In fact, the high concept fantasy blockbuster was only saved from bombing at the box office by a strong performance in China, where it became one of the first major Hollywood releases to earn more money in the world’s fastest-growing market than it did on domestic shores.
Audiences generally appreciate big, loud, bombastic, effects-heavy epics packed to the brim with spectacle, and few one-line pitches sum that up better that ‘giant robots fighting giant monsters’. Throw in expert world-builder and all-round fantasy nut Guillermo del Toro, and Pacific Rim had the potential to be something spectacular.
That’s not to say it’s a bad movie by any means, because it’s massively entertaining when the kaiju-shaped sh*t hits the fan and the Jaegers are forced into action, but anything that doesn’t involve super-sized CGI creations knocking lumps out of each other tends to drag, unless of course Idris Elba‘s fantastically-named Stacker Pentecost is on the scene.
The actor knows he’s starring in a $180 million pile of gleefully undemanding nonsense, and pitches his performance as such. It helps that he gets the movie’s best line of dialogue, one that was plastered all over the trailers. Such is Elba’s belief in what he’s saying, you totally believe that this dude really could cancel the apocalypse single-handedly.
The live-action arm of the franchise looks to be dead after sequel Uprising under-performed, killing any chance of a mouth-watering MonsterVerse crossover, but Pacific Rim has been proving popular on Netflix this week having managed to ascend to thirteenth place on the most-watched list, as per FlixPatrol.