This article was written by Harry Hansford.
Matt has asked me to write an article for this blog based upon a few comments I made while discussing the Pacific Rim trailer. I must admit I didn’t think much of these comments, but now I’ve being tasked with writing this article, I realise what strong points of view I already hold of this unreleased film. I would suggest watching the Pacific Rim trailer below before reading any further if you haven’t already seen it:
I have no problem with the trailer per se. Sure it’s fair to say I’m not totally sold on the idea of giant robots fighting giant sea monsters but it’s Guillermo Del Toro so I’m interested. I’m interested anything this man does but the trailer and to an extent the film has started to annoy me with the character design. Del Toro’s strongest point is his unbelievably great talent for creating worlds and within those worlds, creatures who all have such distinctive faces. So, along comes Del Toro’s trailer for his totally original tent pole blockbuster and the main creature, the human controlled robots are face-less? Don’t get me wrong, I know the monsters will look amazing and I know they are robots and robots are generally based upon ‘man’ but this is Del Toro and he had the chance to re-invent the way films represent robots by giving us some kick ass original designs to get us interested in an otherwise rather boring unoriginal idea. Instead we get something literally face-less.
I’m just disappointed with the outcome of the design on these robots, as so much could have been done with them. Del Toro’s creations are all recognizable because there’s so much focus on their face, from faun the pale man (Pan’s Labyrinth) to pretty much everyone and anyone in the Hellboy franchise. All their faces seemed so beautiful and important. It has come part of what to expect of a Del Toro film, the face. The beauty of his creations have always seemed so important and seem to serve as an extra dimension to his films and all this seems to have been chucked at the way side for a pretty generic grey sci-fi feel. I mean, all his major characters seem to be so distinguishable yet this creation should be the iconic image form Pacific Rim and it already looks like so many other standard robots.
It just seems odd that a man who for these very reasons ended on top of so many people’s list for the vacant Star Wars directors chair and again for these very reasons was working on The Hobbit for many years, would choose to create something so bland and faceless. I guess and somewhat hope there is a big unrealised reason for this and that this will all make sense when Pacific Rim hits theatres and that this has just been a overreaction. However, if not, I plea for Mr Guillermo Del Toro to get back to what he does best and create some amazing worlds inhabited by some beautiful creatures. With many projects on the horizon, I am sure we will see Guillermo Del Toro back at his creature creating best. After all, just imagine what his ‘Hulk’ TV show might look like but until then, we have to hope the sea monsters will look better than the robots in Pacific Rim.