REVIEW: Pacific Rim Uprising

Review by Dustin Heller

Once again, giant robots are fighting giant monsters on the big screen in the new movie Pacific Rim Uprising.  The movie is the sequel to popular and mildly successful Pacific Rim which was directed by 2018 Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro.  Del Toro stepped out of the directing seat for the sequel but stayed on as a producer.  He handed over the directing reins to Steven S. DeKnight, who makes his feature-film directorial debut here.  Pacific Rim Uprising stars John Boyega (Finn from the new Star Wars films), Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Jing Tian, Charlie Day and Burn Gorman.  It is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and some language.

The movie picks up ten years after the Battle of the Breach, where the world is safe from Kaiju, but homemade Jaegers are becoming a problem for safety.  The Jaeger program is still alive, but it has evolved to the point where drifting pilots will be a thing of the past.  The new Jaegers will be piloted by a single individual and operated remotely.

After a surprise attack from a rogue Jaeger, the timelines for these new drone Jaegers has been pushed up to 48 hours.  The question is where did this rogue Jaeger come from and who is piloting it?  It’s now up to the new generation of pilots to figure out what’s happening and to ultimately save the world from total annihilation.

Pacific Rim Uprising is the sequel that had been rumored for years but could never seem to get made.  Well, I guess Avatar takes that prize, but nevertheless, the wait is finally over.  I say that tongue-in-cheek because this version of Pacific Rim is a far cry from the underrated original movie from del Toro .  Pacific Rim Uprising brings absolutely nothing new to the table in terms of creativity or originality; it almost felt like they made the same movie for a lot less money and with a lot less talent.

The biggest problem isn’t the acting or the lack of imagination, but rather the terribly corny and cliché screenplay.  It was so bad at times that I genuinely questioned whether or not they were trying to be ridiculous.  At this point, you’re probably thinking that this has got to be the worst movie ever–which isn’t the case.

Even though it has many faults–and I mean MANY–it is still somewhat entertaining and fun.  Watching giant robots fight one another and destroy cities is still kinda cool.  Pacific Rim Uprising is the definition of a popcorn movie, a chance to get away from real life for a couple hours and not think too much.  Because of this, many people are going to really enjoy it, but don’t expect a cinematic masterpiece.

Grade:  C-

Pacific Rim Uprising opens in theaters on Friday, March 23