Trailer Tuesday: Pacific Rim
The best way to describe upcoming sci-fi actioner Pacific Rim is that director (and co-writer) Guillermo del Toro has evidently tossed together Real Steel, Transformers, Avatar, Godzilla, Robotech, Evangelion, Gears of War and, erm, Power Rangers in a blender and let rip.
Despite overseeing dozens of films over the past few years, and withdrawing from a handful of high profile projects, Pacific Rim is Del Toro's first time back in the director's chair since 2008's Hellboy II. And the results look epic. This said, your feelings towards giant robots and monsters may determine whether you find the film spectacular... or spectacularly silly.
Let's be honest here. Pacific Rim is tailor-made for geeks and that highly profitable teenage boy demographic. Screening in converted 3D - and IMAX 3D overseas - it's clearly a high-concept movie designed for the eyes; not the brain.
Plotwise, Pacific Rim is unapologetically ridiculous. After an inter-dimensional portal opens in the Pacific Ocean, giant monsters rise from the sea. When conventional warfare fails to repel the creatures, mankind creates massive robots - called Jaegers - to pound them into submission. The Jaegers are so huge that they have to be controlled by 2 neurally-linked pilots. Still though, the battles are more destructive than successful and eventually the human race is teetering on the brink of extinction. Two pilots (Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi), manning an archaic Jaeger, become humanity's last, unlikely hope.
Adding some macho presence to the cast are Idris Elba and Ron Perlman as veteran pilots. Ellen McLain - most famous as GLaDOS in Portal - is the voice of the Jaeger AI system.
Fans of Japanese monster movies and anime will probably get more out of Pacific Rim than casual viewers, given how much that branch of cinema has obviously influenced the film. Personally, I'm interested to see whether Pacific Rim has a sense of humour about its ridiculousness, or is entirely po-faced.
Pacific Rim opens in North America on 12 July. The film's South African release date has yet to be set.