Saturday, March 24, 2018

Movie Review -- Pacific Rim: Uprising

It's been a while, but I decided to come back for another review or two. This time it's the sequel to the giant robot action-fest Pacific Rim. Unlike the first, this one isn't directed by Guillermo del Toro. Can it deliver a knockout?

The story begins ten years after Pacific Rim with party boy/smuggler Jake Pentecost (John Boyega), son of Stacker Pentecost from the original. He gets into trouble one day with orphan Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny), a teenage rebel who has built her own mini Jaeger unit. This is illegal, and the authorities swiftly arrive and, after a chase in Amara's tiny Jaeger, the two are arrested.

However, both are acknowledged for their piloting skills by Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) and recruited to become Jaeger pilots. Neither are given a warm welcome, and both have to prove themselves. Jake is reunited with his old partner Lambert (Scott Eastwood) and they have to provide security for an upcoming summit. But things go from bad to worse when a renegade Jaeger unit shows up and attacks everyone. Unfortunately for our heroes, this is only the tip of a traitorous iceberg. Can Jake and his team prevent a Kaiju resurgence and the annihilation of mankind?

Sitting through this movie, I really didn't miss del Toro not being in the director's chair (he's a producer this time). This movie gives you everything the first one did, minus some key characters (where the hell is Raleigh?). It's got all the robot smashing action you could ever want, along with some genuinely funny moments. The plot, which I initially thought was predictable, proved to be less so. I thought for sure I knew who the villain was, but I was wrong. Other than that, it's about the same as its predecessor (giant monsters threaten the world, a hero and heroine have to form an unlikely team to save it), but is that really so bad? Perhaps my standards have fallen a bit, but I quite enjoyed Pacific Rim: Uprising, and the clapping throughout the theater at the end let me know I wasn't alone. If you liked the first one, you'll probably like the sequel. If you didn't, Uprising won't change your mind.

Note to the creators: Next time, bring back Ron Perlman, dammit!

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