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Movie Review: Pacific Rim Uprising

March 24, 2018

If you are looking for a well-crafted, highly intelligent and charming sequel, you might want to hit the back button on your web browser, because Pacific Rim Uprising offers none of that.

Distancing itself from its 2013 predecessor, Uprising trades in the interesting story for a convoluted plot that is barely held together. Uprising was afforded such a huge opportunity to dive into the rich universe it established in the original, but instead it focuses more on the action, cheapening the experience altogether.

If you have no idea what exactly is going on in the world of the Pacific Rim movies, here’s a brief explanation. In the films’ version of Earth, large, alien monsters called “Kaiju” come out of an interdimensional portal at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, aptly named the “Breach.”

The Kaiju then promptly tear through coastal cities such as Manila, Hong Kong, San Francisco and Sydney. To counter the Kaiju threat, large human-shaped battle robots called “Jaegers” were created. These Jaegers are piloted by two people, both of whom share a neural connection to control the Jaeger’s movements. Still following? Good.

At the end of the first film, we see the Breach closed by our protagonists when they detonate a nuclear core within it. Humanity is saved, and the Kaiju are no longer a threat. Fast forward 10 years, and here is when Uprising kicks off. John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi) plays Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, who sacrificed himself at the end of the first film to close the Breach. It is Boyega’s acting, as well as the explosive action sequences, that practically saves this sequel from being completely forgotten.

While Uprising allows the robots to be the main characters, instead of taking the emotionally driven route the first movie took, the action is unforgettable. From one-on- one Jaeger versus Kaiju battles, to the epic Royal Rumble style tussles, Uprising is a movie any action fan will come to enjoy.

If you come into Uprising expecting another thought out and driven installment in the Pacific Rim universe, you may leave a little disappointed. It gets the action right, but not much else. While the end of the movie does leave a massive opening for future installments, maybe this is a series best left alone.

 

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