pacific rim

Stars: 3.5/5

The sequel to the 2013 fantasy/action film “Pacific Rim” did not disappoint. “Pacific Rim Uprising” managed to stay true to the original film while adding a youthful element to the plot. This film is made for the next generation.

The film follows the child of Idris Elba’s character from the 2013 film, Stacker Pentecost. His son, Jake, has lived his entire life trying to prove how he is different than his father and more than just a name. Jake is played by “Star Wars” actor John Boyega.

While the audience was led to believe that the alien threat from the first film had been indefinitely subdued, it was only the beginning.

The 2013 “Pacific Rim” movie had such a simple feel to it. Though it was a good movie, a lot of the acting seemed forced, and the plot came across as less than original. The writers stepped up their game for this sequel. The actors were more polished, and the plot had such an intellectual spin. You are no longer just watching giant Jaegers (robots) fight Kaiju (alien monsters) — you are watching a storyline play out.

Everything about this film exceeded expectations. With only knowledge of the first film to go off of, you would expect to watch another film full of explosions tied together by a loose plot. Instead, you get a film with a thick intricate plot line with appropriate action scenes and room for emotional connections to the characters.

Of course there was the dreaded motivational speech thrown in at the end that sounded eerily similar to that given by Elba’s character in the 2013 film. Still, the speech somehow felt like a call to action and not just for those in the film. There are few actors who can correctly execute the cheesy motivational speech without making it corny, and Boyega is one of them. Instead of eliciting a cringe deep in your soul, you’ll want to sit up a little taller in your seat or go out and fight what’s oppressing you.

The only off-putting thing was how focused they were on making it different from the first film. While no one wants to sit through a sequel exactly like the previous film, the writers and producers could have made it a smoother transition. Throughout the film, Boyega’s character is saying that he is not like his dad and how a name is just that — a name. It felt like they were trying to force the audience to believe it was a different film when they could have just made it different. Still, it was understandable to approach it like this because Jake’s attitude is to be expected of a teenage boy who’s constantly being forced to become just like his dad. In a way, he exhibits feelings that we have all felt at one point in our lives. No one wants to live their life in the shadows of the parents.

The film was great as far as sequels go. The effects were definitely improved, and the film was not only a continuation, but also an addition to a story that may be far from over. There’s an added element to the film that will have you guessing until the very end, and if you’re a fan of noble sacrifice, this film may or may not be for you. You’ll just have to watch to find out.

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