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.

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? 
George Bell 

Read more of George’s work on:
Pacific Rim – Why, Guillermo Del Toro, Why? was published courtesy of Knights of Mars Roundtable

Follow us on Twitter: @moviefiednyc
Send your submissions to
If you would like to join our mailing list send a note to

One thought

  1. Yeah, Pacific Rim's not gonna be as great as Pan's Labyrinth, but I'm sure It'll be at least as good as the Hellboy movies, similarly silly but with a strong sense of character and maybe a few interesting themes to provide a bit of substance to the awesome style. Have you ever watched Evangelion? It's a robot anime, but it's also one of the most artistically daring thought-provoking examinations of mental illness and existentialism. I doubt Pacific Rim will be that deep, but it goes to show that you can do some amazing things with such a premise.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s