Pacific Rim Uprising is a science fiction action film; and the second film in the Pacific Rim series. The general plot focuses on aliens sending giant beasts, called Kaiju, into our world with the Human resistance fighting back against them in robots called Jaegers. Pacific Rim Uprising is welcoming to new viewers of the franchise: as it recaps the events of the first film. However, the exposition becomes tired and repetitive leaving you thinking, “I already know this” Therein lies this films greatest problem, it doesn’t justify its existence. Uprising adds little to the mythology set up by the first film, leaving a lot of questions unanswered. The screenplay is also noticeably weaker, with numerous plot threads that lead nowhere, and characters that are redundant. Chief among these redundant characters is Scott Eastwood’s Nate; who lacks all the charm of Charlie Hunnam’s co-pilot from the first film, being the cliché of a soldier in almost every regard. Furthermore, this poor character development is also shown by Jules, (played by Adria Arjona) with her character being nothing more than a love interest for Nate and Jake; which might I add is one of the most pointless subplots of the whole film. John Boyega has a strong performance as Jake Pentecost, lending an air of credibility to the film. Another mayor returning character from the first film is Charlie Day’s Newt. This film completely butchers his character: this is done by a late in the game plot twist that is beyond questionable. The recruits are handled much better, with the comradery between them all seeming real; with Ivanna Sakhno’s Vik being especially good. The relationship between the film’s two main stars in Jake and Amara, (Cailee Spaeny) feels incredibly generic and predictable. Something is lost by not having del Toro back to direct, with the direction in this film by Steven S. DeKnight being without identity. Uprising is DeKnight’s film debut, with his approach being far too indulgent with close up shots and an oddly placed montage sequence. This film has more in common with the Transformers series than it does the original Pacific Rim, with Uprising being an example of a film that sells its soul for mass appeal. If you are a fan of this series then give Uprising a miss, as it is a worn-out husk of the first film favouring spectacle over substance; with a surprising lack of Kaiju.
Reviewed by Luke