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Film Review: “Pacific Rim: Uprising” (2018) ★★★


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How high are our expectations when it comes to sequels? What do we need to see in the follow-up film to like it more than the original one? To make this question even more challenging, I will ask you to think of it in this way. Do you remember your first kiss? That feeling of the first achievement – the first step in mature life? Impossible to forget, is it not? Now, anything that comes afterward, is just a big “meh”, right? I know, I am exaggerating a little bit, but this mindset has helped me a lot as I went to watch the preview of “Pacific Rim: Uprising.” Even though it is a complete mess, it’s a nice one.

The events of this film start ten years after the final battle of the Breach where the heroic actions of Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) saved the humanity from the Kaiju monsters. The world is now enjoying the calamity and peace, taking it for granted. In this film, Stacker’s son Jake Pentecost (John Boyega) keeps himself busy stealing and selling Jaeger parts on the black market. He justifies it by saying he needs to make money for living. After the Pan-Pacific Defence Corps arrest him, his adopted sister Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) makes him an offer he finds possible to refuse. As a result of it, we see Jake (Scott Eastwood) return to the Defence Corps as a ranger instead of serving his prison sentence.

Jake begins training the new pilots. However, his relationship with his co-pilot Nate is tense due to the fact that the latter is dating his ex-girlfriend, Jules (Adria Arjona). Luckily, that plotline is not fully developed. But leaving that piece of the story aside, they soon learn how to communicate with each other and turn into excellent teammates. Thanks to the newly developed technology by the Shao Industry, supervised by Liwen Shao (Tian Jing) and Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day), the program offers an impressive opportunity. As the company waits for confirmation to exploit their newly created drones, an attack on a big and undefeatable Jaeger takes place in Sydney, Australia. This prompts to take quick action which leads to another disastrous war to save – once again – the same planet we happily live in.

With so many things going on at the same time in the film, it is hard to follow what is really happening in most of the scenes. The number of visual effects and non-stop battle scenes leaves the human side of the story out. That is the main glitch in the storyline. It looks like there has been so much extra money for this film, that the creators did not know where else to spend it. Thus, they ended up wasting more money on all these mind-blowing visual effects. Of course, those effects were not bad at all, but added little to the story, and could’ve otherwise been spent on other projects.

The concept of “Pacific Rim: Uprising” is yet another proof of what I personally believe in – nothing can destroy our planet from the outside, except for those who live inside it, which is us – the humans. The storyline contains an interesting message. At least, I have been able to notice it – no matter how hard one tries to defeat the evil, it always comes back stronger and stronger, because the one who takes a defensive position has more to lose than the ones who strike. I guess I’ll leave you alone with this thought to decide for yourself whether you are on the side of the good ones or bad guys and whether you want to watch this film or not. Whatever your decision is, will always be respected with no doubts.

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