Pacific Rim Uprising—Rising to the Task

Avery Seldin, Staff Writer

In 2013, Guillermo del Toro graced the world with Pacific Rim, a movie which, at its core was about humans trying to defeat giant monsters (Kaiju) from another dimension by using giant robots. This movie takes place ten years after the end of the first movie. Staring Jake Pentecost, the son of a character from the first movie, Stacker Pentecost, who starts off in criminal underworld. However, a chance meeting with a teenage girl named Amara thrusts Jake back into the world of Jaegers, the name of the giant robots, when a surprise rouge jaeger attack leads to the death of his half-sister, Mako, another character from the first movie.

In spite of new director, Steven S. DeKnight’s efforts, this movie does have some shortcomings. First is the lack of Jaeger vs Kaiju battles. The only time the Kaiju are actually fought is in the last ten minutes of the movie. A lot of the characters are severely underdeveloped, namely Jake’s copilot, Nate, as well as the other cadets that Amara befriends. Several parts from this movie are ripped straight out of the first one, and it shows. For example, Amara’s flashback scene is very similar to the Mako’s flashback scene from the first move. However, the biggest flaw in the movie is that the main character from the first movie, Raleigh, does not appear at all. This is very noticeable, as he is the only surviving main character from the first film not appear in this one.

The shortcomings this movie has doesn’t bring the film down much down that much. The story is much better, as it deals with someone trying to let the monsters back in, giving the story a bit of a mystery element, with the villain being a twist that I will not dare to spoil. Even without a lot of the Jaeger/Kaiju fights that made the first movie great, the better story makes up for it. The final fight is amazing, giving us the Kaiju vs Jaeger that made the first movie great. There is also a fight between Jake and Nate’s robot, Gypsy Avenger, and a hybrid Jaeger/Kaiju fusion, which is just as good. This movie is also a lot more lighthearted, which works with the who film is targeted towards. The relationship between Jake and Amara is adorable, as they develop a brother/sister type relationship. Lastly, the movie leaves off on a huge sequel hook, which is always a plus if you want to see a film series continue.

Overall, this movie may not surpass the first one, but it’s a good movie in its own right. In spite of the complete lack of Kaiju vs Jaeger fights up until the last twenty minutes, the film makes up for it with a much more engaging story, the twists, and the final fight that makes the whole film worth it.

Final score: 4/5