Jake Pentecost is strong armed by his sister to re-join the Jaeger pilot force when he is caught causing trouble. Following in the footsteps of his father, Jake has no choice but to take charge when an unstoppable threat is unleashed around the world.
I was originally very skeptical about this film, it felt very much like it was going to be one of those forced second films. Thankfully, this wasn’t really the case. Uprising positively builds on the foundations that the original left behind.
Jake (John Boyega) is a bit of an outlaw, stealing old Jaeger parts in order to get the quality things in life… Oreo’s. After trying to find an extremely rare part he bumps into Amara, the self-proclaimed Jaeger builder. She steals the part but he finds his way back to her workshop. Chaos ensues and they are forced to take her homemade Jeager, Scrapper, out for a spin (literally!). Scrapper is the BB8 / Bumblebee of this film, it’s the character that you can’t help but fall a little bit in love with.
Both Amara and Jake are then taken to the Jaeger base and whilst Jake is given back his ‘lieutenant’ status, Amara is enrolled into the cadet core. As you can imagine, the rest of the film is pretty self explanatory until…
You’ll never guess what… The Kaiju are back and this time, they are so unbelievably prepared to f*** s*** up. After the ‘drifting’ with a Kaiju in the first film, one of the scientists (Newt) couldn’t escape from the mind games and as it turns out, is keeping the weird brain thing as his wife. So every night, he goes home, stares lovingly at it and then gets high by connecting with it (essentially). As is giant robots fighting sea aliens wasn’t strange enough!
I actually enjoyed the above plot twist and thought it really worked well at explaining how the Kaiju were back without it feeling forced. The events that follow, like the reveal of the Kaiju-Jaegers, the overriding and the fight scene are all actually very entertaining and gripping.
BUT, this is a big but, there are a lot of things where I was like like mmmmmmmm would that really have worked/happened. The biggest example of this is right at the end. Gipsy Avenger (the main Jaeger) flies up into the atmosphere and plummets down to Earth in an attempt to annihilate the Mega-Kaiju. Now, as they begin to fly up into space they got told the M-K is only 2km away… 2km when you’re a huge giant alien beast is probably, what, about 20-30 steps away – 50 if I’m being generous? In the time it takes them to fly up and fall back down again, the M-K would have most definitely made it to the volcano entrance, but obviously that wouldn’t make a gripping and edge of seat moment. So instead they crush him as he reaches the edge of the volcano (again, not sure that this would have saved the world but there we go!).
TLDR; Visually it’s amazing. Plot wise – it’s an enjoyable sequel but just don’t read into things like we did, take it with a pinch of salt and it’s a really good film!
I have never been too fussed about the Pacific Rim ‘franchise’: I’ve always associated the giant mech with the good old Power Rangers (Lightspeed Rescue was my generation’s), so I’ve always seen mechs as something you can merchandise as an awesome, all be it, expensive toy for the kids.
Despite the hype, the original Pacific Rim seemed to breeze past me. I think I may have watched it once or twice with somewhat divided attention, never really taking much in apart from the obvious: Giant robot vs Giant monster. It’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. It was an entertaining watch, tons of action on a grand scale, but the story didn’t really speak to me.
Pacific Rim 2 is not too far different from its predecessor; more smashy robots, more destruction on a city-wide scale, and more bad-assery. The exception this time around is the introduction of John Boyega who stars as Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost (the hero from the first film), and as you’d except, he offers another strong performance.
The most enjoyable moments of Pacific Rim 2 come from the fights (well duh), which were fuelled with non-stop, city crushing destruction and some interesting power weapons, as well as some cool future tech, which maybe could become reality in the not to distant future (you know, when the giant alien monsters invade). For a lad who spent many an hour on the ps2 back in the day, Pacific Rim certainly filled me with some ‘War of the Monsters’ nostalgia, and let’s be honest, you weren’t a cool kid if you hadn’t levelled entire cities while throwing a giant monster across the sky.
If you can look past some of the ‘questionable’ logic and plot holes in Pacific Rim: Uprising, then I’m sure you’ll have a good time with it. A decent experience all being said.