I finally got a chance to sit down and watch Pacific Rim Uprising. My expectations were at an all-time high, as I thought the original was really well done. The first film starred Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnam as they fought to save humanity from a race of giant alien sea creatures called the Kaiju. In the sequel, John Boyega and Scott Eastwood fill the roles of expert Jaeger pilots tasked with handling the re-emergence of the Kaiju and mentoring a new generation of pilots.
The film picks up ten years after the “Battle Of The Breach”, as mankind is moving on from the assault of the Kaiju. It’s here that we meet Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) and see how he’s become distanced from Pan-Pacific Defense Corps. He’s now a former Jaeger pilot, making a living selling stolen Jaeger parts on the black market. It’s during a heist that he meets Amara (Cailee Spaeny), a younger woman who steals Jaeger parts in hopes of building her own Jaeger. The dynamic between these two is almost immediately noticeable, and you know within seconds of their first interaction that they’ll play a crucial role in the film. After the two engage in a minor chase, they both end up being apprehended by the Pan-Pacific Defense Corp. It’s here that Pentecost is given the option of going to prison, or returning to the Corps as an instructor, with Amara as his recruit.
The dialogue in the film can be a bit uninspiring at times, as conversations don’t flow freely all the time. Thankfully, the main characters background stories are built fairly well, and there’s enough action to drown out the lackadaisical speech. I’m a huge fan of mecha/robot based anime, and the way the action scenes flowed throughout Pacific Rim Uprising felt really true to those genres and left NOTHING to be desired. Boyega is the clear standout here, but his supporting cast did well to help make the characters passable, and more importantly, believable. The only character I had a problem with was Charlie Day’s Newt Geiszler. His “mad scientist” approach was so cartoonish and over the top, it was almost laughable at times. Then again, maybe that was the way the character was meant to be.
All in all, Pacific Rim Uprising is definitely a worthy successor to the original. The storyline was continued perfectly, the main conflict was resolved, and the ending definitely made way for a potential third film.
If you were a fan of the first Pacific Rim, or are looking for a solid “sea monster threatens Earth” flick, then this is the film for you.
Pacific Rim is available on 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray/DVD, and Digital right now!