Pacific Rim Uprising (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Pacific Rim UprisingAs a huge fan of the first Pacific Rim I can honestly say I have been waiting for the second installment for quite some time now.  Dubbed Pacific Rim Uprising we finally got another story, which Guillermo del Toro said one day would happen.  However, no one really believed so did they?  This time though del Toro has passed on the directing torch.  We’ll talk more about that down below.  For now I want to focus on the mere surprise that this film actually exists and I believe we have China to thank for that.  The people there enthusiastically embraced the first outing and I’m sure the studio/producers were banking on this one’s success out there again.  Lightning can strike twice and let’s hope it does on home media because while I want more movies made like this I’m not going to lie.  The film’s trailers left me very underwhelmed, but I love being proven wrong.   I was hoping that would at least be the case here.  It’s meh, but still fun at times.


So remember up above I said del Toro passed the proverbial torch over to someone else for directorial duties?  I’m pleased to report he put the sequel film in the very capable hands of Steven S. DeKnight with whom I gained great respect for during the Starz Spartacus days (how I met our Aaron Neuwirth).  Actually he’s making his feature film directorial debut here off a screenplay written by Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder and T.S. Nowlin.  How exciting!  Now the casting was the big thing up in the air here.  Sadly only a few return from the original (sans Charlie Hunnam who I enjoyed in the original) and we’re supposed to believe John Boyega is the son of Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) from the first film.  In addition to him other star names include Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Jing Tian and Adria Arjona with Charlie Day, Burn Gorman and Rinko Kikuchi reprising their roles from the first outing.

Pacific Rim Uprising is set some ten years after the victorious battle that took place at the end of the first film.   The original entry was all about closing the Breach between our world and the Kaiju’s (the monsters).  Low and behold this one’s all about said Breach being broken again (sort of).  Some monsters are getting through again and have since evolved.  Even worse there’s a rogue Jaeger (the robots we built to defeat the Kaiju) now too.  Oh no!  It’s up to Jake Pentecost (Boyega) to save the day by standing up against the new Kaiju monsters and the rogue Jaeger by leading the necessary personnel in evolved Jaegers to save the world once again from certain extinction.  One could also say he’s coming out from under his father’s shadow and/or preserving his legacy whether intentional or not.  It’s up to you on whatever way you to look at it as.  Anyway you slice it though, John Boyega’s a great guy.  Let’s talk about that some more.

So here we basically have a sequel that really doesn’t need to exist.  I’m okay with it, but it’s nowhere near the heart, charm and magic of the first del Toro-led outing.  However, I said I wanted to talk about Boyega a bit so let’s do that first.  The man is mad charisma and in my opinion carries this movie past the drab acting of Eastwood, the little girl who made this feel like a Transformers sequel at times and the uninspired monsters/battles to be had.  He played both sides of the coin so perfectly as a drifter/thief and also the archetype hero.  Despite not wanting to be like his father he does come across just as stoic at times and he can definitely deliver a rousing, pumped up, motivational speech.  He made me want to go off and save the world and when you’re talking about a Pacific Rim movie that’s all that counts.  Oh okay, so you want a story too?  Well, surprise!  You got that too!

I don’t care who wants to debate me, but Charlie Day and Burn Gorman made Pacific Rim Uprising complete.  They are like the Batman and Superman to my Wonder Woman (in Justice League lingo).  With them involved, including Rinko Kikuchi (as cute little Mako), I had likable characters that I championed and cared about.  I love the way in which their characters have evolved since we last spent time with them.  Most importantly, albeit very generic speaking, Pacific Rim Uprising does have a story to tell with a twist this simpleton didn’t see coming.  Once it did, however, I was fully vested and very curious to see where it led/resolved to.  Truth be told despite the mediocracy of it all, which we will talk about in a moment, I’d still be down for a third entry.  It’s still a wonderful world to get lost in, but it is much duller this time around.  So let’s talk about that next.

One truth that I hope we can agree on here is Pacific Rim Uprising doesn’t win any points in the originality department.  We’ve all been here and done that.  What it does do right, once it gets started, is deliver on the fun.  The fun part of why we are all here is to see giant robots and monsters throwing down.  That much it gets right.  It also gets quite ridiculous at times too, but if I can live with Superman and Zod leveling all of Metropolis I can live with the careless destruction within here too.  I say it lacks in originality department because the monsters don’t see to have the same zest, appeal and passion put into them like del Toro did with the first film.  It also lacks the heart and charm of the first entry as well.  The second flick here just doesn’t pull at my heartstrings like part one did.  Visually though it’s big and boisterous so they got that right.  There’s rock ’em-sock ’em action and chaos, Kaijus and Jaegers and a simple story with a twist.  Beyond the Breach I’m sure this one’s seen as more favorable, but other than the F-U-N factor and Boyega charisma this one is a bit empty hearted and left me “divided,” but still wanting more (DeKnight does have plans).  Make sense?  I hope so.  Now let’s talk about that audio and video!


