It has been five years since Guillermo del Toro brought our robot vs aliens fantasy to life in Pacific Rim. And now, director Steven S. DeKnight gives us more of this action fantasy! We attended United International Pictures’ VIP Gala Screening of Pacific Rim Uprising in IMAX SM Megamall last weekend and we were blown-away! With that said here are 4 reasons for you not to miss this one!
- New Generation
Set 10 years after the first film, Pacific Rim Uprising continues the tale of Earth’s rise from the ashes. With coastal cities torn apart from the first Kaiju attack, the world is slowly getting back to its feet. They are now prepared in case of another wave of destruction should a breach opens up again. The film shines the light on a new generation of Jaeger pilots. John Boyega plays Jake Pentecost, the son of a former Jaeger pilot who sacrificed his life during the first attack.
Reluctant to face the responsibility, he turned his back away and lived an underground life instead. That is until his sister Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) convinced him to join the squad again. There he butted head with his rival pilot Lambert (Scott Eastwood). In the Pan Pacific Defence Corps, a fresh batch of pilots are being trained and among them is Amara (Cailee Spaeny).
The film, in retrospective, rehashes the premise of the first movie. That is both a smart and problematic move.
- Larger Plot
As I have pointed out, the sequel pretty much mirrored the plot of the first movie but not in its entirety. It introduced some great concept that had me whispering under my breath, “Damn!” It could potentially spoil the film but to give you a hint, it is a smart technology!
Also, the story introduces a corporate perspective. Shao Industry, a Chinese tech company, researches and develops Jaegers. They have produced a technology that makes it more efficient and smart. Shao Liwen (Jing Tian), CEO of Shao Industry, spent her life developing unmanned drone Jaeger corps. The introduction of this device makes the film an even larger and more interesting watch. It opens up the good old paradox of technology getting sentient. But again, you’d have to see for yourselves how it turns out.
- Bigger Fights
What good is a sequel to a film featuring giant machines if it won’t feature big fights? Pacific Rim Uprising delivered just what we wanted! We saw relentless Kaijus fight Jaegers! There was even a scene where it took multiple Kaijus against three Jaegers. The CGI work on this one is just astounding. One factor worth commending about the visual craft applied in the film is that the fights happened at daytime. It is a brave step from the first movie wherein most of the action happened at night when it is dark, making it challenging to appreciate the CGI work.
Also, despite the explosions and city-wide destruction, the film managed to keep it grounded. There was a particular level of restraint that kept it from becoming a Transformers movie.
- Longer Future
The introduction of a new generation of Jaeger pilots and expansion of the mystery behind the re-emergence and real purpose of Kaijus on Earth, all leads down to a third film. There is a great need for it to wrap things up. After all, Pacific Rim Uprising ended on such a high note that fans will be craving for more. There is just so much more plot that needs and can be tapped without exploiting the source material too much.
Pacific Rim Uprising is a worthy sequel to Guillermo del Toro’s action-mecha fantasy. While it lacked the human element and depth, it compensated with the surprises and action sequences. It threaded the dangers of having cliche characters and plots that did not make sense, but the overall tone of the film hinted at not caring for it at all. Setting those imperfections aside, Pacific Rim Uprising succeeded in expanding the narrative of the first movie. It revived my childhood memories of playing with my robot toys and the crazy storylines I went along with. It was super fun! Also, I just can’t imagine myself watching this other than in IMAX!