Pacific Rim Uprising is a 2018 Sci-Fi movie directed by Steven S. DeKnight and produced by Guillermo Del Toro, the director of the first Pacific Rim film that was released in 2013. Set several years from the epic war, it follows the apparent strife that brave Jaeger pilots and mankind in general experience with the resurgence of the Kaiju; a race of alien monstrosities that emerge from the depths of the Pacific Ocean and attack cities that lie along the shores of various continents.
2013’s Pacific Rim was a cinematic spectacle; there’s no disputing that. It falls into that “Avatar” category of films in that it did not have a compelling storyline but at the very least, you the viewer could invest in the fantastic visuals involving the brawls between the mechanically controlled Jaegers and the alien Kaiju. The latter had a perfect and emotional ending as well; one that I feel should not have given Legendary Pictures (The production company for the film franchise) any reason to make a sequel which they eventually did because that’s just how Hollywood works these days. When a movie, a Sci-Fi one more so, makes a lot of money in the Box Office, the associate production company will feel that tingling temptation to make a second one because their end game is to make money; there’s not much to it. That said, let’s delve into the acting performances of this sequel, shall we?
I think John Boyega who plays Jake Pentecost, put a lot of heart and character in playing the character; you could see how much he was trying to fill in the big shoes that his legendary father left behind even though he is considerably in denial about it. Additionally, he brought along that “Fin persona” from Star Wars as well as some good comedic moments that I substantially loved. Scott Eastwood was relatively great as Nate Lambert, Jake’s co-pilot; a bit of a smart-arse at times but professional when in a combat situation. Some of the original cast reprise their roles in this film and include among others, Dr. Herman (Burn Gorman), Mako Mori (Rinko Kikachi) and Dr. Newton (Charlie Day); all of whom didn’t particularly disappoint given the material at hand.
I had a hunch that there would be an exposition in this film and seeing it come to fruition was no surprise. I for one, as I might have mentioned in a previous review, am not entirely a fan of expositions as a good number of them are unnecessary and have a way of squeezing too much information about something or someone in such a short amount of time. I can forgive 2013’s Pacific Rim simply because it was the first one; there were too many pieces of the cinematic puzzle that needed to be acknowledged and fed to the audience and the best way it could have been done is through an opening exposition; which by the way was spectacular. This sequel, however, didn’t decidedly need one as it is a brief narration of what we already know coming into this film; the exception being the fact that apparently, the deceased leader of the Yaeger program Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) had a son.
To conclude, I’d say I was well aware of what I was getting into before watching Pacific Rim Uprising. I knew the plot would be lethargic and at the same time, I knew the visuals would be incredibly fantastic based on what its predecessor was able to pull off and thus I applaud the production design as well as the cinematography teams who, alongside the director, were quite evidently the essential cogs that kept this cinematic machine running the best it could.