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Universal’s Pacific Rim Uprising.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Dolby Vision: Yes
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Clarity/Detail: This one is supposedly finished in a 2K DI, but rest assured this upscaled presentation boasts a lot of clarity, textural integrity and fine details in both the Kaiju and the giant Jaeger robots.  Textures such as stone, cinder blocks and wool look outstanding.  While on the flip side closeups reveal many fine details in the actors such as stubble, wrinkles, pores, moles and even acne.  However, it’s the many fake looking explosions that took me out of the game sometimes.  They are not awful, but definitely noticeable.
  • Depth: There is always a three-dimensional sense of depth within this presentation from scrapyards, cities and giant hangars to within constrained environments such as with the Jaeger itself.
  • Black Levels: The black levels are deep and natural looking without being crushing.
  • Color Reproduction: The colors throughout are bold, bight and beautiful.  The vivid picture here produces the same eye candy you fell in love with in the first film as reviewed here.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones are mostly natural looking throughout despite an appearance of artificialness at times.
  • Noise/Artifacts: There was zero room to complain here with the very, very light veneer of source noise throughout.


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Universal’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Pacific Rim Uprising.  I do want you to know that the  4K UHD Disc comes armed with a Dolby Atmos surround track while the 1080p Blu-ray comes equipped with a 5.1Dolby TrueHD one.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Dynamics: Fidelity is  spread around very nicely here.  It has a very lively surround track that consists of giant guitar riffs and hefty drums to not only rock you until you can’t take it anymore, but infect you with giant robot glee.  Make no mistake though it can be quiet and tender when it wants to for the dialogue driven scenes.  However, it’s the brashness and balls of it all here that drops you in the middle of the action with larger-than-life robot/monster mayhem.
  • Height: The Atmos channels are pretty active throughout the film’s runtime with examples highlighted such as the score, explosions, jets, wires to bring power to makeshift jaegers, helicopters, seagulls, overhead robot action and so much more.  Probably one of my favorite uses has to be the overhead voices within the Jaegers themselves.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel is strong and punishing through with complements to the score, soundtrack and other rhythmic moments plus endless gun shots, robot battles, thuds and blows, onscreen chaos and destruction, door slams, explosions and so much more.  What I loved most about the sub moments were the heaviness of them all such as listening to the heavy weight of the giant robots walking (or should I say stomping).
  • Surround Sound Presentation: In addition to the very effective uses of the Atmos and LFE channels the rear ones keep pretty busy and constantly engaged throughout too.  The score and soundtrack is all around you plus the very stimulating virtual simulation training exercises, miscellaneous fight sequences, missiles fired, buzzers, explosions, gunfire and a lot more.  I think you get the big picture though.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialogue levels are all very loud and clear throughout the film.


In addition to a Movies Anywhere Digital Copy here the 4K UHD Disc houses the same set of extras below that the Blu-ray contains.  I normally have more to say here, but I’m super tired.  So let’s tackle these all very briefly down below here.  Speaking of brief, these are all rather brief themselves.

  • Deleted Scenes (HD/SDR, 6:56) – There are a total of eight deleted scenes here with optional commentary from Director Steven S. DeKnight.
  • Hall of Heroes (HD/SDR, 3:25) – John Boyega introduces us to and takes us through the awesome weaponry and cutting-edge enhancements of the latest generation of Jaegers featured in the film.
  • Bridge to Uprising (HD/SDR, 4:39) – The cast and crew discuss how the world of Pacific Rim has changed in the ten years since the events of the original film and how we got to where we are here.
  • The Underworld of Uprising (HD/SDR, 3:47) – In the first film humanity won the Kaiju War, but every war has casualties. John Boyega and Steven S. DeKnight give a tour of the coastal “Relief Zones” and how this film all begins with of setup of things.
  • Becoming Cadets (HD/SDR, 5:58) – In this extra we step into the Shatterdome, and learn the grueling physical and mental preparation required of the young actors who portrayed the PPDC cadets in the film.
  • Unexpected Villain (HD/SDR, 5:48) – Here you’ll learn the secret reason that turned one of the most beloved heroes of the original film into a villain obsessed with humanity’s destruction.  I must admit.  This is a twist I loved.
  • Next Level Jaegers (HD/SDR, 5:08) – The cast and crew discuss the amazing technological advances of the Jaeger program in the years since the events of the original film, which also includes concept art and VFX.
  • I Am Scrapper (HD/SDR, 2:42) – Actress Cailee Spaeny shares the backstory of Scrapper, Amara’s incredible self-built Jaeger and its many unique abilities.
  • Going Mega (HD/SDR, 3:21) – Here the filmmakers take us through the technical and creative challenges of creating the most deadly threat the Pan Pacific Defense Corp has ever faced: the Mega Kaiju!
  • Secrets of Shao (HD/SDR, 3:14) – Meet the woman behind Shao Industries.  You got to love her!  Actress Tian Jing shares her insights on the enigmatic tech tycoon Liwen Shao.
  • Mako Returns (HD/SDR, 2:08) – Actress Rinko Kikuchi and director Steven S. DeKnight explain the significance of Mako Mori’s return and her importance to the events of Pacific Rim Uprising.
  • Feature Commentary with Director Steven S. DeKnight – If you’re a fan of the film, I found this very worthwhile to sit through.  Check it out!


There you have it folks.  It’s not as ground breaking or even as good as the first film.  However, if you check your expectations and brains in at the front door before watching this, you should be able to have a good time with Pacific Rim Uprising despite all its flaws.  It still features some pretty impressive biggie-sized robot/monster action and fun.  So with that being said this 4K package comes recommended from me.  Appreciate what you have with this one yo!


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.


Pacific Rim Uprising

Destroys Everything In Its Path

on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

June 19th




Pacific Rim Uprising


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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