This week it was Pacific Rim: Uprising. Somehow I missed the Giant Robot versus Kaiju craze. I’ve never seen any of the anime, never read the manga, never really was that interested in it. And I wasn’t that keen on seeing Pacific Rim: Uprising – I hadn’t seen the first one because I thought it would break my brain (physics doesn’t work like that). So it came as a surprise to me when I absolutely loved it. I just loved seeing Giant Robots fighting. I liked seeing these huge machines dominating the battlefield until whaaaa – an EVEN BIGGER robot comes out dwarfs absolutely everything. I get the appeal now; it’s very fun.
Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, reunites with Mako Mori to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including rival Lambert and 15-year-old hacker Amara, against a new Kaiju threat.
I have a soft spot in my heart for movies that can play with scale well. Independence Day: Resurgence did it, Kong: Skull Island did it and I’m pretty sure the entire Jurassic Park franchise is based on this trick. Colossal things are (literally) awesome and we love watching them. Pacific Rim: Uprising does this very well too – we are introduced to large things and they seem amazing until something else comes in that’s an order of magnitude bigger and suddenly the game has changed. That happened more than once and I can tell you, it did not get old.
They knew what they were doing with casting. John Boyega is a handsome man- I like him better as a bad boy. Charlie Day is a handsome man, too. Scott Eastwood is a very handsome man. They even had some fan service, brief and perfunctory (and none of the above mentioned boys) but it was there nonetheless. I should also mention some of the gals – I really liked Cailee Spaeny and her character, the Jaeger fangirl who finds herself in the job of her dreams, and Tian Jing was magnificent as the Ice Maiden CEO with Big Plans.
I liked the writing too, it can’t be easy to come up with a decent plot for Giant Robots Fight Monsters, at least a second time. This sequel did what sequels were supposed to do – give you more of the same only better while also expanding on the original concept, It was perfectly paced. We knew what all the characters wanted and why. There were some weird things too, like why were they speaking Mandarin and referring to Kaiju (which is Japanese)? Why does a robot need more than one person to pilot it? How did they get an entire city into bunkers in 30 seconds and why is it okay to destroy the city when that happens? Maybe some of these were addressed in the first movie, I don’t know. If they are, then that’s the only problems they had – even as a sequel, Pacific Rim: Uprising works as a film on its own.
So is Pacific Rim: Uprising worth watching? Yep. So much so, that I’m definitely going to watch the first one to see what I missed. I was able to watch the entire thing without wondering why the robots weren’t crushed under their own weight (I must be growing as a person.) Of course, there isn’t much in the way of profound social commentary, the movie is forgettable as soon as the credits are rolling but I can forgive that. Or at least forget it right away.