Pacific Rim: Uprising Review

“The movie knows its strength and it plays to it well, but everything surrounding it is just really boring and weird.”

I just saw Pacific Rim: Uprising which is the sequel to the, in my opinion, disappointing Pacific Rim. Pacific Rim: Uprising takes place some time after the first film, and shows us a world where Jaegers are now a commodity. Much like in the Iron Man films, people are trying to make their own Jaegers and be cool by showing off to their friends. The film follows Jake Pentecost, son of the Idris Elba character in the first film, who is essentially a black market dealer. That is until he gets pulled back into the Jaeger program to help deal with a new threat: rogue Jaegers.

So I feel that Pacific Rim: Uprising has a lot of the same problems as the first film. Namely the boring, contrived plot that is really only there to transition us from one giant fight to another. I felt the characters in the film were very wooden. For the first half of the film especially, I felt that all of the dialogue delivered was very obviously forced, and the comedy even more so. Charlie Hunnam 2.0, or Scott Eastwood as he would prefer to be called, is about as charismatic as a plank of wood. I guess this is an upgrade from the cardboard cutout that was Hunnam, but honestly who am I to say? What really sucked was the loss of the zany characters of the first film. In Pacific Rim we had characters like Dr. Newton Geiszler and Gottlieb who essentially acted as two sides of the same coin of parody of the science community. Unfortunately in this film, though these two still appear and still have some good moments, they are boiled down to rather boring plot devices that take away almost all of their appeal. And this is all on top of the fact that the story was really weird, almost too weird, and it felt way too stretched out.

But one thing this movie had going for it were the giant robot fights. Holy shit. In this regard Pacific Rim: Uprising only improved what its predecessor set forth. The fight sequences were amazing in every aspect from the choreography, the designs, and the fact that they took place in the daytime so you could actually tell what was going on. These fights are the reason to see the movie, and a pretty good reason they are. But while the effects in the fight sequences were amazing, there were also moments where you were left wondering why a high school student with a copy of Blender on his laptop was in charge of such a huge movie. So I guess it’s easiest to say that the effects in Pacific Rim: Uprising were kind of a mixed bag. One last thing I want to discuss were the designs in the movie. The Pacific Rim franchise is about one thing: giant robots fighting giant monsters. Since that thing is the focus, you would think that they would make it as cool as possible, right? Well I’m not going to shit on the designs of the Kaiju, because they were actually pretty sweet, but the designs of the new Jaegers felt kind of uninspired and bland to me. In the first film we got to see different iterations of Jaegers that encapsulated not only different periods in the Jaeger program but also different areas of the world. In Pacific Rim: Uprising all of the Jaegers are very shiny with tiny waists and slender builds. There is really only one different Jaeger, and by the end they somehow gentrify that one as well.

Overall I didn’t hate Pacific Rim: Uprising, but I felt it to be a little bland. The movie knows its strength and it plays to it well, but everything surrounding it is just really boring and weird. Do I regret watching Pacific Rim: Uprising? No. Will I watch it again? I don’t plan on it.

I give Pacific Rim: Uprising a C

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