In the days leading up to WonderCon, I had a link to an online screener of the “Pacific Rim” footage that Warner Bros. sent over so I’d get a chance to see the footage before the event. They told me it would play a grand total of three times before the link would expire, and I called both of my sons into the office to watch it with me.
Not even two seconds passed between the three screenings of the footage. As soon as it ended, both of my kids started demanding that I restart it. Then again. And when the link expired, they looked at me like it was “Lord Of The Flies” and I was about to get hunted. They were rabid about what they saw, and I figured their near-chemical reaction was because they are seven and five years old respectively.
Then at WonderCon, I watched an entire auditorium of people have the exact same reaction to the footage, and seeing it on a giant screen, I was struck by how impressive it is, how primal the reaction is when you’re watching giant monsters and giant robots throw down like this. That last image, with the jaeger walking down the street dragging an oil tanker like a baseball bat, is completely thug. It’s just absurd, and when you’re making a movie about giant monster and giant robots, absurd seems like the way to go.
One thing that is true about Guillermo Del Toro is that he truly does love fans and their reactions to his films. When he says he put this up on YouTube for the fans, he means it. He’s in the home stretch on the movie, and every time he’s able to share a little bit more with people, he seems delighted. The look on his face during both of the screenings at WonderCon was pure joy, and that’s exactly what you need if you’re going to be making a movie like this.
I can’t wait to see the film. As much as the spectacle of it looks like it will be amazing, there’s a ton of heart and passion in the script by Travis Beacham, and if this works, it will be because of the entire thing, not just the mayhem.
Ah, but what lovely mayhem it is.
“Pacific Rim” opens July 12, 2013.