Pacific Rim Uprising
Director: Stephen S. DeKnight
Cast: John Boyega, Cailee Spaeny, Scott Eastwood, Jing Tian
The Apocalypse is back on! “Pacific Rim Uprising” brings back all the giant robot v giant monsters that you’ve been waiting for since the 2013 original. Academy Award winner Guillermo Del Toro produces and oversees this movie, but hands over the directing reigns to Steven S. DeKnight, making his feature film debut. If you’ve seen the tv shows “Smallville”,”Buffy”, “Angel”, or “Daredevil” on Netflix, you’ve seen his other works.
The story takes place years after the events of the first movie. Thanks to the heroics of Idris Elba’s “Stacker Pentecost”, the world has had 10 years of peace from the giant monsters aka Kaiju. We’re introduced to Stacker’s son, “Jake Pentecost” played with pure goofy charm by John Boyega. He comes off as being nothing like his hero father, but through circumstances of his own trouble making, he’s gets thrown back into the military his father once commanded. Now he’s joined by and his old military friend/rival “Lambert” played by Scott Eastwood, and “Namani” a young female recruit who was also thrown into the military played by Cailee Spaeny. They are adapting to a new world where a company led by the “Shao”, played by the beautiful Jing Tian, is developing drones that will protect the world from any future dangerous creatures. During an outdoor company presentation, a rogue Jaeger appears to wreck havoc and turn their world upside down!
I was not a big fan of the first “Pacific Rim”. It was just okay, and I thought it was trying to be over the top anime with it’s ridiculous scenes and acting, and the whole thing didn’t quite land for me. Fortunately “Uprising” doesn’t have the strains of setting up all the world building that the first film had. So now it’s all about who are the characters, do we like them, and how are they going to fit into this story as we watch the fights!
THE GOOD: When it’s time for the fight scenes, this movie delivers! Buildings get smashed, punches are thrown, weapons are used and it is visually AWESOME! Plus most of the fight scenes happen in broad daylight, so it’s easy to make out exactly what is happening. The tension builds, and things don’t always go according to plan, making our heroes quest seem impossible.
THE BAD: As much as I really liked the performances from the main leads, some of the dialogue and jokes were really cringe worthy. Luckily most of the jokes landed right on the bullseye. I also wished there was a little more character building with some of the new recruits. There’s enough, I just would have liked more.
OVERALL: Decent enough simplistic plot, surprisingly good character interactions, and some sweet, sweet “giant robot on giant monsters buildings being destroyed” action. This is the type of popcorn movie I was hoping for when it was announced that we’d get a sequel.
Grade: 3.5 out of 5