Pacific Rim: Uprising
Out Now On-Demand
John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Charlie Day and Cailee Spaeny star in the sequel to Guillermo del Toro's 2013 sci-fi monster movie, Pacific Rim.
It has been ten years since The Battle of the Breach and the oceans are still, but restless. Vindicated by the victory at the Breach, the Jaeger program has evolved into the most powerful global defense force in human history. The PPDC now calls upon the best and brightest to rise up and become the next generation of heroes when the Kaiju threat returns.
- Steven S. DeKnight(feature debut)
Action, Science Fiction, Blockbuster
Rating: M Violence
Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 Pacific Rim featured heroes inside giant robot ‘Jaegers’ thumping enormous ‘Kaiju’ monsters, in a visual feast that suffered from the same lack of decent script and characters that plagues the technically stunning but story-stilted Transformers franchise. Del Toro’s a producer, but Steven S. DeKnight (former Spartacus and Daredevil TV showrunner) takes the director’s chair, delivering plenty of dynamic CG destruction, but without del Toro’s eye for Lovecraftian monsters and steampunk robots, this feels more like a teen-friendly reboot than a sequel.
The first film suffered from a two-dimensional hero, played by a sleepwalking Charlie Hunnam, here replaced by John Boyega as Jake, the son of Idris Elba’s now deceased Stacker Pentecost. Boyega is fun, lending a by-the-book ‘reluctant’ hero much-needed energy, but as his former buddy-turned-rival, Scott (son of Clint) Eastwood is so wooden that Jake’s catchphrase “I am not my father” may have better served him.
Rinko Kikuchi returns, kicking ass amongst a diverse, multicultural cast, proving Mako again to be the character most deserving of being Pacific Rim’s central protagonist. But we’re here for the robot v monster mayhem, and that’s where Uprising delivers in broad cartoon strokes of wholesale destruction. Despite characterisation and plotting about as deep as a puddle of Jaeger oil, the set-piece action scenes are cool to look at, with amiable if largely uninspired characters ensuring it all chugs along pleasantly enough. Sure, if you enjoyed the first, this sequel delivers, but not much beyond the whizz-bang visuals of the trailer.
Total Film (UK)
The Guardian (UK)
It's dull, cringy and lacklustre; with its mediocre CGI-heavy action and monotone characters.
OK action movie
just another action movie, robots fighting monsters much the same as the first pacific rim, although this one feels like it is more forced, 2 stars go if you just want to watch some action scenes but don't expect too much
Spy Kids 5 (oh yeah John Boyega is there too)
Pacific Rim: Uprising had amazing potential to be a fun, visually impressive and thoroughly enjoyable ride. Unfortunately it fails to deliver in nearly every aspect it should. It plays out like an animated tv series for kids, completely discarding the darkish but fun tone that made its predecessor so great to watch. It tries to go bigger but it completely fails to be better and comes off as tacky and stupid. The first act is an almost unbearable mess of plot that feels unfinished and useless. We open on some footage copy pasted directly from the original then get 40 minutes of poor acting and totally forgettable plot details. There is one action scene but it is wholly underwhelming and very forgettable, like most of the film. When we get into the second act Uprising starts to feel promising, to my disappointment it spiralled downhill through countless numbers of throwaway gags, unfunny jokes and fight scenes that all feel rushed and give the viewer no satisfaction when being watched. The final act should be the best part of all but it is so disappointing it is one of the worst parts to watch. We get a spy kids-esque finale with a bunch of teenagers getting into huge colourful robots and fighting big colourful monsters. An attempt at putting the theme tune from the original over a sort of pre battle montage feels so out of place and forced it was almost laughable. The final fight scene lacks any realism at all and reminded me of things like Despicable Me and How to Train your dragon. The cgi isn't bad but it's so colourful and daft it feels animated and like something you'd show to the little ones. The characters have no real development either, they do change but in seemingly instantaneous transitions that make no sense. The film aims to answer questions from the original but just ends up raising many more that will probably not be answered in the next instalment. There were few moments that made me smile, it was one of the few movies I have seen at the cinema that I have regretted spending my money on. Also, the fact that it is such a kidsy film is nonsensically negated by some quite dark scenes so really I have no idea who it is supposed to be aimed at. The fact that all the best moments were lifted directly from Pacific Rim 1 is quite sad really and says a lot about what Hollywood has become. I do not await the sequel eagerly and will not be watching it at the cinema, if at all. The film does toy with some cool concepts and has a couple of enjoyable scenes but overall it is far less than what I had hoped for.