Pacific Rim: Uprising
Starring John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Burn Gorman, Charlie Day,
The winner of ‘sequel we needed the least’ certainly goes to Pacific Rim: Uprising. The turbulent second film in the series was originated by recent Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water) and then handed off to television director Steven S. DeKnight, making his feature film debut. While Uprising isn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen, there is nothing new in the CGI action packed sequel. It looks and feels exactly like a Transformers movie, more so that it’s 2013 predecessor. Uprising has franchise actor John Boyega (Star Wars) doing more interesting stuff here than we have seen him elsewhere, but his bad boy charisma can’t balance out the film’s stupidity.
Jake Pentecost (Boyega), son of deceased Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) tells everyone he isn’t like his father. He has made a living in the wake of destruction left by Kaiju’s and Jaeger pilots. Jake is picked up by his sister War Veteran Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) to lead the next generation of Jaeger pilots. Working with Ranger Nate Lambert (Eastwood) they are in the process of training when a new threat from within opens the rim to release the most deadly Kaiju yet. Ready or not, the recruits must prepare for battle and the fight for earth’s survival begins, again.
Winner of ‘sequel we needed the least’ goes to Pacific Rim: Uprising.
The most creative part of the story is the explanation of the how the world now functions, following the first film. We see how some cities and iconic locations were so devastated they have been abandoned. The junkyard aftermath allows Jake Pentecost a decent origin story, but this doesn’t last long because we have to get to the action. This includes the introduction to Cailee Spaeny, a young female character who mirrors a similar role in Transformers The Last Knight. Uprising is a sequel that expects the audience to remember what happen in the first film. A handful of characters return in brief roles only to hand things off to a new cast. Pacific Rim intends to continue their franchise, challenging Transformers, although both movies have already over stayed their welcome.
“Help me save the world,” Jake Pentecost says, more than once in the film. Is anyone else tired of watching the world be saved? It’s not even summer yet and already we have seen the world saved in Black Panther and Annihilation. Big robots and monsters clash and fist fight in Tokyo resembling Godzilla and King Kong movies, while the actors do their Jazzercise moves inside the Jaeger’s. The Pacific Rim world is tailor made for the comic book geeks, there is very little intelligence, inspiration or life lessons for an audience outside the superhero realm to gain from watching these movies.
Uninspired and unsatisfying junk food entertainment.