I had a day off by myself the other day so I decided to indulge and watch a double bill of two films I really wanted to see; Pacific Rim: Uprising and Ready Player One. A pretty good pairing as both are sci-fi action films and both were perceived to fail in the run up to their release. They are however, pretty good, find out what I thought about both films below.
Pacific Rim: Uprising
I am a big fan of the first Pacific Rim but unfortunately not many people went to see it in the cinemas; so, when a sequel was announced there was no doubt that it was going to go through some changes. The changes ripped away the grittiness of the lived-in world of the original, making way for a brighter and more colourful setting. The clunky Jaegers have been replaced with newer and more agile versions and the main characters have been replaced with a younger cast, although more in tune with the premise’s anime roots. Despite these rather large changes to the aesthetic of the film, it’s still very enjoyable and although not as good as the first - still a worth sequel. It doubles down on the stupidity of the original and really has a lot of fun with it. There are elements that don’t work, dialogue is not this film’s strongest suit and some of the new characters are unfortunately treated more like objects or are a bit bland. Don’t worry however, John Boyega is the charming glue that keeps this film together. Any problems this film has mostly get forgotten in the great spectacle, something that Pacific Rim still does very well.
Ready Player One
Like many I was worried about Spielberg’s adaption of Ready Player One. The first trailer looked more style over substance with an overload of references to make pop culture fans go “I know that!”. Had the master lost his touch? No and I feel very stupid right now for ever thinking so. The book is not the most loved novel in the world - I haven’t read it but I have heard that Spielberg has been able to take the elements that work and master a greater more resonant story out of it. The world itself is great; not too unbelievable to what could happen as we see video games and virtual reality taking massive steps everyday towards something extraordinary. The film is mainly set in the video game world known as ‘Oasis’; this means the film is pretty much 80% animated and it looks awesome. With it being a video game, the animation does not have to be photo realistic and allows for a lot of creativity within setting and action. And yes, this is also where the pop culture characters are thrown about together on screen as players online avatars. Although reference heavy, it does not take away from the breath-taking action and true heart of the storyline. It’s unlike anything I have ever seen before and really captured the spirit of what it is like to be a ‘gamer’. I also saw it in 3D - one of the first films I’ve seen in this format since Gravity and I must say it really heightened the experience; creating great contrast between the live action and animated scenes. Spielberg has still got it. Go and see this film.
What did you think of these films? Love them, hate them? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!