The cinema at Hoyts Norwood was packed to capacity for the Australian premiere of ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ on Wednesday. While you don’t need to have seen the first in this franchise for ‘Uprising’ to make sense, it does help, and the first ‘Pacific Rim’ is on Netflix if you want to catch up. However, make sure you do see this one at the cinemas, especially in 3D, it’s the way these monsters and machines were supposed to be enjoyed.
The premiere begins with a short introduction from star and producer John Boyega welcoming us from Sydney where keys scenes of the movie are set. If you found it hard to get a sense of just how big the jaeger robots were in the first movie, it’s awe inspiring to see them again against the backdrop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The jaegers are between 250 to 280 feet tall, which has them towering over the Opera House, and coming in just over half the height of the Bridge, and it’s great to see the Sydney skyline of the future. You will also get to see some Kaiju on the big screen as we drift through the memories of the characters.
Set 10 years after ‘the apocalypse was cancelled’ we follow Jake Pentecost (Boyega) whose father is one of the heroes of the first movie which saw the monsters defeated, and the breach between Earth and the alien world of the Kaiju closed. Clearly haunted by his father’s legacy Pentecost is quick to point out that he’s not his father, and it’s just a name. Pentecost then befriends/mentors Amara Namani, a young girl with a special affinity with the jaeger, and who has a fan-girl reaction to seeing the decommissioned stars of the war with the Kaiju.
Of course, in true action sci-fi style, all is not as calm as it seems after the war, and what the movie lacks in plot complexity it makes up for in the return of favourite quirky characters, one-liners and a few poignant twists to highlight the dangers of living too much inside your own mind. ‘Uprising’ also has a more genuine and natural feel to the dialogue and character interactions than the first movie, which could have to do with the more experienced actors, or simply the fact that while part of the movie was set in Australia, no one was trying to imitate the Aussie accent.
If you enjoyed the first movie, then ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ won’t disappoint, and you will be left feeling that while we are not our parents and we do make our own destiny, our family is always a part of us.
Vanessa De Lisio