Pacific Rim Uprising is the sequel to the 2013 film, Pacific Rim, directed by Guillermo del Toro but this sequel is directed instead by Steven S. DeKnight (cool name man) and it is also his first feature film directorial debut. Now, although del Toro serves as the producer, could this sequel actually shines brighter than the original without the original director? In this Pacific Rim Uprising review, we will find out how it fares below!
Ten years after the original movie, the son of one of the Jaegar pilot is captured when he tries to sell stolen Jaegar parts on the black market. However, he is given a choice to either go to prison, or serve as a new batch of Jaeger pilot that is tasked to fight off new Kaijuus that have once again terrorised the world! Could they survive this new ordeal?
Plot-wise, this movie is actually rather long and takes quite a while to start. The first half of the movie felt rather slow and had little to no sense of urgency, portraying a post-breach earth where everyone is living in “peace”. The apocalypse has indeed been canceled but it was not a good thing for the movie. The tone of the film takes a much more laid back and comical tone, very much like the protagonist who emphasises that he is nothing like his dad who was played by Idris Elba in the first film. But here’s my issue, I actually liked your dad and I liked the serious apocalyptic tone of the first film. Hence, the first half of this film just ended up feeling a bit like a joke when compared to the first film and it never quite shakes that mood off even when things pick up in the second half.
Character-wise I will say that most of the cadets come off as very one dimensional and though there is some sense of camaraderie, the reason for that is never quite shown and it just sort of happens without some sort of plausible shared experience. I will say that John Boyega gives a very likable performance in tone with the film though I don’t really like the tone of the film but that’s no fault of his. Charlie day is another “standout” though I won’t say why because of spoilers. What they did with him felt rather campy though and once again it fits with the tone but there was potential for him to be much more intimidating then he actually is. The way the kaiju were brought back also felt very…… Illogical, like it didn’t quite seem plausible.
Also, the action scenes just didn’t have the heart of the first film and some of them felt quite hollow. I was not invested in the characters. The final climactic “showdown” was also quite… Well, anticlimactic to me to be honest. There was also an overuse of slow motion for the sake of slow motion.
Lastly, I am quite sure the jaegers have been scaled down greatly? They used to tower over buildings and stood knee deep in the ocean in the first film? In this film, the buildings Tower over them instead and they’re easily submerged? Idk they just feel smaller than the first film. Also, its gypsy avenger in this film while the first film the main Jaeger was named gypsy danger? So perhaps they really are different jaegers and that’s why. Still kind of lame though. Why would you make them smaller when the kaiju are getting bigger?