Weekend Forecast for July 12-14, 2013
By Reagen Sulewski
July 12, 2013
It's hard to imagine a more summery summer movie than the lead film this weekend, and were it any more summery, it'd be sipping lemonade on the beach reading a bad detective novel. Why, then, is this not expected to blow the doors off the multiplexes? Perhaps it's just a bit on-the-nose for people. Maybe we're saying we know what we like, Hollywood, but that's no reason to give us exactly that!
Pacific Rim is what happens when you give Guillermo del Toro unlimited funds and tell him to make what he wants. In this case, one of the last purveyors of Hollywood weird brings us a gigantic “monsters vs robots” action sci-fi film, fought on a global scale. While it's derivative of the classic (you heard me) Robot Jox and pretty much the entire country of Japan, I don't think we can say that anything quite like this at this scale has ever been brought to the big screen.
The story in short: after a giant undersea creature awakens and attacks a number of cities around the edge of the Pacific Ocean (Cabo? NoooooOOoo!), humanity strikes back in the most logical fashion – by building a number of tandem-piloted, skyscraper-sized robots to do battle with and destroy those monsters. Nukes? I presume there's a reason why not, but I expect that – while del Toro is not exactly a “dumb” filmmaker – this is not a film that's going to be long on explanations of why not stuff. Just sit back and enjoy your mayhem. Robot using an oil tanker as a baseball bat? What else could you possibly want, you philistines?
Apparently it should have some sort of tie-in to an existing franchise and/or product (if you saw one or more Transformers movies and do not plan to see this EXPLAIN YOURSELF TO ME). Initial responses to the film's trailers have been a bit of “huh?” and “Is this for real?” Perhaps it's a lack of recognizable stars – it's headlined by Charlie Hunnam, who's been busy on Sons of Anarchy but not much else (but then – Shia LaBeouf! EXPLAIN YOURSELF yada yada) with Ron Perlman, Charlie Day and Idris Elba (prominent for a St. Crispin's Day-rivalling speech in the trailer rounding out the recognizable names.
Perhaps it's just exposure, as Warner Bros. has made the tactical (?) choice of delaying most of its advertising until just now – since there's no reason whatsoever you'd want to build hype, right? Hey, it's their $200 million. Surprisingly enough, this late flurry of activity doesn't seem to have driven a lot of potential business even as reviews are coming in relatively strong (modulated for the type of movie it is, of course). One hates to write the eulogy for a film that's not even dead yet (wait, who am I kidding), but barring some sort of 11-hour turn around, Pacific Rim looks to be a bit of a miss even as it delivers exactly what people want. I'd look for about $45 million this weekend.