I went out to the theater last night with a friend to check out Pacific Rim Uprising. Having not seen the first one, I was curious about this one, especially since the last giant monster movie I’d watched was Godzilla 2000. All I was hoping for was an entertaining couple hours of watching robots fight monsters. This movie delivered. I went in with no expectations(having not seen the original), and was pleasantly surprised by how much fun this movie was.
For starters, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It felt like it knew what it wanted to be and just ran with it. The robots, or Jaegers, each require human pilots, who work together by linking minds to pilot and engage the monsters(kaiju). I also enjoyed that the movie doesn’t try to slow itself down and explain everything. As a movie goer, I’m ok with being expected to suspend disbelief for a couple of hours, and knowing that this is a movie and very much not real, I’m cool with that.
The movie begins ten years after the events of the original with our protagonist Jake Pentecost(played by John Boyega), stealing old jaeger parts to sell on the black market, when he meets Amara Namani(Cailee Spaeny), who has been stealing old jaeger parts to build her own jaeger. They both end up being taken into custody by the Pan Pacific Defence Corps. Jake becomes a trainer and Amara is brought into the training program. The Shao Corporation is about to unveil a new drone jaeger program to replace the existing human piloted units in the event the kaiju return. Of course, things take a turn for the worse at this point and the kaiju make a re-appearance.
I enjoyed the cast as a whole, especially John Boyega. He came across as that somewhat cocky slacker type guy that we’ve all met but couldn’t help but love. He also gets the most character growth out of all the characters. All told, he really shines here and is able to show off why he deserves to be a star. The rest of the cast is solid, but no one else stands out quite like he does.
All told, this was a fun popcorn flick. It’s not going to win a bunch of critical awards or anything like that, but it is going to entertain for a couple hours. I’m going to have to watch the original now, and hope for a sequel!