Pacific Rim: Uprising
Length: 111 minutes / 1.85 hours
I think the trouble with some sequels, no matter how much I loved the original films, is that there’s almost an unspoken meshing of elements that made the first movie enjoyable but can be hard to reproduce a second time. That being said, Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018) does a pretty good job of continuing the story that came to a mostly definitive end in Pacific Rim (2013). Unfortunately, it looks like they also took a play out of Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) and have teased at a further sequel past Uprising.
I will admit that some sequels like Pacific Rim: Uprising have an easier time advancing the plot of the story since most of the exposition has been covered in the previous movie. There was certainly a creative and natural twist that helped bring back the Kaiju so that audiences could see giant robots fight them again. It was also fun to watch these Jaegers battle, much like we all enjoy the clashes between superheroes to see who is stronger (a la Captain America: Civil War (2016)). Even so, there was still something “off” about Uprising, and I think I know what it was.
In the original Pacific Rim, most of the characters were unique and had clear goals and motivations. However, in Uprising, there is certainly less of that. John Boyega’s Jake Pentecost didn’t chew on the scenery for nearly long enough, merely falling into line when the danger became apparent. Scott Eastwood’s performance was also equally distracting, especially with how much he resembles his father. While Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) was an empowering female character in Pacific Rim, Jules Reyes (Adria Arjona) seemed to be merely thrown in for ill-defined sexual tension. I also wasn’t wild with the Ender’s Game-esque addition of teenage pilots either. Still, the promise of Kaiju/Jaeger fights was satisfied.
An adequate sequel that delivers on the action expected of it, I give Pacific Rim: Uprising 3.0 stars out of 5.