The modern age master of monster movies Guillermo del Toro (winner of the Academy Award for best picture in 2017 for THE SHAPE OF WATER), in 2013 created a dazzlingly irresistible monster robot spectacle PACIFIC RIM. The follow up – PACIFIC RIM UPRISING sees the maverick taking the back seat as producer and we get a bigger, dumber and an all explosion with dim witted reasons in this “Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots” dance in the 2018 helmed by Steven S. DeKnight famous for writing television episodes of SPARTACUS: WAR OF THE DAMNED, DARE DEVIL.
What Guillermo del Toro did with the jaegers and the Kaiju monster in PACIFIC RIM, Steven S. DeKnight just simplifies them adding zero innovations in this monsters versus biomechanical warriors saga. All happens over here – explosions after explosions, things crashing, building collapsing, people running for shelter and miraculously no one is hurt by the big bang boom (nor does the audience get the feel of the required connection, excitement and tension).
So, after ten years, the jagers are up against a new kind of Kaiju (for that you will have to watch the film and serve the purpose of the makers). Steven S. DeKnight’s PACIFIC RIM UPRISING is minus 2013 prime faces Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba. John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) stars as the rebellious Jake Pentecost, a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the monstrous “Kaiju.” Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through our cities and bring the world to its knees, he is given one last chance to live up to his father’s legacy by his estranged sister, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi)-who is leading a brave new generation of pilots that have grown up in the shadow of war. As they seek justice for the fallen, their only hope is to unite together in a global uprising against the forces of extinction. Jake is joined by gifted rival pilot Lambert (The Fate of the Furious’ Scott Eastwood) and 15-year-old Jaeger hacker Amara (newcomer Cailee Spaeny).
With the TRANSFORMERS series going bad to worse, PACIFIC RIM UPRISING is a better option for those who love TRANSFORMERS and for a change we find jägers fighting jägers. At some level Steven S. DeKnight tries to give justice to the vision of Guillermo del Toro on celluloid but it later it turns into a cartoonish follow up that loses its cinematic value rapidly and ends up as a comic book on screen primarily designed to achieve the numbers at the box office.
Actors try their level best to salvage some pride but in vain, John Boyega plays the son of the legendary warrior Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) but the writing puts him down leaving him to be on his own. It seems there was no ‘Plan B’ for this hurried instant noodle follow up that fails to realize the potential and vision established by Guillermo del Toro in 2013.
Guillermo del Toro vision was based on the Japanese monster flicks of the golden era – GODZILLA that had a flair for melodrama and grandiose imagery. This one invests a whooping 150 million to produce an on screen manual to the world on how to create a pointless sequel.