This PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING Teaser Wants to Sell You a Lexus

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I love Pacific Rim. It was one of my favorite films of 2013, tied with Fruitvale Station and Only God Forgives. I contain multitudes. I know Pacific Rim is a divisive movie, even among del Toro diehards such as myself, and I recognize its flaws, but it just plain works for me. It has such a lovely mixture of spectacle, goofiness, earnestness and optimism. As a New Orleanian, the early line about fighting a hurricane and winning grabbed me by the heart.

So I was obviously thrilled when I heard a sequel was in the works. Then… not as much. Del Toro jumped ship for one thing,1 replaced by Steven S. DeKnight. DeKnight is best known for creating the Spartacus TV show, so I can only assume there will be graphic Jaeger on Jaeger hanky panky. Then they dropped the evocative title Pacific Rim: Maelstrom for the very generic Pacific Rim: Uprising. My dreams of a crossover with the 90s Macintosh shareware game were dashed.

But now we have our first teaser trailer! Let’s take a look.

Well, we can’t tell much about the movie from this. It’s a fun bit of marketing that clearly contains no actual footage from the film. That said, I mostly dig it. With some qualifications. It’s in the form of a military recruitment video, but aesthetically it’s a blend of propaganda, inspirational PSA and luxury car commercial. I get a slight Verhoeven satirical vibe, although it’s obviously much more straight faced. But is that what we want from a Pacific Rim film? Most of the time this kind of material is born of cynicism, and Pacific Rim is certainly not that.

I’m not sure what they’re aiming for with this teaser, but who cares? Giant robots! Fighting! Presumably fighting giant monsters! I like the the goodnatured shade thrown at superhero movies, as well as Ellen McLain returning to play not-GLaDOS. Oh! And we have John Boyega playing Stacker Pentecost’s son, sounding Idris Elba as heck. I know I’ll be there on opening day.

In the meantime, here’s the first trailer for the original film.

  1. At least he’s moved on to other neat stuff.