By Allison Hazlett-Rose
Mar 22, 2018 08:27 AM EST

Pacific Rim: Uprising Theatrical Review

While not as good as the original, Pacific Rim: Uprising offers a couple of laughs, some fairly strong action sequences and a seemingly plausible story continued from the original.
Pacific Rim: Uprising Theatrical Review
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In 2013, Writer/Director (and recent academy award winner) Guillermo Del Toro (The Shape of Water) introduced us to the Kaiju – alien creatures from another dimension who set out to destroy humanity and take over Earth.  To combat these creatures, humans developed humongous robots called jaegers that require two, neurologically synced pilots to work.  Of course, by the end of the movie the breach was destroyed so there was no way for the aliens to reach us, Earth was saved and humans prevailed - though not without loss of life. You would think that was the end of the story but writer/director Steven DeKnight (Daredevil) brings us back into this world with Universal Pictures' sequel, Pacific Rim: Uprising.

Jake Pentecost (John Boyega; Star Wars: The Last Jedi), the son of the late, great Stacker Pentecost  (Idris Elba; Thor) is a scavenger in the post-Kaiju war America.  He has no desire to live up to his father's reputation, as they were big shoes to fill.  However, when he follows a fellow scavenger named Amara (newcomer Cailee Spaeny) he finds himself back in the Army training facility he was kicked out of years prior.  There to greet him with not so open arms is his former partner, Nate Lambert (Scott Eastwood; Suicide Squad) and a bunch of recruits including Amara.  All Jake wants to do is complete his "sentence" so he can go back to his former life.

However, when a new set of drone Jaegers go crazy during a demonstration, the military find themselves once again in a battle with the Kaiju.  Unfortunately, the military base is all but destroyed and most of the Rangers are injured so Jake and Nate must lead the recruits out to the battleground to take down this new super Kaiju that was created by none other than Dr. Geiszler (Fist Fight) – a shocking revelation in and of itself.  Together they must stop the monster from once again destroying Earth.

While much of the cast is young they are pretty good for the most part.  Spaeny is emotive and plays Amara as the complex young woman the story portrays her to be.  Boyega is what we have come to expect from him as he once again plays rogue military personnel.  Eastwood is fine but the resemblance to his father in his younger days is almost distracting at times.  I know he can't help how he looks (good family genes) but it's almost a little creepy.  Day has a great role in this film and he plays it well.  Unfortunately, the script leaves something to be desired and some of the dialogue uttered by Jake and Nate is rather groan-worthy.

As director, DeKnight does his best to keep the audience focused and entertained but there were moments I was unsure where we were geographically in the movie so there was some choppiness in that sense.  I also thought the final battle scene when on longer than necessary but I often feel that way in these types of films (though I didn't have that complaint during the original Pacific Rim).  For action fans though, they won't be disappointed.

While not as good as the original (sadly they generally aren't), Pacific Rim: Uprising offers a couple of laughs, some fairly strong action sequences and a seemingly plausible story continued from the original.  Fans of the first film will like the sequel well enough but I'm hoping they decide not to make a third installment, even though they set the ending up for one nicely.

Grade: C

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Certificate: 12A
Running Time: 111 minutes
Distributed By: Universal Pictures

For more information about Pacific Rim: Uprising visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.

About Allison Hazlett-Rose



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