October 9, 2017
‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ Trailer Breakdown: Going Through the New Footage Frame-by-Frame
The Pacific Rim Uprising trailer dropped at New York Comic-Con this weekend to mixed reactions from fans of Guillermo del Toro‘s 2013 original. With a brand new cast led by John Boyega, a brand new director in Steven S. DeKnight, and shiny brand new robots to fight a bigger apocalypse than the last time around, it certainly feels somewhat divorced from the original. And with fast cuts, lots of explosions, and a stirring hip-hop soundtrack, it does feel somewhat overwhelming to watch the visually stimulating trailer.
So let’s take a deep dive with a Pacific Rim Uprising trailer breakdown, where we’ll break down the trailer frame-by-frame, and find out exactly what is going on 10 years after the events of Pacific Rim.
The trailer opens with a crowd fleeing from a series of fiery explosions at a military base, with newcomer Cailee Spaeny witnessing what looks two fighting Jaegers. As the sirens blare, it’s unclear whether the Jaegers are fighting the Kaiju as they are designed to — or fighting each other. One of the Jaegers destroys an incoming military aircraft, so it’s safe to say that at least one Jaeger has gone rogue.
Spaeny’s character Amara, a 15-year-old Jaeger hacker, wears a bright orange windbreaker — perhaps reminiscent of Mako Mori’s (Rinko Kikuchi) signature baby blue coat that she wore when she was saved by Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba).
We spend a lot of time lingering on Amara’s experience, with her shocked eyes becoming the first face to fill the screen of this trailer — a bold move for a sequel to a movie that was a modest (domestic) hit in the first place.
“We were born into a world at war,” Boyega’s character Jake Pentecost narrates, as Jake runs to see the wreckage of a city attacked by the Kaiju. It’s unclear if this takes place immediately after the events of Pacific Rim — though this is probably not Hong Kong, the scene of the biggest battles in Pacific Rim — or if this is Jake at the time that Uprising takes place.
Jake looks scrappy and younger here, so I’m assuming this is during his time when he fell into the criminal underworld after rebelling against his father Stacker and leaving the Jaeger program.
The Kaiju are back! This likely takes place long after the original battle over the Breach in the first Pacific Rim, when the invading Kaiju seemed defeated. This unknown Asian city looks fairly undamaged and repaired, so it probably will be ground zero for the new invasion.
Jake Pentecost arrives with an unknown blonde woman at the military base where the Jaegers are housed to re-enter the program. “Between the monsters who destroyed our cities and the monsters we created to stop them, we thought we had sacrificed enough,” Jake continues in his narration.
So it looks like I was wrong in my initial assessment of the trailer, and Kikuchi’s Mako Mori does make an appearance. It looks like that’s her, in a sleek military uniform and with her blue hair streak gone, gazing over the Jaeger base.
Three new Jaegers, plus Gipsy Danger, stand lying in wait for their new pilots. And their docking platforms are outdoors now!
Here is Amara again, still aghast at some huge monster or machine attacking the crowd, who flee past her.
Well, here is a twist to the movie. Once you get past this Asian commander’s horribly overwrought facial expression, you notice that the Jaeger seems to be attacking this command center, which again plants the seeds of the rogue Jaeger plot. Are the Jaegers themselves rebelling? Is it a former pilot gone bad? Does he have vendetta against this guy’s haircut?
This looks like Jake and his band of thieves looking for Jaeger or Kaiju scraps to sell on the black market, before Jake is caught and given the choice of punishment or returning to the life of a Jaeger pilot.
He may have a tattered coat and criminal friends, but at least he has a dream.
More Kaiju action, rising up from the sea — perhaps from the same underwater breach that Stacker, Mako, and Raleigh supposedly closed?
Jake Pentecost found better, less criminal friends! Here is our first introduction to the new generation of Jaeger pilots, including Jake’s former rival and co-pilot Nate Lambert (Scott Eastwood), Amara, and one other Asian pilot. Yes, I got Power Rangers vibes too.
Jing Tian strides onto the military base in an all-white power suit, with Charlie Day‘s Dr. Newt Geiszler by her side. The Great Wall and Kong: Skull Island actress looks like a high-powered businesswoman, but her character Liwen Shao may actually be a Jaeger pilot judging by a later shot in the trailer.
But there’s no reason she can’t pull double duty, as she seems to have employed Dr. Newt, if his snazzy wine-colored suit and smirk are anything to go by — a big career leap for the Kaiju-obsessed scientist who once rigged himself up to a Kaiju brain to attempt to drift with the monsters themselves. But his attempts saved the world…and seemingly saved his bank account.
“The only thing standing in front of the apocalypse is us,” Jake says, wrapping up his empowering monologue to the rest of the Jaeger pilots, as they prepare to suit up. Like father, like son.
Gipsy Danger, the Jaeger that Mako Mori and Raleigh first piloted in Pacific Rim, back in action.
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