Pacific Rim

 July 11, 2013

On the very small off chance that Dec. 21 does not see the Earth swallowed up by a Mayan god (or whatever), we will still have survived several apocalypses, thanks to a week of trailers like Star Trek Into Darkness, Oblivion, and After Earth in which our world is suddenly destroyed, an ominous bwaaaaamp dying in our ears. Today it's Guillermo del Toro who's foretelling our doom, imagining a not-too-distant future, Next Giant Monster Day A.D., when humanity's last hope against an invading force of enormous sea creatures is making equally enormous robot friends. It's only a brief look that barely gives any time to human players like Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, and Charlie Day, but spectacle-wise, Pacific Rim seems squarely in the lineage of alien apocalypse movies like Independence Day—right down to Idris Elba's rallying of the troops by telling them what today is ("Today we are canceling the apocalypse!"), and an alien getting punched square in the face—with an added dose of Godzilla, Cloverfield, and Japan's everyday life of piloting big-ass robots around.