Comic-Con 2012: PACIFIC RIM Tears The Roof Off Hall H

Guillermo del Toro's giant monsters vs giant robots movie shakes the foundations of Comic-Con.

I would say you're not ready for Pacific Rim, but that isn't true. You have been ready for Pacific Rim ever since the first time you saw a giant monster movie that blew your mind. You have been waiting for this film ever since you were a kid and your synapses exploded with excitement when you first saw a guy in a rubber suit stomp all over a model city. This is the movie you thought might never come after the Transformers movies made you question why you even liked giant robots in the first place.

The teaser trailer shown at Comic-Con was short, but packed with depth and information. It creates such a sense of the world that most of the fan questions at the Q&A were about exploring and understanding that world. This, I believe, is going to be the hallmark of Pacific Rim - it's the first blockbuster in years that creates an organic sense of a larger reality that you want to explore more and more.

There's an entire generation of kids who are about to have their imaginations rewired by Guillermo del Toro.

What the footage did best, and what del Toro said was of paramount importance to him, was create a sense of scale. That's established at the very beginning of the footage, which has an old man and a child in a snowy waste, using a metal detector to find an old robot toy. Suddenly there's a noise, and through the white out conditions stumbles a robot that's at least a hundred feet tall, completely dwarfing the humans. The robot, arm damaged, falls to its knees and then collapses, face first, into the snow and sends up a thunderous plume of ice.

There's a shot of a giant, knife-headed kaiju (think Guiron) attacking the Golden Gate Bridge, each of his clawed fingers being almost the breadth of the span. Jet fighters come in to attack and fly beneath his arm pit before being caught and destroyed.

And then the final images, of a robot (called jaegers in the film) walking into a bay, the water up to its knees, to battle the knife-headed kaiju. It's old fashioned grappling and fisticuffs, ending with the jaeger nailing the kaiju on the top of its head with a double fisted crash.

There are about nine different monsters in the film, and seven different robots (we got a very quick look at maybe three or four). The robots have iconic shapes, and are not a jumble of parts like the Transformers. The one in the bay battle had a pin-up painted on its chest, like the art on the noses of WWII bombers.

Del Toro said that this is the only time any footage will be shown between now and December (expect a trailer on The Hobbit), and the footage shown in Hall H will not be seen again.

Comic-Con is a place where people tend to get a bit overexcited, but the sheer energy in the room during the Pacific Rim footage was incredible. This feels like the real thing.