‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ Divides Me (Movie Review)

Pacific Rim Uprising Movie ReviewAs 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 get 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 are banking on this one’s success out there again.  Lightning can strike twice and let’s hope it does 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.

Pacific Rim Uprising Movie Review

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 Movie Review

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.

Pacific Rim Uprising Movie Review

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!

Pacific Rim Uprising Movie Review

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.

Pacific Rim Uprising Movie Review

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 get out there and go see this!


2.5 Doggies for Biggie-Size Robot Fun!

Pacific Rim Uprising Movie Review


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).

4 Responses to “‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ Divides Me (Movie Review)”

  1. Gregg Senko

    Oh, not so good then at 2.5, eh? I’ll still go and see it in the theater. I loved the first one.

  2. Brian White

    Aaron gave it a 3. I think you’ll still like it Gregg.

  3. Aaron Neuwirth

    Of the films you’ve let slide by, I’m surprised this one didn’t. Even I could tolerate boring as a block of wood Scott Eastwood, given how much fun John Boyega was having.

  4. Gregg

    I loved this movie! Yeah Scott Eastwood was a scarecrow but man the action was awesome.