Having just seen it, Pacific Rim had a lot of potential in my opinion, with great special effects, music, designs, battles, etc. though it felt lacking in the story department. Hopefully they’ll be able to do better with the sequel. After I heard a sequel was being written (though it may not get approved, but I doubt that would happen) I thought about where they could go, or rather, where I would like them to go with the sequel.
In terms of battles, I think they did great in Pacific Rim. There were several great Kaiju vs Jaeger battles. They could do more with team ups between Jaegers fighting the Kaiju, as that felt very lacking, in part because that would involve 4 pilots, which would get complex, but I think its a good direction to go in. But the sequel needs more than that. I think we need to see Jaeger vs Jaeger battles. Maybe even Kaiju vs Kaiju. But Jaeger vs Jaeger absolutely. What’s better than seeing a giant mech and a giant monster duke it out? Watching two giant mechs with diverse abilities duking it out.
We also need a plot better than just the: “There are evil monsters destroying the world. Stop them!”. Yes I know its Tokusatsu, but there was absolutely more room for plot behind the character driven melodrama. Here’s just a random plot line I thought up, that still isn’t deep at all and relatively simple, but has more depth and allows for more interesting confrontations:
After the closing of the gate, there were almost 100 years of peace, but humanity without an enemy to unite them, fell back into their war like ways. Skirmishes with Jaegers began, and nuclear war seemed imminent, but when it felt like everything was going to go to hell, the Kaiju returned. But rather than coming from the gate, they seemingly appeared at random. The story surrounds a pilot being thrown into a world of conspiracy, where he discovers that an organization has developed a way to create gates, and is summoning the Kaiju. They are using both the Kaiju as means to get political advantages, and economic advantages in a means similar to Hannibal, and thus have deep control over the world government, in an Illuminati like way. However, they have only one gate-creator on a large ship, and no way to create additional gates. The pilot eventually tries to fight them, but the organization has complete control over the Jaegers remotely, and he can’t do anything. They remote detonate his Jaeger after a short fight with an advanced organization Jaeger, or leave him for dead in some way, but he survives, and discovers that there is a resistance group to the organization, who have managed to obtain the Gipsey MkIV, a remake of the Gipsey that originally destroyed the breach, but has been upgraded to match the newer weaponry. They wage an attack on the gate ship, eventually with the leader of the organization throwing around lines about how the Kaiju are necessary to unite the world, and humanity would kill itself without them, and eventually becoming a copilot in a giant hybrid Kaiju/Jaeger that involves not only rifting with a Kaiju, but using your will to overwhelm its control. Epic battle ensues. Heroes barely win. Throw in melodrama, a random love story, and all the standard Tokusatsu stuff, and you’ve got yourself a hit.