MOVIE REVIEW: Pacific Rim Uprising (2018)

mar 31 - pacific rim uprising

A killer when it comes to CGI, Pacific Rim Uprising is a new installment that boasts dynamic battles between Jaegers and Kaijus, exceeding the vivid colors and fight scenes of the first movie.

The movie plot sets 10 years after Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) canceled the apocalypse. His “unmentioned” son, Jake Pentecost (John Boyega) continues the saga. Jake has disappointedly left the Jaeger pilot program and lived as a street-wise scavenger making a living out of stealing old Jaeger tech. One heist gets him in touch with Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny) who is a promising Jaeger pilot and technician, a child with a caliber creating a mini-jaeger out of scratch. Being both busted, Jake was offered to come back to the program to avoid being imprisoned. With hesitations, he accepts and he tags Amara along. This concretes the foundation of the story to an epic launch! With this background, the plot develops bringing out rouge Jaegers, drone technology, and fresh Kaijus to play with. The story intensifies as a hero-ally drifts toward helping Kaijus terraforming the Earth for their species to thrive in. The fight scenes are more vivid compared to the previous installment. It is a good idea to refrain from nighttime battles as it masks the colors of the picture. Bringing the battles to the cities instead of the ocean makes it more interactive as well.

Overall, I found the movie great, with CGI having developed tremendously in five years’ time. Nonetheless, I still want to make a few commentaries about the film based on the following factors: technology, setting, and the future of the franchise.

Pacific Rim Uprising movie john boyega

Technology

For me, the plot doesn’t feel like it happened 10 years from the last installment. I wasn’t able to identify a remarkable advancement in technology. The Jaeger transport system remains the same, so are the training facilities for the pilots. It would have been better if they were able to develop massive aircrafts for Jaeger transport instead of having several helicopters lifting the whole machine. I can only see three advancements in technology: Kaiju-blood propulsion, underground bunker transport, and drones that combine several monsters to one massive overpowered one. Sadly these are only shown at the end of the movie.

Setting

As far as the setting is concerned, I couldn’t be any happier; it is a wise decision to bring the main battle in Japan. It feels like a tribute to a child with dreams of piloting giant robots and slaying monsters while obliterating a whole cityscape. It feels nostalgic to see the final battle as I was able to recall so many cartoons under the same genre (Voltes V, Mazinger Z, Daimos, Ninja Robots, and so much more). That specific shot featuring a futuristic Gundam in Odaiba is such a huge fan service!

Future of the Franchise

The movie is great without a doubt, and I would like to see a sequel. However, I can only look forward to this franchise being a trilogy. I believe any prequel developing another arc will only dilute the story. It is very likely that this franchise will suffer the same destiny as The Transformers Series which massively went out of hand.

Pacific Rim Uprising movie

With all these, enjoy Pacific Rim Uprising! It is a movie for the family. Relive the geek inside of you!


4 out of 5 stars


Die-hard horror fan directs twisted terrifying movie ‘Ghostland’

“Ghostland” is an upcoming horror movie directed by Pascal Laugier where someone’s dreams become a nightmarish reality. The movie trails the tragic fate of a mother and her two daughters after inheriting a house from a relative who died. Colleen and her daughters during their first night encounters murderers in their new home. Fighting to save her daughter’s lives, the girls suffer a terrible trauma night and their disparate personalities diverge even further.

The eldest daughter, Beth, is said to become a famous horror author with a perfect family and life in Los Angeles, while her sister, Vera, can’t cope, and loses her mind faced to an unshakable sense of paranoia. Sixteen years later the daughters and mother reunite at the house where Colleen and Vera continue to reside. It is then that strange events begin to take place.

French director and screenwriter Pascal Laugier, began his career with the two short films Tête de citrouille (1993) and 4ème sous-sol (2001). He kicked off his career in 2011 as assistant director of Christophe Gans’ period-fantasy-action film Brotherhood of the Wolf, where he also directed the ‘making-of’ documentary about the film.A die-hard fan of the horror movie genre, Laugier then directed Saint Ange (2004), the infamous cult movie Martyrs (2008), adored by the horror audience, and The Tall Man (2012), his first English speaking film starring Jessica Biel.

“I am a huge movie fan, and I’m one of those filmmakers who can’t neglect their cultural baggage! My first film, ‘Saint Angel’ was completely referential and closed on itself, I filmed “the cinema that I loved” instead of actually making my own, but it was definitely a necessary step to make… I don’t deny any of it, but since then, I now try to approach projects from my own angle and personal experiences. Today, it is rather the comments of others around my films that makes me think of other references. If there is anyone that I took inspiration from in “Incident In A Ghost Land”, then I think Tobe Hooper’s spirit left a mark on me- watching his movies made me think of my beloved Lovecraft… on set! The iconoclastic and macabre madness dimension of his movies, especially in the very underrated ‘The texas chainsaw massacre 2’, undoubtedly gave me confidence in what I was doing. It reassured me by constantly reminding me that the greatest ‘honor’ of a horror movie is that of toeing the mark. When you have doubts about making films of such singular kind, the thought of making something ‘unacceptable’ or even ‘void’ can really help you move forward. So ‘“Incident In A Ghost Land” aka Ghostland is also the expression of the return of the repressed and perhaps of my ‘darkest side’ (laughs). Anyways, if you’re afraid of displeasing by doing horror movies, then you should do something else,” reveals the director on his inspiration on making horror films.

“Ghostland” is now showing in Philippine cinemas from Axinite Digicinema.