Pacific Rim: The Black
Eric S Brown
The original Pacific Rim film brought big budget Mecha to the silver screen in America for the first time. It was an epic adventure of machines, monsters, and combat. Its sequel, Pacific Rim: Uprising, tried to recapture that magic but fell mostly flat, partly because the sequel misunderstood who its audience was. Pacific Rim: Uprising simplified its plot and world, targeting younger viewers, where as the fans who gave the original its success were actually viewers who had grown up with things like the Shogun Warriors, Godzilla, Voltron, etc. The fans who had rallied for a sequel after that first movie, for the most part, fell silent after Uprising and while Uprising did reach a few younger viewers, it wasn’t enough to make up for the film’s losses. The Black somehow got produced anyway and fans of both films will likely greatly enjoy the series.
Set years after the Pacific Rim movies, the Black picks up with Kaiju returning to war with the Earth once more. Australia has been overrun, its Jaeger compound, Shadow Base, has fallen, and everyone is scrambling to escape the continent. Two Jaeger pilots manage to save their children from the Kaiju’s attack on their city but are forced to leave them behind at a huge, enclosed oasis as they go in search of help. Their children, Taylor and Hayley Travis, spend five years at the oasis, creating a self sustaining community with other survivors there until one day they discover and old Jaeger beneath the oasis and accidently activate it. The noise and energy surge bring a giant Kaiju, codenamed Copperhead, down upon them, destroying their home. With no other real options, Taylor and Hayley set out in the old Jaeger, Atlas Destroyer, to find their parents and escape the barren wasteland of Australia encountering Mad Max style looters, more Kaiju, and something even stranger than the giant monsters along the way.
Pacific Rim: The Black at first glance might seem like a series that doesn’t have much to offer, and its trailer certainly does not do it justice, but The Black is fun Mecha and monster filled romp that finally does manage to recapture some of the magic of the original movie. The Black is by no means perfect but it’s a far superior effort to Uprising and hopefully will bring life back to the Pacific Rim franchise with its level of quality.