First 'Pacific Rim Uprising' Trailer Shows John Boyega and His Team of Giant Robots

Friday, 06 October 2017 - 6:56PM
Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Friday, 06 October 2017 - 6:56PM
First 'Pacific Rim Uprising' Trailer Shows John Boyega and His Team of Giant Robots
Legendary Pictures
First things first, a complaint: if your movie is called Pacific Rim Uprising, don't use a redundant tagline like "Rise Up." That is dumb. But this is the Pacific Rim franchise - half the fun is the fact that everything is so bombastic and stupid that it appeals to the part of our brains that yearn for ten-year-old excitement yet again.

The first full trailer for Pacific Rim Uprising is now out, and it shows off all of the movie's big assets, and were it not for one very important element, would ultimately look like simply more of the same.

The Kaiju are bigger and badder, showing off some vaguely defined new abilities that are certain to stretch out the movie's run time in some way. The Jaegers, similarly, now come in a variety of new action-figure-friendly designs, but the lack of voiceover from Ellen McLain (who voiced GLaDOS in Portal) this time around doesn't give everything the ironic connotation that our robots are about to turn on us while sarcastically insulting our weight.

See for yourself in the full trailer below:



The visuals here almost feel like a live-action Big Hero 6, especially the new red Jaeger with a lightsaber that looks like Baymax in his battle armor, and which wouldn't look out of place in Evangelion. There's a New Class or Next Generation vibe to a lot of what's going on here, with a crew of adorably young new Jaeger pilots showing up to take the place of the Old Guard, who presumably have all either retired or been eaten in the time between this film and the last.

Here's hoping we get some kind of explanation for why Charlie Hunnam isn't back - apart, of course, from the fact that he thought Guy Ritchie's King Arthur movie was a safer bet (spoiler alert: it wasn't).

In Hunnam's defense, all of the familiar visuals do give this the look of a movie that might suffer from the dreaded sequelitis - instead of Kaiju destroying Hong Kong, we're going see them smash through parts of a Japanese city instead. New, bigger, badder monsters and robots aren't enough to make a sequel film worth watching, especially when so few original cast members are returning that the whole thing resembles a low budget straight-to-VHS sequel from the late Nineties.

Thankfully, this movie does have a secret weapon. Playing "Jake Pentecost," John Boyega is one of the greatest things to happen to sci-fi in a long time. Not long after The Force Awakens, he's once again doing a fantastic job as a reluctant young hero; the estranged son of Idris Elba's character from the first film. Boyega is a master of voices, and he's somehow managed to nail Elba's pronunciation with such perfection that it doesn't feel weird to hear Finn dropping his American drawl.

From what we see here, it almost looks like Boyega is playing his character from Attack the Block again; a disaffected youth who somehow gets wrapped up in an alien war that he's not really ready for. If there's a problem with the trailer, it's that it shows us a little too much of his later-game "We will not go quietly into that good night" speech, and we therefore know going into this that for all his grumpy teenage pouting, he'll end up becoming a traditional hero by the third act.

Nevertheless, there's enough going on here to make Uprising looks like a suitable follow-up to the original Pacific Rim. It may end up simply being more of the same, but if any element manages to elevate this film above its predecessor, it's the absolutely amazing new leading man who fully deserves to be the new king of sci-fi.

Pacific Rim Uprising comes out March 23, 2018.
Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies
Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim: Uprising
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