New ‘Pacific Rim’ Featurette: Meet the Human Heroes

Published 2 years ago by

With July 12th drawing closer, Legendary Pictures has just two weeks to push their advertising campaign for Pacific Rim into fifth gear and start really raising awareness for the film outside of its core audience. That’s a small amount of time to get mainstream viewers invested, but the bigger marketing hurdle that Guillermo Del Toro’s giant robots vs. giant monsters opus must overcome may be the lack of emphasis placed on the film’s human element in its TV spots and trailers - which focus more on jaegers (the robots) and kaiju (the monsters) than on the characters caught in the middle of (or participating in) the war to save the planet.

Fortunately, a few recent television spots have gamely attempted to bring that element to the forefront, and today, WB released a brand new featurette that revolves entirely around Pacific Rim‘s cast of jaeger pilots and scientists.

This latest clip, which you can view above, joins a pair of other similar features that focus on the idea-based and spectacle-oriented sides of Del Toro’s world; the first focuses on the ‘drift space’ concept, in which the men and women operating the mechs establish a mental link to fight against the monsters as one, while the second talks about jaeger design. It’s impressive that despite the clear anime influences, Del Toro and his team dedicated themselves to making creations that don’t draw immediate references to previously existing titles.

But where those two features look closely at the tech that drive Pacific Rim, this one instead showcases the essential humanity that should serve as the film’s backbone. While there’s sure to be a great deal of robot-on-monster action (every single trailer handily confirms that) it’s the human experience that’s going to elevate Pacific Rim above other summer fare and, hopefully, turn the film into a major box office victory for Del Toro. Del Toro has enjoyed minor commercial success before, back in 2006 when Pan’s Labyrinth wound up becoming an arthouse darling, but Pacific Rim exists on another scale entirely, and if he’s going to avail himself in the eyes of the studio, it’s going to be on the backs of great action and great characters.

pacific rim elba hunnam kikuchi New Pacific Rim Featurette: Meet the Human Heroes

So this clip is a necessary bit of promo material. Here, we learn a little bit more about what motivates these people to fight beyond the basic need to survive; they have something to prove, someone to avenge, and people whose lives are in their hands. Del Toro himself describes Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) as the film’s “moral center” and the moments given to his character definitely hint at a man who shoulders sole responsibility for the lives lost in the kaiju conflict. Meanwhile, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) and Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) both have losses they want to overcome; the former wants vengeance for the death of her family, while the latter has a personal tragedy to reconcile and a reputation to restore. On the other hand, Dr. Newton Geizler (Charlie Day) just wants to shake his image as a science nerd.

In other words, their interests here are varied, and more than eye-popping effects and action set pieces, that’s what will make Pacific Rim into a movie that’s really worth watching.


Pacific Rim hits theaters on July 12th, 2013.

Follow Andy Crump on Twitter @agracru
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  1. Looks interesting, eventhough we seem to have paint by numbers protagonists (the reluctant hero, the revenge fueled hero). I just can’t shake the feeling that for gen. audiences this will be a pass a therefore a major financial dissapointment.

    • Unfortunately I think you’re right. Right now, believe it or not, Grown Ups 2 (same weekend) is tracking better financially. I’m hoping this movie does really well, but I’m worried only fanboys and Del Toro fans will be filing the seats opening weekend.

      • tracking? haha stoopid americans and their “be all and end all” obsession with forecasting and numbers.

        • @ccdev

          I agree with you, I just wouldn’t use such derogatory or insulting language to say that myself.

          But that’s the problem though, US audiences/executives use tracking numbers and domestic box office sales to determine if a movie will be/was a success or a failure while the rest of the world prefer to wait until it’s out (or judge from the trailer whether it’d be worth watching or not, something it seems US audiences don’t appear to do) and then take in global box office as a measure of profit.

          I know plenty who are excited for Pacific Rim, want to watch it in IMAX 3D and have even decided that this will be the only movie they will see this summer (catching movies like MOS and F&F6 on TV instead).

          • “judge from the trailer whether it’d be worth watching or not, something it seems US audiences don’t appear to do”

            And thad precisely is why the “derogatory [...] language” comes in handy. It’s not meant as an insult, only as a description, since judging a film by how much it makes (or how much it seems it’s going to make) is simply as the “derogatory [...] language” says. If it did matter, Iron Man 3 would be simply an awesome movie and it is the total opposite of that.

      • I am worried about the same thing. I really want this movie to do well just because I want the market to open up for similar types of movies. I am just not sure how it will resonate with a general audience though. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  2. that’s jax teller SOA4LIFE @reaper_crew_

  3. Really hope it does well so we can get even more from this world of jaegers cause it looks like it should be the best summer blockbuster of 2013 (I’m not counting IM3 because it released in April here, therefore it came out in spring).

  4. Tell your friends to go see it. Take a group.

  5. This looks insane, really looking forward to this!

  6. July 12th,just hurry up and get here,I’m so ready for this movie and I don,t care what the critics say about Pacific Rim,good or bad,I’m there on it’s opening weekend,for sure.

  7. chills, can’t wait

  8. Evangelion anyone?

    • Hmm….don’t think I’ve seen or heard that comparison before. Nope.

    • People act like Evangelion was an original idea to begin with…

  9. This looks so awesome I really can’t wait. I hope it does well

  10. I’m surprised there’s only the one real piece on the pilots released so far. Especially since PacRim is relying on the idea that the Jeager is LITERALLY an extension of the pilot’s will.

    To me, the mecha genre rests on the idea that behind the weapons and underneath the armour, it is still a human being that does the fighting. As such, I fully expect the Jeagers to be put on display not only as cool war machines but as emblems and embodiments of the human spirit. After all a Mecha is supposed to be the ultimate war machine and its built in the shape of a MAN right? It’s a pretty obvious allegory for man being the ultimate war machine.

    If Del Toro can get us caring about his pilots, he will succeed where Battleship and the Transformers franchise failed. Battleship was full of wooden puppets rather than characters and Transformers wastes half of every movie on useless new human characters instead of developing the giant alien LIFE FORMS whose collective name IS the title.

    (Seriously, each one of them is thousands of years old and there’s only a few hundred still alive. When they die it should MATTER. Human characters should rarely survive a single movie.)

    • all of this wrapped in BACON

    • It’s the studio deciding that trailers should show the action to tempt people into paying for a ticket.

  11. It’s Interesting to note that now that I’ve seen the featurette that focuses on the human characters, I’m actually more excited to see the movie now. I believe Warner Bros/Legendary really need to focus on showing that more in the TV Spots within the next couple weeks.

  12. m/pacific-rim-720p-axo-mp4