Movie Review: ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’
Pacific Rim: Uprising is a 2018 action-adventure and science-fiction film that serves as the sequel to the 2013 film Pacific Rim. The film picks up ten years after its predecessor’s Kaiju War and focuses on the threat of the alien Kaiju returning to Earth.
In the opening scenes, the film introduces its two main protagonists, Jake Pentecost, who is an ex-Jaeger (robot pilot) cadet and son of the previous film’s self-sacrificing savior, Striker. And Amara Namani, a talented Jaeger builder orphaned from the Kaiju War. Amara’s talents and past run parallel to Mako Mori’s, the returning Jaeger pilot, now Jaeger pilot programme, who herself was orphaned during the war.
The film naturally shares many similarities with its forerunner. Action scenes with giant fighting robots and tension from the looming threat of Kaiju hold much of the screen time. Characters from Pacific Rim return and play central roles, both in saving and endangering the Earth. Pacific Rim: Uprising even enjoys the world-building that made the franchise so popular. Instead of creating only futuristic cities and black-markets, the aftermath of abandoned cities and factories-turned-junkyards is highlighted, if only momentarily.
The film is directed by Steven S. DeKnight, who enlists Pacific Rim’s director Guillermo del Toro as producer. Although the pair establishes strong parallels between the films, DeKnight ultimately takes a different direction by paying greater attention to building action scenes, rather than world-building. The decreased focus on world-building sees the film’s genre lean more towards action-adventure and away from science-fiction. This, in comparison with the previous film, leaves the impression that the film is unfinished.
The promise of the ‘Precursor’ alien world in the film’s final scene, is a sweet note that hints at more than robots and fighting. For fans of the franchise, Pacific Rim: Uprising cannot be missed, for fear of losing out on the action and on the plot, particularly as the finale may lead the franchise into another world.
For audiences who crave action, the film is a must-see and will not disappoint.