In his directorial debut, Steven S. DeKnight with producer Guillermo Del Toro, bring you the second film in the Pacific Rim franchise. In 2035, ten years after the battle of the breach (also the setting for the first film), this movie follows Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, who makes a living selling and stealing Jaeger parts on the black market. His misadventure leads him smack bang to the path of a 15-year-old Jaeger building prodigy, Amara Namani, whose self-built Scrapper has a run-in with the Pan-Pacific Defence Corps – and both are arrested. Jake’s adopted sister, PPDC Secretary General Mako Mori, helps Jake avoid prison by having him train Jaeger program cadets, with Amara serving as one of his recruits. Thrown into the mix is Shai Corporation’s drone program, which mass produces Jaegers, who are the forerunners for shutting down the original man-piloted fighting machines after Mako is killed by Jaeger Obsidion Fury. But that’s not all, Kaiju brains are being cloned in the drone production program – and all goes pear shaped when Kaiju-Jaeger hybrids wreak havoc in Tokyo.
I really loved the first Pacific Rim film. It took the genre of man vs. monster to the level and expectation we all wanted: more massive monsters, with more action, more of the time. Having said that, I was looking forward to watching the second instalment. I also wondered how they would stretch the story beyond what worked so well for the first film. I must say, the idea was great and the execution even better. To pull in original characters into differently motivated roles was rather cool. The fact that the concept of the Kaiju had evolved was also a great angle. And of course, that the sentiment of man’s capitalisation on both mother nature and machine never ends well, was a solid running representation throughout the film.
The film lagged slightly, more so because of the disconnect of likeable characters that don’t feature in the film. This is because the character isn’t fully developed, and so at the end of the day, you care more about wanting to see a ferociously magnificent Kaiju in every scene over what becomes any of the characters behaving more like talking heads throughout the film.
THE (MASSIVE) CHERRY ON TOP
There are so many bonus features packed into the DVD release, so you might have to take a real moment to enjoy it all. I must say, I quite enjoy watching scenes that have commentary by the film director – a feature not new in concept, but still something that you have to get used and of course, and which you will only find with the DVD or Blu-Ray releases. Pacific Rim also has a ton of deleted scenes. You can enjoy them along with director Steven DeKnight.
- Hall of Heroes – an insight to all the best of the best Jaegers in the film.
- Bridge to Uprising – a look at how the creators of the film managed a realistic follow-up to the first film.
- The Underworld of Uprising – where does the backdrop of the film play out, where Jaeger parts are being harvested, 10 years later, in the wild west zones and remains of the destruction in the first film.
- Becoming Cadets – the new breed of Jaeger cadets. Younger, fresher, and more passionate about the war against the Kaiju.
- Unexpected Villain – you know me. I love a good villain. And this villain doesn’t come cheap! A turn for the worst from one of our favourite characters from the first film.
- Next Level Jaegers – a badass tribute to the new line of Jaegers. Next Level indeed. More efficient. More agile. Overall, more hardcore. The visual arts department had their work cut out for them.
…and a whole lot more of course.
Pacific Rim Uprising is available now on DVD from Next Entertainment. For other movie reviews, check them out and like their page on Facebook.