The original Pacific Rim was great. It made it into my top 10 movies of 2013 list (and looking back at that list it should have been higher) and is the closest thing we have to a decent American anime movie. So back then I was hopeful for a sequel… then I found out del Toro wasn’t directing it… and that Rinko Kikuchi was barely going to be in it…
I have… mixed opinions on this movie. For the most part it’s alright, a huge downgrade from the original but the new characters are likeable and played by talented actors. But I have issues, and in order to talk about them I’m going to have to go into spoilers. So if you don’t want this movie spoiled for you stop reading this review now.
They killed off Maki Mori. And it’s not a fitting character death near the end of the film, she dies in a helicopter crash early in the movie with the main effect of her death being that John Boyega’s character (her step brother Jake Pentecost) is sad for a couple of scenes. I’d like to remind you Mako was one of the things people (myself included) praised about the first film to the point the Mako Mori Test was created to make up for flaws in the Bechdel Test. If a Pacific Rim sequel needed to do anything it was give her more screentime. To make it worse the last act of the movie is a fight scene in Japan and none of the new main characters are Japanese.
The action scenes are cool but nothing memorable and the Kaiju really don’t look as cool in the daytime when their glowing parts don’t really stick out. It just doesn’t have that love for the mecha/kaiju genres the original had. So even ignoring Mako’s death the overall experience is just an average action movie, not worth going to see in the cinema unless you have the ability to see if for free through a cinema membership like Limitless.