• 07 Apr - 13 Apr, 2018
  • Farheen Jawaid
  • Reviews

Guillermo del Toro’s 2013’s fantastic monster-fighting-giant-robot hit Pacific Rim is back with a sequel – and the entire movie just proves the notion that when you don’t have a visionary at the helm, things can go stale and generic really fast. While del Toro is the producer, Pacific Rim Uprising is directed by television veteran Steven S. DeKnight.

The reason why original Pacific Rim worked was because it had the gleeful love for all things old and corny, yet setting the action and plot twisting around each other. The film never let the entertainment meter go down. It is the same case of all of del Toro’s past works, like Hellboy and presently The Shape of Water.

So without del Toro, Uprising just has to do with generic stuff and barely makes it pass its running time without offending anyone to a degree of hate that might hurt future additions to the film series (if there are any).

The plot opens ten years after the last movie. The Kaiju (Monsters) attacked cities are rebuilt, but some parts are left in ruins, littered with debris and bones of Kaijus from past battles. There are no Kaiju’s to kill anymore after the climax of the last movie.

It is here that we meet the son of Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), Jake Pentecost (John Boyega), a rogue hot-head who wants nothing to do with his father glory. An aimless youth, Jake steals parts from ruined Jaegers (the robots) and sells them, and parties with a love for food. Soon though, he is stopped and arrested with a young hacker, Amara (Cailee Spaeny) who has made a mini Jaeger from throwaway parts of bigger Jaegers.

Jake and Amara are coerced to join by Jake’s adopted sister Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi); its either military service or serve jail time, she bluntly tells them. So unwillingly, they join the Pan-Pacific Defense Corps, (PPDC for short) – an organisation that is training people for future confrontations with the mysterious world of Kaiju.

Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day) and Dr. Hermann Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) also return along with Mori.

Nate (Scott Eastwood) is the co-pilot with Jake, who is sulky and brooding. Amara is thrown with the cadets to be trained to work in the field of Kaiju killing. There is also a Jaeger controlled from other nefarious people who want to take over the Jaeger program and introduce their own drone Jaegers.

Pacific Rim is a colour by number actioner with close to no depth, no character chemistry, or actor synergy. The cast just deliver their lines on cue and move on. Again it’s not offensive to the senses; it is simply a generic popcorn actioner that reminds me more of Power Rangers.