I honestly loved the first movie. It was interesting in a way that the male and female lead didn’t have to develop a romantic relationship with each other. The female lead, Mako actually inspired the Mako Mori test in which to measure the presence of women. Going off topic here but stay with me. The tests aren’t perfect because they are merely used to ascertain the role of the presence of women in a film. There was first the Bechdel test where 3 conditions have to be met:
1. The film has at least two female characters that have names
2. The two female characters talk to each other
3. The topic between the two has to be something other than a man
and a fourth one was suggested: 4. The two female characters have to talk to each other about something other than a man for more than 60 seconds.
Pacific Rim’s Mako Mori test gives recognition to female characters that are strong and well-developed but don’t talk to each other. The test analyzes film in the following conditions:
1. At least one female character
2. The character gets her own arc
3. The arc does not support a man’s story
So yeah, Mako made the first movie all the more awesome. The sequel however, leaves a lot to be desired. The trailer kind of was like a warning sign already because of all the mecha going on and the lack of the previous characters in the first movie. But I watched the sequel because of peer pressure (HAH!) and curiosity. Mostly peer pressure, though.
The movie stars Pentecost’s son, Jake (John Boyega) that was never mentioned in the first movie. There wasn’t much time put into the movie for any character development, really. His backstory was iffy at best and Mako Mori appeared for what seemed like 15 minutes of the movie. There wasn’t a smooth flow to the scene sequence which kind of made it feel rushed and gave me whiplash at times. The apocalypse was cancelled and yet, there are kids in Jaeger pilot training and talks of drones. Hmmm. The appearance of Liwen Shao was a little puzzling because, where the hell did she come from? I mean, the lack of backstory was really starting to make me uncomfortable, guys. Her life’s work, drone Jaegers? Okay, moving on.
There were just too many plot holes to consider in this movie regarding the plans of the Precursors (also, the term was never mentioned in the first movie) for planet Earth and the movement of Kaiju where they rushed through an analysis where apparently they all seem to be heading towards a single target all along (in the first movie, the appearing of Kaiju was always random and some just seem too far for Mt. Fuji to be plausible as a target). I am a little miffed at the lack of explanation about the whereabouts of Raleigh Beckett. Did he die or retire or went missing? WHAT? I see a memorial wall where Stacker and the pilots of Cherno Alpha are on (from what I can see in that quick glimpse, anyway). BUT where’s Raleigh? His name was mentioned on and off but his fate was never revealed.
This sequel kind of felt like it was mocking and belittling the sacrifice of the pilots in the first movie. The jibe about the Pentecost’s speech ticked me off a little and the speech made by his son just kind of fell flat for me. The movie is all about mindless action and not-so-much about the plot. This just felt lazy to me. I’ve seen movies where it’s all action but at least it was more believable and wasn’t too rushed. Uprising kind of felt like it was trying to bridge the world of the first movie with this one but it kind of fell short and the action scenes just wasn’t spread out or arranged as smoothly as I would have liked. If you like action, then this movie is just right for you. Disregard the hole-riddled plot – it’s a lost cause – and you’re good to go.
Acting: 6/10 (boosted by John Boyega)