One franchise that the Pacific Rim one brings to mind is the Transformers series, and not just because both involve giant robots in fights aplenty with explosions.
From the Pacific Uprising trailers, I’m already drawing many similarities between the two; whereas the first had decent storytelling and a more solemn tone to ground the film, the second looks to be an explosion-fest of robot battles with a constant upbeat tone to match. While this may be the winning recipe for the average movie goer, I think it may still fail if 1. the characters are either too unrelatable or underdeveloped, which may be the case seeing how all the characters appear to be the typical hero/anti-hero types, or 2. if the scenes lack enough intensity to make them thrilling. As cool as it is seeing a giant robot beating up some monster, it’ll certainly grow stale if that’s all that happens for 1-2 hours. I think the film make lack the intensity of the first here given how much smaller both the monsters and the robots seem; I thought the first film did an incredible job in bringing out the sheer scale of these battles, which definitely added to the intensity. From the trailers of this second film however, they somehow felt rather Transformers-like, in other words, big but nowhere near the imposing size felt in the first.
I think John Boyega would be good as the lead – he definitely has charisma, but I wonder if he can carry the film, especially if his character doesn’t grow much beyond the typical anti-hero plot line that seems set out for him, along with the already cliche-sounding dialogue from the trailer.
I should note that I think it’s nice how the plot hasn’t been betrayed by the trailers; the introduction of ‘rogue’ robots could create an interesting story arc.
I foresee the plot to follow the line of the rogue robot/organization re-opening the portal to our world, a series of lost battles ensue followed by victorious ones after the obligatory motivational speech as well as the various characters coming to terms with themselves, resulting ultimately in the defeat of the monsters. Basically, predictable stuff. The whole rogue robot thing does make me wonder if we’ll be surprised by a nice plot twist though.