As one of the resident Pacific Rim defenders here at Lewton Bus, it is my duty to bring you the trailer for its upcoming del Toro-less sequel, Pacific Rim:
Maelstrom Uprising. From what I gather, it features giant robots, giant monsters, and a regular sized John Boyega playing the son of Idris Elba’s character from the first film.1 Let’s take a look!
Well, let’s start with what I dig. It has giant robots, giant monsters, and John Boyega. So that’s good. It also appears to have jaeger-on-kaiju brawls in broad daylight, the lack of which always annoyed me in the original film. You’ve spent all this time and money and artistry making these big dudes look awesome. Can we get a clear look? Thank you. I also like that we seem to be getting more action out of the peripheral jaegers. Jaegers that aren’t named Gipsy Danger tend to get their shiny metal asses handed to them way too fast. R.I.P. Cherno Alpha. And can we take a sec to appreciate all of those melee weapons? Swords! Maces! Energy whips! It’s all so silly in a very Pacific Rim way. Over the top and badass and earnest.
However, what worries me is that a lot of this looks sort of cheap and uninspired. The original took its utterly ridiculous premise and made it gorgeous. Sure, it was too dark at times, but the imagery was lush and colorful. And I’m not seeing any jaw-dropping, fist-pumping moments that compare to the famous tanker-as-baseball-bat scene.2 There’s a distinct lack of audacity on display in this trailer, and it has me worried. At times it has the vibe of a quick and dirty adaptation of a video game or Saturday morning cartoon. Heck, the shot we’re using for the hero image plays exactly like the cut scene at the beginning of a boss battle.
Being a fan of Pacific Rim (and robots and monsters in general) I will be catching this movie on opening day. I can’t not do that, despite the lack of Guillermo del Toro. But this trailer isn’t doing a great job of selling me on it.
Maybe it’s just because the music sucks.