‘Pacific Rim’ has tired plot and stiff dialogue, but is fun to look at

Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi in ‘Pacific Rim.’ Rated PG-13, 132 min. Warner Bros., 2013.

As “Pacific Rim” begins, giant creatures from another dimension have already been plaguing Earth for many years. Now, the battle has intensified and humans are losing, so a mismatched team takes one last shot at saving the world using massive fighting robots. Charlie Hunnam stars as a pilot with redemption and revenge on his mind, Rinko Kikuchi is his co-pilot with baggage, and Idris Elba is their tough commander. Charlie Day sputters about as a neurotic scientist, and Ron Perlman just sneers a lot as a black market dealer.

Director Guillermo del Toro seems to have taken inspiration from any of a number of monster/alien/disaster movies (“Godzilla,” “Armageddon,” “Transformers,” el al.), along the usual story notes of small triumphs, setbacks, and down-to-the-wire saves. While the events move along at a satisfying pace, the characters go nowhere you don’t expect, with some practically mocking themselves along the way.

Luckily, there is some enjoyment to be had in the film’s crisp, clear 3-D treatment. Scenes in the water are a bit dark, but those on land flow well, and are bright and exhilarating.

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