Pacific Rim: Uprising
For those of you who may not remember the original 'Pacific Rim', it was released back in 2013 to pretty decent reviews. I actually loved it. It had to do with a portal forming in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, through which a monster race came barging through, and wreaking havoc. But, we human beings ended up building what are essentially gigantic mech suits known as Jaegers to fight them off, and keep them at bay.
It wasn't without errors, but it spoke to the darker side of geek culture, had unique ideas, certainly a visual spectacle on the big screen, the characters were decently developed, and it was a lot of fun. One of my favorites of the year, personally speaking. But hey, let's bring back a familiar name for no truly good reason, other than to cash in on John Boyega's 'Star Wars' fame. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for the guy, but between this and 'Star Wars', they are a couple of his lamer roles. He's a great actor, and I highly recommend catching him at his best, acting in some great dramatic roles, and of course my favorite role of his - 'Attack the Block'. Anyway, on with this title, shall we?
It's ten years after the events of the first movie, and the son of Stacker Pentacost (Idris Elba), Jake Pentecost (Boyega) is a former Jaeger pilot, is making a living by stealing and dealing in broken down Jaeger parts on the black market. The lifestyle is interesting enough. They show things like how he tends to squat in abandoned mansions because there's a Kaiju (the monsters from the portal) skeleton sitting next to it or something. It actually starts off not so bad. But then, we get the ball rolling, and it just kind of sadly declines as it goes on.
We soon meet Amara (Cailee Spaeny), who ends up being that child prodigy character who's really good at building things. She has her own Jaeger, and long story short, the pair of Jake and Amara show off what they can do with Amara's Jaeger, running from the law who catches them dealing. They get arrested, but recruited, Amara as a new ranger, and Jake as a trainer. He ends up paired up with his former copilot, a douche named Nate Lambert (Scott Eastwood) who has to keep reminding Jake about how he messed up in his past. In fact, this brings me to my first major criticism of the movie - the relationships. There's so much bickering and arguing going on between everyone in this movie that it's distracting. By the end of it all, we kinda just stop caring about them.
When they bring the fight to the city, the devastation left behind is kind of insane. It is suggested later on that the underground shelters used to evacuate these cities are still being used, but that first fight most definitely killed a lot of people due to it being a surprise attack. And sadly, yeah, it's just kind of brushed over as these kinds of movies tend to do, except maybe the first one of these. I'll even say a movie I sincerely didn't enjoy, 'Batman v Superman' addressed the devastation left behind in 'Man of Steel' pretty well. It ends up being the whole reason Batman sees Superman as a threat. I guess this is just me trying to be fair.
The sequel to 'Pacific Rim' has had almost 5 years to grow, and it really and truly could have been a lot better. Though a lot of elements are similar, this wasn't of that fun, geeky level like the original was. Comparisons could be things like 'Thor: Ragnarok' or even 'Guardians of the Galaxy' - certainly not on the same level, but similar, fun, speak-to-geek style. This was more like a 'Transformers' sequel to me, to where I still enjoy the first movie for what it is, but the sequel is almost a nosedive into bad.
It's full of cliches, terribly cheesy dialogue, generally based on arguments and people fighting, and on top of all that it even feels incredibly rushed. It runs for close to two hours, but so much of those two hours are focused on the wrong thing. Did I forget to mention the threat in this is Charlie Day from the original film? Y'know, the comedy relief? Yeah, he "drifts" in his spare time with the brain of a Kaiju, it messes with his brain, and he brings in a bunch of... I guess... Kaiju alien brains who pilot broken down Jaegers? I don't really know what I saw. All I know is this just made me wanna pull a 'Matrix' with this potential series-to-be, and stick to the original as it's own thing. I can't say I expected a hell of a lot more than what I got, but my expectations were pretty low, based on other reviews. It's pretty bad going into a movie hoping that it will pleasantly surprise you.
This could have done all right as a straight to video deal, because it kind of felt like that's where it belonged. The box office hasn't exactly been kind to it either, so it was an interesting move throwing this on the big screen when clearly, not a whole hell of a lot of people asked for it.
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