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Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018) Review



Pacific Rim: Uprising is pretty bad and yet still manages to be a riot anyway. I’d either see it in IMAX or get really drunk and watch it on Netflix.

Plot: Jake Pentecost is a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the monstrous Kaiju. Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through cities and bring the world to its knees, Jake is given one last chance by his estranged sister, Mako Mori, to live up to his father’s legacy.

Review: The first Pacific Rim had its flaws but it still managed to be a colourful (if somewhat empty) spectacle; one of the biggest flaws was the fact that so much of the action took place at night but this has been rectified for this very silly yet entertaining sequel.

My biggest pet peeve with the first Pacific Rim were the characters of Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day) and Herman Gottlieb (Burn Gorman); both were incredibly irritating (and loud) and I was disappointed when I heard they were returning for this entry. Thankfully, they are toned down and didn’t bother me at all; in fact, dare I say it but I preferred the majority of the characters in this movie to the first. Charlie Hunnam was rather dreadful in the original so I had no problem with him not returning; I did miss Ron Pearlman though and most of all Guillermo del Toro’s visual flair.

John Boyega steps in as the lead playing Jake Pentecost, son of the late Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) from the first film; it was nice to hear him use his real accent and he really shows leading man quality. Jake was very sympathetic and his banter with his old friend Nate (Scott Eastwood) provides some of the movie’s humour. I hadn’t noticed before just how like his father Scott Eastwood has become; not only with the way he looks but his line delivery and mannerisms are very similar. If they did (and you know they will) want to remake Dirty Harry at some point then go ahead and cast him as Callahan’s son or something.

Anyway, the script is quite appalling and despite a few funny moments watching these actors try to deliver some of the dialogue with a straight face is at times painful. I had read before going in that there was less Kaiju action this time around which will put some people off. Yes, there isn’t much in the way of monster punching for the first half but there is still plenty of action and the visual effects are incredible for the most part. As I said, seeing the battles taking place during the day was a vast improvement over the original and the creatures looked fantastic.

Max Zhang has a decent-sized role as Marshal Quan but sadly doesn’t have any action scenes; it was nice to see him in such a huge Hollywood production though and will hopefully lead to more projects.

I was worried when the teenage girl Amara made an appearance but she was actually not annoying and also did the best with what she was given in terms of dialogue.

I was wondering if they would use that amazing theme tune from Pacific Rim and it does indeed make an appearance at just the right time; the music in general is bombastic and thrilling, making the action all the more exciting.

You know what you’re in for with a film like this and despite its problems Pacific Rim: Uprising is still big dumb fun, never taking itself too seriously. There are a few surprises in the story and it doesn’t slow down for more than a few minutes; it was especially enjoyable in IMAX 3D where the sound and picture were genuinely epic.

Overall, Pacific Rim: Uprising manages to be terrible yet entertaining at the same time; you’ll forget it after 15 minutes but if you’re looking some some robot punching, monster smashing action then your inner child will love it.