The illustrious mega monster scene has had better days. Gone are the rubber suits and the cheesy building explosions as they have been replaced by pure CGI overload. Asia definitely corners the market when it comes to grasping our fantasies with the larger-than-life monster and machine world. But Pacific Rim: Uprising was a pleasant surprise. I never did see the first one, but after watching the sequel, I will certainly be adding it to my queue.
There are some short falls with the film's development, but with just a small effort on the viewers part, this film delivers in ways that many other films in the genre do not. Take for instance the Transformers series. Growing up watching the cartoon series on Saturday morning was a pastime that I know I do not solely share, and when they began to make them into live action adaptations, I could not wait to see them with my family and friends. With each new installment, my taste for the series is becoming bitter to the point where I will no longer pay to see them in theaters. There is too much that they are trying to accomplish at the same time, and you feel half sick with information overload in every scene that it makes the experience nauseating. Uprising is very easy to follow.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am all about in-depth and complicated storylines, but Uprising is not very complicated at all and is just fun to watch. The fight scenes are not the focal point of the film, but when they arrive you find yourself cheering for the heroes. The "mega" scenes are also well directed and designed to flow in a way that is easy on the eyes. You are very aware of what is happening the entire time the scene is unfolding. If you have seen the Transformer series, then you know that when the natives of Cybertron transform, it almost hurts your brain to follow how it is even possible. I get that science fiction is science fiction, and so not everything needs to be understood, but the viewer should be able to make sense of what is in fact going on before their eyes—or at least eventually understand.
There are also some very fun elements to the science fiction element that give the robots and the pilots some necessary reality. The neural link that is needed by the pilots to efficiently fight as a team is an innovative tool to establish character credibility and affection. The film could have used a bit more character development, but it was not a necessity. I felt that I knew enough about the characters and the development flowed in a way that did not leave me half asleep.
After watching this installment, I am anxious to watch the first one and any sequels that the company decides to endorse. I would also highly recommend that you watch this film if you are a fan of the genre.
It is worthy to not that seeing Eastwood in action for the first time brought back some great memories of watching spaghetti westerns with my father. He didn't know that Scott was in the film, and it was the first time that we had seen him on screen together. The acting overall was nothing inspiring, but it did have some moments that were unexpected for a film of this caliber. I think that an element that would have made this film reach soaring heights would have had the first film star Clint in a way that would have allowed the son to enter into the PPDC (Pan Pacific Defense Corps). They did do this with the son of the character that Idris Elba played in the first film, Pentacost. Right now the movie is free to watch on Prime if you have an HBO subscription. I would highly recommend you give it a watch. Thank you for reading.