Rating (2.5 out of 5)
I was a bit under the weather yesterday and noticed Pacific Rim: Uprising on the TV App on my Apple TV, playing on HBO. Pacific Rim, the first movie which I recently watched in anticipation of Uprising, disappointed and curiosity compelled me to watch the sequel. Did my state of health impact my perception of Uprising, maybe, because I enjoyed Uprising more than I expected. Uprising still isn’t a great film, but still Uprising entertained a little bit.
Plot: Jake Pentecost (John Boyega) used to be a Jaeger pilot, but now steals part. He is caught and given a choice; prison or return to being a pilot. His partner in crime, Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny) is offered to join the corp as well or prison. The world appears to be safe, until Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day) puts Kaiju brains into drone Jaegers and morphs them in Kaiju. These Jaeger/Kaiju release Kaiju from the breach. Jake, Amara and the other cadets to stop the Kaiju before they get to Mount Fuji and blow up the world.
What I Liked: Amara built a little Jaeger out of scrapes of destroyed Jaegers from the war. I enjoyed the little Jaeger opening sequence and probably the best part of the movie.
The battles were fairly straight forward and occurring during the day, which allows you to see all the details which I liked. I thought those scenes were more enjoyable than the prior movie. I especially liked the Jaeger that flipped more like a human. Finally, I appreciate action movies where characters die and are a couple of deaths in the final battles.
What I Didn’t Like: When the plot can’t be explained in a couple of lines, there is just too much going on in the movie, as there is here. There is a bit too much melodrama between all the characters, and therefore you really don’t get connected to any of the characters.
Here is a list of relationships we have to monitor:
Jake and Amara
Amara and the cadets
Jake and Nate
Dr. Geizler and Hermann Gottlieb
Jake and Mako Mori
All of the relationships were lifeless and offered little of interest to the audience. There is a total lack of good character development in Uprising and lacks focus.
Poor story writing resulted in a contrived and listless film. They telegraphed the rocket solution at the beginning of the movie which is fine. However, the solution was last minute and seemed impossible during any situation. The Kaiju have target and a plan to defeat Earth. The plan to drop their blood into Mount Fuji which would create an explosion which would wipe out life on earth was their target in the first movie as well; the characters in the first move were too stupid to figure out the plan? Really, that is the story line.
Conclusion: Pacific Rim: Uprising is what it is. If you accept Uprising for a sequel to a so-so Science Fiction movie and accept its flaws wearing action-geek googles and your a little under the weather, then and only then, Uprising movie is fine. If you are looking for a movie with good dialog, a well thought out plot, and great action sequences, look elsewhere.
Check out our friends at Jordan and Eddie and their review of Pacific Rim: Uprising.
I think it is interesting they used Steven S. DeKnight as the director, since his prior background is all in TV shows. What is interesting….I think Pacific Rim would actually make a much better TV series than it does a movie.