You probably know the premise of "Pacific Rim" by now, and if not, Jax Teller, er, Charlie Hunnam spells it out for you once again in voiceover: Big monsters emerge from the sea and smash up a bunch of our major cities, which makes us suddenly have the technology, know-how and budget to create equally giant mecha battlesuits that incorporate "two pilots ... our minds, our memories connected ... man and machine become one." Seems a little fussy to us, but whatever works. Now go smash those beasties!
Check out the trailer for 'Pacific Rim':
From there, the trailer offers little to no dialogue exchanges in favor of showcasing what will really be getting lots of butts in seats this summer: lots and lots of giant robots vs. giant monsters action. And the trailer doesn't spare us a look at just how much collateral damage comes with these smackdowns -- for every beast that's punched, it seems like at least four buildings go with it. And these creatures sure can take as much as they dish out; at one point, one of the mecha-suits drags what looks like a freakin' aircraft carrier down a city street and smacks one ugly behemoth right across the face with it.
It's all pretty cool. And it's kind of annoying (though not surprising, considering the mega-geek who made it) that the movie itself seems to know how cool it all is, as we get a cutaway to Charlie from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" actually exclaiming "It is pretty cool" to a cranky-looking Ron Perlman. Warner Bros. also apparently really, really wants us to turn "Today we are canceling the apocalypse!" into some widespread pop culture super-phrase, as once again we get Idris Elba delivering what's becoming an increasingly awkward pep talk with each successive trailer.
But hey, why gripe? It is, indeed, pretty cool.
The notorious production company known as The Asylum -- which brought you "Transmorphers" and "Age of the Hobbits," among many others -- thinks so, too, as they've already prepared their latest shameless ripoff (or, rather, "mockbuster"): "Atlantic Rim." Originally titled "From the Sea" (but why in the hell would you call it that?), "Atlantic Rim" is pretty much "Pacific Rim" but with about 1/7000th of the budget, though kudos to the studio for actually conjuring a handful of CG-rendered monsters n' mechas -- they're at least Syfy-level quality, which ain't half-bad, after all (well, maybe half).
And here's the trailer for 'Atlantic Rim':
"Atlantic Rim" (it gets even more ridiculous every time you say it), like "Pacific Rim," also has its own TV star playing the male lead: David Chokachi, whom some may remember as Cody Madison on "Baywatch." He's joined by Anthony 'Treach' Criss and "Dances With Wolves" star Graham Greene for their own robot vs. creature free-for-all, with the collateral damage being the top half of the Statue of Liberty (hey, it is the "Atlantic" Rim, ya know) and at least one beachside volleyball game.
"Atlantic Rim" will be released direct-to-video in July to coincide with the July 12 theatrical release of "Pacific Rim," which means you'll have your pick of either coast this summer. Our suggestion? Go West.
- Charlie Hunnam