We love Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. We love it a lot (read our review here). But we’d be willing to admit that it perhaps isn’t the deepest character study in cinematic history.
So it’s not a huge surprise to hear that star Charlie Hunnam is hoping for a bit more exploration of his character Raleigh Beckett this time around. Speaking to EW on the set of Guy Ritchie’s Knights Of The Round Table, Hunnam mused on the problems of spectacle-heavy movies.
“When it becomes very technical, those technical aspects create a rigidity to the process,” he said. “Then all of the sudden, you have to find where your little place to fit into that process is, as opposed to the whole thing being about you.”
The whole of Pacific Rim was definitely not about character work, and Hunnam very diplomatically said that he thinks that the film tipped in favour of del Toro’s world of giant monsters and giant robots, rather than the human Jaeger pilots given the task of cancelling the apocalypse.
““ think world creation and monster creation and all of that stuff is exciting as a secondary element of storytelling. When it becomes more important than storytelling, I get very nervous, and you sort of lose me a little bit,” he explained. “Although we tried very hard on Pacific Rim to marry those two elements, I do feel like ultimately it got weighed heavier on the side of spectacle than storytelling.”
“I hope that we are able to remedy that a little bit going into the second,” he continued. “Not to say I wasn’t proud of the film. I really liked it, and I felt like it delivered exactly what it was supposed to. But I do feel like we could have maybe plumbed the depths of the character and the storytelling a little bit more.”
It’s hard to argue with Hunnam’s point. Beyond the death of Raleigh’s brother Yancy (Diego Klattenhoff) in the film’s opening action sequence, he didn’t have a lot of development beyond clashing with Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost and Rob Kazinsky’s Chuck Hansen and drift-bonding with Rinko Kikuchi’s Mako Mori, leaving the show to be stolen by Charlie Day’s twitchy scientist Newt Geiszler and Ron Perlman’s resourceful black marketeer Hannibal Chau.
But then again, what incredible world creation and what incredible monsters! Weak characterisation was definitely one of the easiest criticisms to level against Pacific Rim, but we’d be lying if we said it affected our enjoyment too much. And we’re still very, very excited for the sequel.
Pacific Rim 2 will be released on 4 August 2017. Keep up with the latest genre news with the new issue of SciFiNow.