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Movie Review: Pacific Rim Uprising

Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, reunites with Mako Mori to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including rival Lambert and 15-year-old hacker Amara, against a new Kaiju threat.

 

 

Pacific Rim Uprising is the follow up to Guillermo del Toro’s 2013, giant robots vs giant sea monster epic, however this time around Del Toro isn’t in the director’s chair, with Steven S. DeKnight taking the chair for his debut feature film, and Del Toro staying on as both a Producer and Visual consultant.

 

The choice to allow another director to take over from a visionary such as Del Toro, especially when the new choice has yet to direct a feature film (DeKnight being most well known for his TV series Spartacus), was a bold choice indeed, but it seems to have paid off, the resulting film flowing naturally as a continuation from the first, to the point where most people wouldn’t even notice that the films had different directors.

 

 

For most sequels a lot of people will have the first question, do I need to have seen the previous movie? And the answer for this film is, no, not really – the film does a nice job at covering the important events from the last film in the first few minutes of the opening; and then peppers in a few more exposition lines throughout, mostly using returning characters to help fill in the gaps naturally.

 

Much like the first film the plot of Pacific Rim Uprising, centres on the pilots of giant mechs knows as Jaegers, in their continuing war with giant sea monsters known as Kaiju (from the Japanese phrase “Strange Monsters”), once again the Jaeger program is on the verge of being shut down and needs to prove its mettle against Earth’s giant destructive foes.

 

 

Again much like the first film, the weakest aspect of the film is the human characters, a lot of the actors in the film are given “characteristics” instead of actual characters, however there are marked improvements over the first with the charismatic new lead played by John Boyega, and a varied cast of younger actors, who are cleverly brought into the world of the film, despite not really having anything to do outside of plot related action scenes.

 

Which brings us to the MVP of the series so far, the reason this franchise has become a franchise to begin with, the creativity and visuals, the giant robots and monsters are even more imaginative than the first film, with a large portion of the film dedicated to showcasing all the new tricks the Jaegers have come up with in the past few years, each Jaeger is designed differently enough that they can be easily differentiated from one another, making it easier to tell what’s happening during the fight scenes, which look magnificent, the list of special effects employees during the credits is comically long, but watching the film you can really see where all the man power went, apart from a slightly jarring green screen sometimes, the visual effects are glorious, and the attention to detail is magnificent, each hit showing the weight of the giant adversaries.

 

 

When it comes to giant robots in film, a lot of people will turn to Transformers as the pre-eminent example, (interestingly DeKnight was invited to the Transformers Cinematic Universe writing room before being given the chance to direct Uprising), however the Pacific Rim films owe more of a debt to the world of anime, taking a lot of ideas and style from series like Gundam (which is noted in the credits as their is reference in the background of a set), and Neon Genesis Evangelion, although these series typically have a lot more character work than we see in these films, they also have a far longer running time in order to set up the back stories and develop actual characters.

 

If you are looking for an expertly crafted study of human drama, this is not the movie for you, but if you are looking for genuinely inventive giant action with incredible visual effects, you’d be hard pressed to find a better film, overall Pacific Rim Uprising, is a more than worthy follow up to the first film, building on the lore from the first, adding even more, and setting up an upcoming sequel that sounds like it will be the biggest and most epic one yet.

 

 

A mechtastic 7/10!

~ TGB_SirhcAndAr0n


April 26th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
This entry was posted on Thursday, April 26th, 2018 at 12:29 am and is filed under General, Movie Review. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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