Remember when people thought Charlie Hunnam could lead a film franchise? Lol. See ya Hunnam. Get on the pile with Sam Worthington and Taylor Kitsch.

Pacific Rim: Uprising is the sequel to the 2013 robot/monster flick that did well enough in Chinese markets to merit a franchise. The film concerns humanity’s continued efforts to survive amidst the assault from gargantuan, city-smashing kaiju.

Uprising does a lot of stuff right. Firstly, it ditches lead Charlie Hunnam for the far more charismatic John Boyega and the experience is much better for it. Where Pacific Rim‘s gems lay in the supporting cast (re. Idris Elba), Uprising places the focus squarely on the centre role. However, while I enjoyed the inclusion of players from the first film like Charlie Day and Karl Tanner from Game of Thrones, on the whole, the supporting cast for Uprising just aren’t as engaging. No characters feel like they weren’t given at least one personality trait but few feel like fully realised people like in the original (again, re. Idris Elba).

The action though, that’s what people are here to see. And boy does it have it. The effects are as good as they need to be to make the battles exciting enough. I didn’t find the designs as interesting as in the original but then that is Guillermo del Toro’s whole shtick. Director Stephen S. DeKnight’s decision to have the fights take place in daylight was a welcome idea. It differentiates the movie from its predecessor and also embodies the bouncy, goofy tone of the whole film.

On the whole, Uprising is a swift breeze of an action romp. It’s entertaining enough to stop you questioning it in the cinema. The story twists and innovates just enough to keep the audience from being bored but no one could accuse the film-makers of originality.

Also, you know how they’re making King Kong vs Godzilla? May as well throw these guys in there too. At the very least it’d be a good example of that Infinity War crossover meme.