The Kerala distributor of the movie Pacific Rim Uprising sensationalized the paper ad by calling it Transformers versus Godzilla. I don’t know whether the mind behind that caption got any chance to watch the movie prior to its release, but he or she was almost correct in my opinion. While the first one was a much detailed and layered take of a robot versus monster kind of movie, Pacific Rim Uprising feels more like an extension that doesn’t have much freshness to its credit.
So the story is set after ten years of the famous war victory which put an end to the Kaiju monsters. Stacker Pentecost’s son Jake is now living a life by stealing Jaegar parts in black market and he meets this girl Amara, who was making a small Jaegar. Both of them are eventually captured and Jake ultimately goes back to the PPDC along with the girl. Well the Kaiju war wasn’t over yet and in a surprise move the breach opens up again and our heroes this time has the mission to stop it again. How that process happens is what Pacific Rim Uprising dealing with.
The comparison with Transformers franchise sounds legit mainly because of the commercial aspirations of this movie. It is frequently going after set pieces featuring collateral damage of the world. They are trying in all the possible ways to make it look grander than the first one and at one point they even makes the Kaiju triple the size of the ones we have already seen. All these things are in a way limiting the film towards a cliché and it is only the logical plot elements already established in the first movie that saves Pacific Rim Uprising from not being a trash like the Transformers.
John Boyega was good as the son of Stacker Pentecost. The kind of attitude and experience one would expect in a character like that was there in his performance. In a sci-fi action film largely consumed by green screen action sequences and fully CGI visuals, it is really hard to appreciate actors for just gasping. Two performances that I managed to remember were from Burn Gorman and Charlie Day.
This is Steven S DeKnight’s feature film debut and he has certain associations with the transformers franchise. Here he isn’t adding anything interesting to the already existing structure. The story co written by him along with TS Nowlin is not so concerned about the idea of being coherent. The last fight sequence goes bigger and bigger in terms of scale while the logic of all those transformations were not explained. The compatibility of the pilots was a big deal in the first and here they seemed to have ignored those aspects in that end fight. The visual effects are great on a show reel level for the companies who did it. But the impact on the viewer is much similar to what we get to feel at the end of Batman Vs Superman and almost all the transformers movies.
Pacific Rim Uprising’s biggest plus is the fact that it had a prequel that established a lot of things which helps it from not being a Michael Bay movie. But DeKnight seems to have little interest in adding something of his own to a franchise that had Guillermo Del Toro’s signature.
Pacific Rim Uprising’s biggest plus is the fact that it had a prequel that established a lot of things which helps it from not being a Michael Bay movie.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended