‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ Review

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Pacific Rim Uprising is a sci-fi action film directed by Steven S. DeKnight in his feature-film directorial debut. It is the sequel to the 2013 film, Pacific Rim, directed by Guillermo del Toro, who acted as a producer on the sequel. The film stars John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, and Jing Tian, with Adria Arjona, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, and Burn Gorman returning from the original film. The story takes place 10 years after the first film and follows Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, as he trains a new group of Jaeger pilots to battle the returning Kaiju threat. The action in this film is great with all credit going to director Steven S. DeKnight. He knows how to craft fight scenes that keep the viewer from getting lost during all of the quick movement. The film makes good use of its brighter color pallet to show off a vibrant world that seems to be full of hope for the future. The acting in the film is fine with Cailee Spaeny standing out as Amara Namani. Namani lost her family to a Kaiju attack before the events of the first film. Spaeny portrays Namani as curious, tough, and very intelligent. It’s these traits, along with a bit of luck, that allow her to be accepted into the Jaeger program. John Boyega is likable and charismatic as Jake Pentecost. Jake is very different from his father and sister. He doesn’t care about being a hero or living up to his father’s legacy and would rather do his own thing. Scott Eastwood is fine as Nate Lambert, but the script doesn’t give him much to work with. He has a history with Jake that is touched upon but never fully explored. The film is very fun to watch but does suffer from a few faults. Considering that this is a sequel, you would expect a connection to the previous film. Despite some connections, a few things are left unexplained. Charlie Hunnam’s character from the first film, Raleigh Becket, is mentioned but does not make a single appearance. Seeing as he was a major character in the first film, the partner of Jake’s sister Mako, and he survived Battle of the Breach, it would have made sense for him to at least have a cameo. Some of the comedy works, but it does feel overused at times. There are some plot holes involving the villain’s plan in this film compared to the events of the previous film. The half-baked love triangle between Jake, Nate, and a mechanic feels out of place. We get a little time with the other cadets in the Jaeger program, but not enough to care for them when they head into the final battle. Also, while the Jaeger and Kaiju designs are nice and sleek, they have nowhere near the same variation that was present in the original film. I give Pacific Rim Uprising a Normal 6/10. It’s a fun popcorn flick that doesn’t quite capture the same dark and gritty tone as the original.

 

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