In Review: Pacific Rim: Uprising

Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, reunites with Mako Mori to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots

Synopsis: Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, reunites with Mako Mori to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including rival Lambert and 15-year-old hacker Amara, against a new Kaiju threat.

Review: When the first Pacific Rim movie came out back in 2013. I was a huge fan of the movie. In fact in my review of the film. I bigged it up as being the best movie experience I had enjoyed since seeing the original ‘Star Wars’. High praise indeed. But I stand by it to this day. It offered something up that was different and fun.

Unfortunately. This sequel, which is written and directed by Steven S. DeKnight didn’t have quite the same impact. While still an enjoyable film. It doesn’t quite work. John Boyega proves to be likable as Jake Pentecost the son of Stacker, but aside from Rinko Kikuchi returning as Mako, there is not a whole lot for fans of the original film to latch onto emotionally. The fact that Charlie Hunnam doesn’t return in any way as Raleigh Beckett is a bit disappointing. Especially given that so much was invested in his relationship with Mako in the first film. I mean he doesn’t even get a mention. 

Boyega’s onscreen rivalry with Scott Eastwood’s Nate Lambert provides some much needed comedic moments throughout the film. While the return of Dr. Newton Geiszler provides one of the films main twists, which when executed comes off as a little clumsy.

The films biggest issue is the lack of Kaiju action. They make a return towards the last 20 minutes of the film, but building up to it is lots of Jaeger on Jaeger action. As human controlled Jaeger’s take on the new and improved drone Jaegers, which just happen to be operated by the cloned secondary brains of Kaiju’s.

The return of Burn Gorman and Charlie Day as Hermann Gottlieb andDr. Newton Geiszler is welcomed, but unfortunately having them on opposite sides in the film removes the comedic fun that was had in the original film when the two were constantly bickering with each other. That said though. The way in which Newton is used makes sense as a character development that is built on from the first film.

Newcomer Cailee Spaeny as hacker and jaeger builder Amara provides a heroic character for younger moviegoers to get behind and also provides someone for Jake to mentor in a similar way to how his father acted as a mentor to Mako in the first film. In fact, Amara’s backstory is similar to that of Mako, but Amara has it a bit tougher.

Overall. Pacific Rim: Uprising does a fairly serviceable job of continuing the story that was started in the original movie and although the story is clunky in parts. The charismatic performance from John Boyega as the main lead carries the film.

If there is a third sequel, which might happen. I’d hope that we’d get a few more Kaiju battles.

Pacific Rim: Uprising
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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