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.
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.
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.
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