March 23, 2018

PACIFIC RIM UPRISING is in theaters, REAL-D 3D and IMAX March 23.

I don’t even know where to begin. After waiting 5 years for this sequel I was really let down. This movie needed Guillermo Del Toro to save it.

John Boyega plays Jake Pentecost, a former Jaeger pilot and son of a war hero who saved the world in the first war against the Kaiju. Charlie Day returns as Dr. Newton, one of the only original cast members from the first film. They play on the audience connection to seeing a familiar face and it just fell flat. Completely missed the mark.

This movie had tons of action but fell short with the storyline. I felt like I was watching a movie made by children and the dialogue was just awful. If I had to pick one good thing I would say the graphics are awesome and without John leading this film it would be completely unwatchable.

I wish Guillermo Del Toro directed this one...I really loved the first Pacific Rim and I think the series had potential...I’m not so sure anymore.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

AshleyKAshley K. (Contributor) is a frequent traveler currently living in San Diego. She's a super nerd who enjoys all kinds of movies and doesn't always think the book was better.
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I think I finally understand why everyone loved Wonder Woman so much. When it came out, it received the very highest of praise from DC Universe fans. After actually seeing the film, I couldn't quite understand the buzz. Fans were doing backflips for this seemingly mediocre film that has questionable messages.

Then I spoke with someone who explained to me that for a DC film, Wonder Woman is totally remarkable. For a DC film. So the idea is that -- under the DC umbrella -- Wonder Woman was a fantastic movie. Under the "movies that are actually good" umbrella, it was not. So, given all of that information, when I tell you that Pacific Rim Uprising is a good movie, please understand what I mean; for a sequel to Pacific Rim, Pacific Rim Uprising is a good movie.

In Uprising, we pick up with the devious offspring of our hero from the original, Jake Pentecost (John Boyega). He's a partier and a bit of a criminal, most unlike his father who saved all humankind at the cost of his own life. It's been ages since the Kaiju threatened the well-being of earth and its inhabitants, but the rumor is, they're coming back.

During his daily scrambles to pillage Jaeger parts and make money, Jake stumbles upon a pint-sized Jaeger -- a robot built to be operated by a human from inside the head -- and a pilot to match, Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny). In an attempt to steal her custom bot, Scrapper, Jake gets them both caught and before they know it, they're sent off to train with other pilots -- whether they want to or not. While Jake gets re-acquainted with his old co-pilot, Nate Lambert (Scott Eastwood), Amara faces the challenge of acclimating to the frequent hostility of the other young recruits. Many of them have fought for their positions and when Amara is thrown in against her will, it causes quite a stir.

When the Jaeger program is threatened with drones created by Liwen Shao's (Jing Tian) Shao Corporation, Mako (Rinko Kikuchi) -- Jake's sister -- is to announce the final word on whether or not the program will be a go. At the assessment, a rogue Jaeger attacks, putting everyone in jeopardy and nearly compromising Shao's beloved project. Working closely with Dr. Newt Geiszler (Charlie Day), Shao wants to get to the bottom of the attack and roll out her drones as soon as possible. While she doubts Newt's loyalty, Liwen will do everything in her power to protect her life's work. Jake, Nate, Amara, and the team of teenaged junior recruits will need to suit up and get real familiar real quick if they want to save the world again.

When Pacific Rim the first came out, the movie was pitched to audiences as Robots fighting Monsters in the ocean. Very exciting! The movie was actually a very saccharine love story with about eight minutes of Robots fighting Monsters in the ocean. The fact that it took them four years to get a sequel done should speak for itself. Throw the Stars Wars guy and Clint Eastwood's son at the situation and we've got a blockbuster! That is incorrect, but I did quite enjoy Cailee Spaeny as the wily, strong-willed ginger with a heart of gold.

Something rather perplexing about this film was the editing. It was confusing and off-putting at best. That, followed by the attempts at humor, made for an almost pitiful viewing experience. They got a lot of backlash after the first movie and I'm sure they wanted to switch things up a bit, but the big picture didn't quite come through. All of that said, it was more entertaining than the first one by leaps and bounds. They're on the up and up and have lined us up for yet ANOTHER Pacific Rim. It's awfully ambitious of them, but we can't fault them for trying.

I'd say that if you took the time to see the first one, go ahead and check this one. It's a bit like Transformers meets Godzilla with crappier writing. For me, the highlight of the film was a cameo from the Trololo Man. If you know what I'm talking about, just go see the movie. Those 16 seconds or so make the entire thing worthwhile.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Katie Katie (Contributor) is a cinephile and Chicago native who has been reviewing film for nearly a decade. Her heroes include Roger Ebert and Jay Sherman -- it stinks!
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