Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018)

pacific rim uprising poster 2018 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 9/10

Big robots fighting monsters

Story undermines itself at points, feels like nothing new

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Pacific Rim: Uprising

Studio:  Legendary Pictures

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  March 15, 2018 (Premiere)/March 23, 2018 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

pacific rim uprising jaeger battle tokyo

Let’s start wrecking property!!!

Ten years have passed since the Kaiju were forced back and the Jaeger project has been expanding. When Jake Pentecost (John Boyega) and a young Jaeger creator named Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny) are captured by Pan-Pacific Defense Corps, Jake finds himself forced to follow in his father’s footsteps while Amara is put among the new recruits to the program. Liwen Shao (Jing Tian) has plans for new Jaeger drones that were developed by with the help of Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day), but when a rogue Jaeger attacks, the Pan-Pacific Defense Corps learns that something more might be occurring…and the danger from Kaiju might not be over!

Directed by Steven S. DeKnight, Pacific Rim: Uprising is a science-fiction action-adventure film. A follow-up to Pacific Rim from 2013, the film received help from the original director Guillermo del Toro who acted as producer. It was met with mixed reviews but was considered a financial failure due to the high production costs.

pacific rim uprising jaeger obsidian fury vs gipsy avenger

Rock-Em-Sock-Em Robots!!!

After how much I disliked Transformers, I thought Pacific Rim was going to be more of the same. I was pleasantly surprised by the film and enjoyed the “big robots vs monsters” simplicity of it. With some hope for Pacific Rim 2 (aka Uprising), I actually found the movie to be more of the same…with wasn’t bad or good. A ******spoiler alert****** is in effect for the rest of the review

The story is a relatively logical story. The Kaiju are banished from Earth, but plans to be ready for their return are necessary. What isn’t logical is how the story is laid out. The idea of drone Jaegers are introduced, but then everyone is shocked that the attacking Obsidian Fury Jaeger is a drone…and that it comes from the Shao Corporation. The filmmakers then review that Charlie Day’s Geiszler is still in a “relationship” with a Kaiju brain, but then they act like the audience is supposed to be surprised that he is the one who betrayed Shao. It doesn’t make much logical sense (but it is also a movie about giant fighting robots which doesn’t make much sense to begin with).

pacific rim uprising gipsy avenger vs kaiju boss

Finally…Kaiju Action!

The cast was largely new for the film though some returned from the original. John Boyega (who also produced the movie) is a solid and likable lead as Idris Elba’s son. He’s teamed with Scott Eastwood (who has so many similarities to his father that it is a bit unnerving at times) and the young Cailee Spaeny as the scrappy Amara. The movie does suffer from too big of a cast at points with the recruits who never fully develop with the exception maybe being Ivanna Sakhno who is Cailee’s rival. The returning actors are Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, and Rinko Kikuchi…while I always feel like a little Charlie Day is too much Charlie Day, it is even worse here. I also wish Rinko Kikuchi had been used more effectively.

What Pacific Rim: Uprising gets right is the fighting. Unlike Transformers which can’t seem to present giant robots beating each other up effectively, Pacific Rim does make it look natural and the coordination on the fight scenes are logical. It also becomes extremely unrealistic that any city would recover from the damage done by the fighting (I mean they are literally hitting monsters with skyscrapers). After 9-11 and how long it took for NYC to recover, it doesn’t seem like cities would be able to come back on this large of scale.

pacific rim uprising charlie day kaiju

Please just eat him…

Pacific Rim: Uprising isn’t as fun as the original, but it does maintain much of the same style and feel of it. While the story is a logical progression, the writing seems to undermine it multiple times and takes away any aspect of surprise.  It also seems like the battle against the Kaiju of the first film was more compelling than the whole drone issue, and it takes too long to get back to the kaiju and the final fight. Despite indications of a sequel, the lackluster performance of this movie might spell the end of the Pacific Rim movie series…though many thought that after the first Pacific Rim didn’t light the world on fire, so there is always hope.

Related Links:

Pacific Rim (2013)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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