Going big all the way
I'm just going to say this right off the bat: I freaking loved Pacific Rim when it came out back in 2013. It almost felt as if Guillermo del Toro was somehow able to listen to the thoughts of millions of nerds everywhere who are fans of anime and robots and created this film just for them. A love-letter to all things about old-school anime and classic Japanese Kaiju films, del Toro knew his stuff and gave us this amazing dream project. So you can imagine how excited I got when after a long wait, a sequel was finally coming albeit from a different director and studio (Universal took over after Warner Bros. opted out on making the follow-up) but I'd be lying if I said that the film, although awesome, wasn't lacking del Toro's certain touch. Pacific Rim: Uprising picks up 10 years after the events of the first film. The Breach has been closed and as a result Kaijus are now a thing of the past. However, parts of the world have yet to recover
from the war with the Kaijus and have stayed in a state in decay. Jake Pentecost (John Boyega), son of the late Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), is an ex-Jaeger pilot who now dedicates himself to stealing and selling Jaeger parts to the black market. On one of his endeavors to steal more parts, Jake is caught and arrested by the PPDC (Pan-Pacific Defense Corps) where he reunites with his adoptive sister Mako (Rinko Kikuchi) who is now General Security of the PPDC. Here she gives Jake an ultimatum: go to prison or return to the PPDC as an instructor for the new generation of Jaeger pilots. The timing proves to be bad for Jake as a new Kaiju threat starts to loom to create chaos once again. Going into Uprising, my expectations were just slightly low since this sequel lacked del Toro's sharp direction from the first film, which
isn't to knock on DeKnight's work. In the first opening minutes, you'll already know that the film carries a different tone than the first entry which had a sense of dread and desperation when it came to fighting the Kaijus. In this sequel, the action feels a little loose and lighthearted with more focus being on CGI spectacle, even more so than the wet rainy battles del Toro emphasized in the first film. The new cast of Jaeger pilots are colorful but there's not much character development for them save for Boyega's character who's mainly the one that gets the most attention. Everyone else feels secondary, putting most of the spotlight on Jake than anyone else; even more so than the returning characters. In all, it's just a slight oversight when the real meats and potatoes of this film is the towering robots and the fights, and on that factor the film definitely delivers. The epic Jaeger on Kaiju battles are superb eye-candy and fun to watch although there were so moments where it got more or less cheesy for its' own good but I figure the filmmakers' decided to have some fun with it since it is about giant robots so there's not much reason to keep it too serious. In comparison with the first film, Pacific Rim: Uprising looses a bit of that del Toro magic but the quality doesn't diminish too much. While it does falter in some points, the film is through and through a fun ride and fans (like myself) will enjoy what is here and gets my recommendation.