Warner Bros. Pictures finally released the Wondercon trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim yesterday and it 100% reinvigorated me. I was starting to worry that this was just going to be another, almost boring, “summer blockbuster” when this new footage came along and convinced me that it would be anything but. I also learned (and re-learned) a few things about the film that effectively killed all the second guessing I’d been doing, so I figured I’d jot them down.
“When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes—a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)—who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.”
Head inside for 5 Things We Learned From The New Pacific Rim Trailer!!
1: THIS ISN’T TRANSFORMERS
Earlier on in the campaign a lot of people were complaining that the Jaeger robots reminded them too much of Michael Bay’s Transformers. While I never felt that way about their design per se, I will admit that the earlier trailer didn’t sell me on how differently these new mecha would interact with their environment. But now their design reminds me more of “Robotech” and the figures are much more smooth and discernible. Secondly, they’re wayyyyy bigger than I previously thought. I mean, they use oil tankers as bludgeoning tools (which we’ve all heard about endlessly since Wondercon but is still pretty impressive).
2: IT ACTUALLY HAS A UNIQUE AESTHETIC
I’m really digging the choppy seas and rainswept vibe at play here. For whatever reason, when I initially envisioned what this film might look like I expected the environments to be more static. Here they’re robust and alive and almost as threatening as the Kaijus and Jaegers themselves. And I love the use of color – Pacific Rim seems to update the Blade Runner look a bit and make something new out of it.
3: CHARLIE DAY MIGHT NOT BE ANNOYING
I enjoyed Charlie Day in Horrible Bosses (and haven’t seen “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), but was concerned that Pacific Rim would import his established shrill persona wholesale as comic relief. Wrong. Not only does Day seem to drop the schtick, he’s seemingly playing a weird alternate universe version of J.J. Abrams – which is strange and unexpected.
4: RON PERLMAN!
It’s hard to tell too much about Perlman’s role in the film from his 1.5 seconds in the trailer, but he’s not playing the grunt I (for some reason) expected. I’m relieved that he’s in the film (which I’d also forgotten) and is by all appearances playing an appropriately eccentric role.
5: THE JAEGER PILOTS MIND MELD
The terminology from the trailer states that it’s, “Two pilots. Mind melding through memories with the body of a machine.” I actually like that, since it implies that the Jaeger pilots will actually have to share some tangible emotional connection beyond, “he’s my wingman.” This seems like a cool way to weave character beats throughout the mayhem and have them contribute to the action, which is always a plus.