Defined in English, the Japanese word "Kaiju" translates to "strange beast," a label for any and all supernatural creatures. For fans of Japanese science fiction movies, the term has a narrower meaning: giant monsters that destroy everything in their paths.
Godzilla remains the most famous kaiju of them all, but next summer, director Guillermo Del Toro hopes to erase America's problematic history with kaiju movies (did you see Roland Emmerich's Godzilla remake?) with Pacific Rim. If Power Rangers helped make the kaiju movie palatable to younger generations of Americans, then Pacific Rim will melt brains, Del Toro's vision pits the Earth's military forces — which includes enormous robot warriors called Jaegers — against a variety of angry beasts.
At this year's San Diego Comic-Con, we got our first taste of the oversized blockbuster, a quick glimpse of stars Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba suiting up in the Jaegers to lay the smack down on the killer kaiju. It was a wonder to behold — but Del Toro promised not to show the footage to the general public until closer to release. Now, we're finally getting a tease of what's to come.
Two new viral videos have hit the web, and they paint a picture of Pacific Rim's ambitious adventure. One plays like a warning, revealing the conflict at the center of the movie. The other puts us right in the middle of a kaiju attack, feeling a bit more like Cloverfield, thanks to its first person vantage point. But don't get the wrong idea: when Pacific Rim hits theaters next year, it will be anything but small scale. This is just a tease — and a great one at that.
Pacific Rim arrives July 12, 2013.
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[Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]