PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING. Directed by Steven S. DeKnight, with John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Rinko Kikuchi, Tian Jing, Caelee Spaeny and Burn Gorman.

THERESA SMITH reviews

Pacific Rim Uprising is a sequel no one asked for, but that fans of the first film deserve.

Though it follows a predictable adventure film pattern, it never pretends to be anything other than a huge action set piece made for the big screen.

This is not cerebrally challenging sci-fi such as Arrival or Annihilation, this is an excuse for gigantic robots to stride through cities chasing even larger sea monsters with maximum damage inflicted to sets, robots and monsters.

In many ways this film is everything that we wish Transformers would be – tightly choreographed fight sequences (where Transformers sprawls all over the place) with a coherent storyline that makes sense (where Transformers muddles along just to get the giant mecha from one scene to the next in order to fight some more).

Uprising picks up the story 10 years after the events of the first film.

Instead of Idris Elba holding everyone together, now we have John Boyega as a reluctant hero and mentor.

Spectacular creature design

As Jake Pentercost, son to Elba’s heroic Stacker Pentercost, Boyega is self-deprecating and charming as he reluctantly teaches a new generation of Jaeger pilots to work together.

While the sea monsters of the first film disappeared when the rift between worlds was closed, there are other obstacles to overcome, and well – you come for the giant robots and there are several.

Featuring some spectacular creature design, this fantasy adventure is loud. Things crash and break and people spend a lot of time running away. While Guillermo del Toro created a deep sense of imagination to the first film, director Steven S de Knight keeps things firmly grounded in this world, simply retreading familiar material.

Still, the unexpectedly good one-liners are funny and the film is surprisingly self-referential. It is all about the spectacle, and on a really big screen with great sound (the preview at Canal Walk’s cinema 11 with an excellent Dolby Atmos system really helped) it delivers.

Don’t go watch if you want intricate plotting or a deep characterising, but if you want to watch gigantic robots fight, this is for you.

What: Pacific Rim: Uprising
Classification: 13 LV
Running Time: 111 minutes
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