As a pre-birthday treat, I got to see Pacific Rim: Uprising with the family on the 31st. And it was a good movie. Genuinely a bit of fun. The story follows on from the previous Pacific Rim, being set 10 or so years later after the big victory. They’re still using Jaegars for various bits and pieces, mainly just policing but only seem to have like 5 of them total. And there’s enough scrapyards everywhere that some random kid manages to build a small, single-pilot one. Anyway, there’s been no activity but they’re still training people just in case and this company’s gone and made drones that are remotely piloted, in order to replace the traditional 2-man Jaegars. Of course none of this goes to plan and the Kaiju end up coming back. It’s a bit slow getting to the actual fights between mechs and monsters, but there’s a nice collection of fights along the way.
I’ll be honest right now. If you’re expecting an amazing story with amazing characters and amazing writing, then why are you watching this movie. Pacific Rim: Uprising is a fun action flick with big monsters and big robots.
There IS some credit due though. While pretty much every plot twist in the movie is pretty obvious and teased early on, there’s one twist – who the main baddie is – that is actually pretty cool. You might have some suspicions, but it’s somewhat pleasant for there not to be an in-your-face bad guy until they’re properly revealed.
More credit is also due for the lack of a major love story. The first Pacific Rim movie had a little bit too much “oh i love you oh we’re emotional” bollocks and not enough massive fights. This movie had the same sort of cheese, but it was family love rather than lovey dovey love, and it felt fine. Sure, the characterizations were a bit generic, there’s your standard set of personality types, but almost everyone is a redeemable character and you don’t want to relentlessly punch anyone for being too annoying.
My only criticisms? The massive robots just aren’t strong enough. They so easily get wrecked by the big monsters. Like, every single time. It hardly ever feels like a fair fight, even when fighting mostly normal Kaiju, and generally it feels almost like luck when the Jaegars win, because you can’t really see the Kaiju taking damage, they don’t get thrown around and don’t seem to take blows the same way the mechs all do.
The action WAS a lot better though. The cameras were less shaky and the fights in general were slower, giving us more time to actually process what is going on. The fact that the robots were all mostly colour-coded helped matters a lot.
Really, there could have been a little bit more action. Us humans seem incredibly weak basically all the time, relying on last-ditch efforts. Sure that’s what humans always seem to do but you’d think we’d be a little bit more ready to go.
Also the dead were… kinda ignored. You kinda have to ignore the dead people because cities are being destroyed here, but several secondary characters kicked the bucket too and they kinda just, well, people ignored them. Then again, there was a fucking huge monster rampaging through cities.
Still, they’ve left the whole thing somewhat open-ended, which means we may or may not get a sequel. Which will be great if those Jaegars get a ton of improvements, because I really doubt that humans can stand yet another attack any time soon.
At the end of the day, it’s a fun action flick. That’s about it. You shouldn’t expect anything else, but if you keep your expectations to a normal level, then you will enjoy the film immensely. Considering the fact that Pacific Rim: Uprising is a pretty short movie with no messing around, it’s worth watching if you want to see big fights between big robots and big monsters.