Guillermo del Toro takes inspiration from all over – influences on this film range from Godzilla to Goya – to cook up his cinematic feasts. Now that the first Pacific Rim trailer is online, here’s a little about the film and what you can expect from its world. Those with a phobia of enormous dangerous things should look away now…
Here’s the corpse of one of the kaiju, the enormous inter-dimensional monsters waging war on Earth, being carried by aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74). Just to give you some notion of scale here, that ship is 1.092’ long (332.8m) and 252’ (76.8m) wide. As will become clear from this trailer, the kaiju are not all identical. Oh sure, they all err on the side of “whopping”, but this is noticeably different from one you’ll see in a moment…
Here’s how the bad guys are getting here: an inter-dimensional rift deep under the Pacific Ocean. It’s worth noting that they don’t all arrive at once. The world of Pacific Rim is one under regular attack by these beasts, but not a continuous flood of them – which is just as well from our point of view. But the war against the monsters has been dragging on, so del Toro has tried to create a war-weary, battered vibe.
It’s another bad day in the Bay Area, as one of the kaiju takes a dislike to the Golden Gate Bridge. We’ve looked at similar attacks before and it really is beginning to look as though the bridge is a primary strategic target for all giant beasties. Why this obsession? Was it built on a foundation of giant-kibble? You’ll notice that this kaiju has a huge forehead crest and looks significantly different to the one on the ship. Meanwhile, hero Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) tells us: “Something out there had discovered us. They counted on the humans to hide, to give out, to fail...”
“...They never considered our ability to stand, to endure, that we would rise to the challenge.” Here we see one of the monstrous Jaegers built to fight the monsters being moved out of its gigantic Shatterdome base. This is the Alaskan shatterdome, which means that that’s the US Jaeger (the big Pacific Rim countries all have one) with Raleigh and his brother piloting it. Presumably its payload are called 'Jaegerbombs'.
Here we see how the Jaegers work: two pilots, acting in perfect harmony if not absolute synch, engage a “neural bridge” to the machine and enable it to fight. Most of the Jaeger teams are siblings, parent-and-child or husband-and-wife teams, because they need some degree of mental harmony. Since you’re in the head of the machine, you are vulnerable in the attack despite all the shiny iArmour.
The observant among you will notice that these are two different Jaegers to the one featured already. In fact, that’s Russia’s Jaeger, Cherno Alpha, in the foreground going for a Ned Kelly look. Being helicoptered in behind is China’s Crimson Typhoon, the three-armed giant with a crew made up of triplets. And yes, that voiceover is GLaDOS from Portal; you’re not just hearing her everywhere because you've been playing it too much.
This is the amazingly-named General Stacker Pentecost, played by the suitably awe-inspiring Idris Elba, who’s giving an inspiring speech to the troops. He’s in charge of the Jaeger teams and is instrumental in managing Charlie Hunnam’s Raleigh and Rinko Kikuchi’s Mako Mori. “Today at the edge of our hope, at the end of our time, we have chosen to believe in each other. Today we face the monsters that are at our door. Today we are cancelling the apocalypse!” Stirring stuff. When the apocalypse comes, bagsie him on our side.