Pacific Rim Uprising

It’s been 10 years since the conflict ended. Jake was born when the world was still fighting the Kaiju monsters, and his father, Stacker Pentecost, gave his life to help win the war. Jake is not his father. He lives in a coastal city that never recovered from its attack, in half a mansion that was destroyed by the creature whose skeleton still adorns the property. He steals to make a living, and nothing pays more than stole jaeger tech (jaegers being those massive, two-pilot robots used to win the war against the giant monsters).

When Jake (John Boyega) is inevitably caught, he’s sentenced to teaching kids to be 21-pacific-rim-uprising.w710.h473jaeger pilots where he immediately meets and dislikes fellow pilot Nate (Scott Eastwood), who resents him for having the special privileges granted him by his last name. Of course, Jake and Nate must become co-pilots of a new flagship jaeger meant to reassure people that the world would forever more kept safe, but its designers should have perhaps heeded another movie’s admonition – if you build it, they will come.

And when the Kaiju do attack, it’ll be Jake & Nate & a bunch of kids standing between alien monsters and the earth’s destruction, which is a discomfiting thought. But the most important thing to know about Pacific Rim: Uprising is that it is not directed by Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro, who gave us the first one, and this one lacks the conviction and subtlety that made the first so special. Guillermo’s movie about gigantic monsters and robots fighting each other still managed to have a greater message and a lot of heart. The sequel is its empty shell. It’s got all the parts, and plenty of punchy action but it’s missing the movie magic that connects with audiences and transcends the outward trappings. Uprising is intent on being bigger, louder, dumber, and never, not once, equal to, let alone better. It’s content with ticking boxes: one liners, big hunks of metal, migraine-level sound effects, frantic Japanese people. And most egregiously, it sets itself up for a third installment, and if it comes to that, I hope the Kaiju fucking win.

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17 thoughts on “Pacific Rim Uprising

  1. J.

    I enjoyed this one, but that probably doesn’t surprise you, right? I’ll be cheering on the jaegers in the next instalment… and hoping that Del Toro’s schedule allows him to return (along with Charlie Hunnam).

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    1. Jay Post author

      Yes, I think it needs his touch. And aside from Boyega, I really didn’t connect with anyone else. There wasn’t much time devoted to getting to know anyone.

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      1. J.

        That’s a fair assessment (though they did give a fair bit of the screen time to the young Spaeny lass). I did think the laughs were a bit hit and miss, but I liked the in-jokes and the fact that it didn’t take itself seriously.

        Also, I liked how they didn’t just do the predictable sequel thing and instead tried to shift the tone and pace of it. But I was always gonna like this one. Always.

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  2. Jason

    To me, Uprising was disappointing. It wasn’t completely terrible and had its giant monster fighting moments that I liked, but it fell way shorter than the first film.

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