A few years ago, a film about giant robots battling it out with equally large Kaiju (Japanese monsters) would not only have caught my interest, but would have also had me forking out tens of dollars for cinema tickets to experience the film on the big screen.
These days, however, I’ve started to notice a decline in the quality of monster and robot films. I had hoped that Pacific Rim: Uprising would be the film to change that, especially after enjoying the first film. Unfortunately, the film just wasn’t up to scratch compared to its predecessor and cemented my viewpoint that films these days focus more on the action and CGI graphics than actual story and character development.
Pacific Rim: Uprising started on a high, with a seemingly interesting plot that depicts the Kaiju’s revenge. While the setup of the film was enticing and intriguing, somewhere along the way, the film turned on its heels and decided to forgo what could have been a decent tale, for maximum carnage.
Character development was subpar, and that’s putting it nicely. After being introduced to the main characters, Jake Pentecost (Jon Boyega), Nate Lambert (Scott Eastwood) and Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny), all three of whom were new characters that were not in the first film, I would have thought that more time would be spent developing each character and showing some depth. Instead the film managed to provide a broad understanding of each character and their personalities within the first half of the film, leaving little opportunity for them to truly grow.
Instead of plot and character development, Pacific Rim: Uprising focuses the bulk of its time on graphics, explosions, high-end technology and gregarious battles with alien monsters. Now don’t get me wrong, all of the above are brilliantly done and make for one heck of an action film, but alas, without any substance, even the most fantastic action sequences can turn out to be a bore.
That was, sadly, the case here. However, I must admit that seeing various types of Jaegars working together was cool and the CGI effects were top-notch. Not only that, but the new monsters were also larger than life and looked fantastic. Needless to say, Pacific Rim: Uprising certainly had the ‘Michael Bay’ factor, wherein the visuals were, without a doubt, a cut above the rest but lacking in substance in terms of story.
Overall, I was rather disappointed with Pacific Rim: Uprising. It’s been a long while since I’ve sat through an action film, thinking, “when can I leave?”. Unfortunately, that question certainly played on my mind throughout the duration of the film. Sure, it was visually attractive but that’s all the film had going for it. I’d give this one a skip.