Guillermo del Toro hasn’t directed a film since 2008’s “Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” but he’s set to return next year in a very big way with “Pacific Rim.” The first trailer for the robots-versus-kaiju film arrived today, and it promises near non-stop spectacle, or, as Del Toro said in an interview last week, “the biggest wrestling matches on Earth.”
Set in the near future, the film posits that a race of kaiju has entered our world, rising up out of the ocean, and humans, struggling to survive the onslaught, have invented 25-story tall robots called Jaegers to fight them off. Charlie Hunnam stars as the troubled Raleigh Becket, who along with Rinko Kikuchi’s Mako Mori, pilots Gipsy Danger, pictured above; the film’s cast also includes Idris Elba, Charlie Day and Del Toro regular Ron Perlman as the fabulously named, nattily attired black market businessman Hannibal Chau.
In the clip, we hear in ominous voiceover a concise explanation of the premise — “We always thought alien life would come from the stars, but it came from deep beneath the sea, a portal between dimensions” — followed by a barrage of imagery featuring the Jaegers, the pilots, their futuristic base, Elba delivering a rousing authoritative speech and, of course, a kaiju or two.
Audiences should expect thoroughly original monsters, however. Del Toro deliberately avoided watching classic Japanese creature movies when he was making “Pacific Rim.”
“I felt there was a chance to do something fresh, something new that at the same time was conscious of the heritage, but not a pastiche or an homage or a greatest hits of everything,” Del Toro told Hero Complex earlier this year. “One of the first things I did is make it a point to not check any old movies or any other references. Like start from scratch.”
Last week, Del Toro said he’d been having a wonderful time gleefully destroying major metropolitan cities on screen.
“I love to see a robot go medieval on a kaiju and a kaiju go medieval on a robot,” he said with a smile. “The more the city gets destroyed, the more I find it fun. It’s not real. It’s pure spectacle.”
Expectations are high for “Pacific Rim” to deliver when it opens July 12 — plans for a sequel were announced earlier this month.
– Gina McIntyre
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