It's an homage to Japanese mecha and kaiju movies and anime, and the weaknesses are all part of that love letter, weirdly enough. I spotted every emotional beat and plot twist ahead of time and it was RIGHT and PROPER that I do so. Did they just do that? OF COURSE they just did that. They HAD to do that. Think a tanker of that size would actually buckle and bend in the circumstances that befell it? Who cares? It had to be done! DO NOT QUESTION THE RULE OF COOL. (TVTropes link warning.)
Okay, it would have been nice if they'd actually gotten Australian actors to play the Australians, or so people who actually know what real Aussie accents sound like tell me. (I am American and thus think all Aussies sound like Steve Irwin.) And it is rumored around the intartubes that del Toro was required to trim close to an hour of the mvie for the theatrical release, and what got cut was secondary pilots' characters and more kaiju/mecha fighting, so I look forward to the director's cut Blu-ray release.
P.S. It's a summer blockbuster in which two persons of color get the primary emotional arcs HOW COOL IS THAT? Admittedly, if you'd seen the U.S. trailers you wouldn't know one of them existed, sigh. But that character was a nice surprise, at least.
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