The article contains SPOILERS for Pacific Rim Uprising.
It’s a shame that after everyone put so much effort and work into getting Pacific Rim Uprising made, the movie wasn’t very impressive. It wasn’t terrible, but it didn’t live up to all of the potential that the first movie set up and so many fans expected. One of the big ways they dropped the ball was with the character of Mako Mori, played by Rinko Kikuchi.
When the first movie came out, Mako was hailed as one of the rare female characters whose story was independent of the men around her. It was a shame when her character was killed off in Uprising just to give Jake (John Boyega) something to be angsty about. ScreenRant recently interviewed director Steven S. DeKnight and asked him what he would change if he could go back and make the movie again, and Mako was a big part of it.
There’s a thousand things I would change, large and small. There are things in the movie that will always bother me that no one will ever notice. And then there are things, like giving Mako’s death more weight, that I think people do notice.
The problem mostly came from scheduling conflicts and how much of the story needed to change when Charlie Hunnam couldn’t return for the sequel. There were additional scenes that gave the death more weight in the story, but they were cut for time.
The thing that really changed, and I have to admit I don’t think for the better, was the connective support around that event slowly got chipped away for various reasons – mostly budget and time. Where the events itself, because the movie now moves so fast, is a bit of a blip and doesn’t land as fully as I would have liked. There were other scenes, some of them we never shot, some of them we shot and cut…For me it was a great regret because I loved that character. I loved Rinko [Kikuchi] and I don’t think, ultimately, her death had the weight that it deserved, through various creative decisions, some my own, some outside my control.
Regardless of what DeKnight wanted, that was the movie we got — and it was still a shame to see such a fantastic character get such an anticlimactic end.
Summary: 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.
Pacific Rim Uprising, directed by Steven S. DeKnight, stars John Boyega, Tian Jing, Scott Eastwood, Adria Arjona, Charlie Day, and Burn Gorman. It’s out for digital download now and will be available on Blu-ray and DVD June 19th.