Pacific Rim: Uprising is directed by Steven S. DeKnight and stars John Boyega as Jack Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost played by Idris Elba in the first Pacific Rim film.
This time around the rebellious but courageous Jack leads a group of Jaeger pilots into battle against a new onslaught of Kaiju.
The first Pacific Rim always got crapped on because the audience labelled it an empty human experience but was a vehicle for delivering exciting mech on monster mayhem which I totally disagreed with.
Uprising takes the Pacific Rim story and turns it into a brand, the very first teaser we got of Uprising felt like a company trying to sell the consumer a new pair of designer shores, simply making the film a mechanism for Jaeger and Kaiju destruction and little else, while I would of always defend the human characters in the first film, in Uprising the attempts to flesh them out feel stunningly calculated.
As usual John Boyega is a likeable and charismatic presence with a lot of range, he really gets you through a lot of the film, Scott Eastwood is a likeable presence as well, but his character is very bland.
Cailee Spaeny was a bright spot at times, she has a lot of charm and I look forward to seeing her in more movies in the future.
What they do with Charlie Days character in one sense is interesting and actually makes a little sense to the continuity of the franchise, but because of Charlie Day’s performance it’s made and taken for laughs, when you’re not meant to be laughing you are and it’s because of how poorly Day delivers his lines and acts.
The first half of the movie has brief scuffles between good Jaegers and bad, but for the most part it’s a lot of build-up. Once the real plots rears it’s head the remaining half is almost entirely action.
While this may be a relief for some the action is very over the top and cartooning; I know that might not make sense but in the first film you felt the battles, you felt the struggle the characters went through.
Apparently, DeKnight is a big fan of Mobile Suit Gundam which is made clear by one specific moment in the film, but with Uprising the homages feel like they’ve Americanize it, Gundam isn’t just about Mechs in space and battles and explosions, the major theme of every series in the franchise is the horror and pain of war. The Mech battles are just the toffee centre goodness.
Uprising doesn’t understand what made the first Pacific Rim an entertaining fun action piece, there really isn’t anything under the surface of it, apart from John Boyega.
Should you go watch Pacific Rim: Uprising? Best to go watch the first one.
Why? Because this just feels like another Transformers Movie and we’ve had enough of them.