Hey Hasbro, take notes, this is how a giant robot movie should go… mostly.
While in no risk of winning any awards outside of a Razzie (it’s not that bad though) Pacific Rim: Uprising is a solid, if forgettable, sequel to a monster movie that did it right only to be followed up with a sequel that isn’t terrible but does not possess the charm and depth of the first. What I appreciate most about Uprising is its transparency; this movie is exactly as advertised. Monsters and robots fighting and destroying cities like they were made of Lincoln Logs. Where this falters though is in the lack of monster majesty that del Toro captured so brilliantly with the first Pacific Rim. There was a consequence to these monsters wreaking havoc upon our cities and there were equal repercussions to protecting them.
Uprising is a world of zero ramifications it would seem and therefore the weight of the first, that stroke of magic that made the first worth it is lost. While nowhere near as awful as the Transformers movies, this is not the sequel I believe we should have be given. Del Toro should have been left to helm the sequel but alas, here we are.
It may not be as awe inspiring as its predecessor, Uprising still manages enough eye candy to appease any fans of the original even if only for a fraction of the time. The characters are complex enough for brief moments of dramatic heft but for the most part they are character archetypes of an everyday action flick. The reluctant hero, the young prodigy, the stubborn estranged comrade, and the wondrously over-the-top villain hell bent on world destruction because why not. This is nothing new and the main reason for its creation was done better the first time around. This all said, Uprising still stirs up quite a bit of fun while it’s on screen.
In the first film, story had its place; in the second there are times of exposition but no real escalation of story and the danger these characters are put in. They never seem to be out of their depth for very long and the solutions they come up with are outlandish even for this kind of monstrosity. Everything happens smoothly and efficiently even when destruction falls on them it feels like it’s part of the plan. Any setback, any obstacle they face only hinders them briefly and then they move on better than ever and ready to face any threat. They are almost never caught off guard. The drama of alien monsters the size of skyscrapers is somehow lost in a barrage of cgi effects and moderately cool but uninspired action sequences.
Rather than continue the journey established in the first, Uprising is merely an exercise in big effects, big explosions, and big hopes for a continuing franchise. The characters are empty but charismatic enough to carry this action orgy from start to finish. The story is lackluster and nearly nonexistent beyond a need to get from point A to point B as demanded by the basic nature of film and film structure but it’s serviceable as an action film to pass the time with.
The battles are massive and plentiful wasting no time to get the point of why we’re all watching, monsters fighting robots. It is as advertised and nothing else. If you want more I don’t understand why you’re looking at this film as your solution for deeper storytelling, you will not find it. Pacific Rim: Uprising is a fun but forgettable action flick with plenty of visual splendor to hold over even the most cynical soul for at least two hours.
Rated PG-13 For: sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and some language
Runtime: 111 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Starring: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Charlie Day
Directed By: Steven S. DeKnight
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 2/ Acting: 3/ Directing: 3.5/ Visuals: 5
OVERALL: 3.5 Nerdskulls
Buy to Own: Yes/No, take it or leave it.
Check out the trailer below:
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