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Pacific Rim: Uprising (3D & IMAX)


Stars: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Jing Tian, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Rinko Kikuchi, Adria Arjona, Karen Brar, Wesley Wong

Director: Steven S DeKnight

Better attention to the structure of the screenplay, as well as more emphasis on character and personality, help to make this a superior sequel to the 2013 original, even if, considering the thousands of technicians credited at the end, the effects generally aren't really that special.

The Kaiju monsters have been vanquished and Jake (Boyega), son of a hero who died in that war, is into scavenging spare parts when, after a narrow escape from gangsters, he encounters diminutive teenager Amara Namani (Spaeny) who has built her own jaeger (giant fighting machine). Soon, both find themselves dragooned into the current hi-tech robot programme in China, as a new menace looms on the horizon (or, rather, lurks in the Pacific depths).

Unknown to everyone, flaky Dr Geisler (Day) has been taken over by a Kaiju brain he keeps in a tank at home (as you do) and is bent on helping the aliens destroy humanity. Boffin colleague Dr Gottlieb (Gorman, more prominent than in the first film) is working at full stretch to thwart the new invasion when giant robots are followed by risen monsters - and the jaegers are called into action again, now piloted by Jake and Nate (Eastwood, recognisably the son of Clint, and with some of his father's rugged charisma).

Before long, things develop into a George and the Dragon-style finale on a megabucks budget.

Boyega gets some fun hip dialogue - 'You gotta make a good connection,' he tells loquacious cadet Amara. 'You can't do that if you're yappin' yer gums' - and he and the rest of the cast energetically provide clear-cut characters that almost make us forget that this is basically more of the same. Pacific Rim 3 is clearly foreshadowed in the final scene.

David Quinlan

Australia/USA/China 2018. UK Distributor: Universal. Color by Company C (FotoKem, Deluxe & Technicolor).
111 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 21 Mar 2018