Pacific Rim: Uprising

People seem to have fond memories of Pacific Rim and, to be honest, if you wanted to see giant robots fighting giant monsters, it was the movie for you but, to also be honest, it wasn’t that great.   Lots of filler, lots of cliched drama, and a leading man with the charisma of a used packet of Taco Bell sauce.   Sure, it was fun… but it wasn’t a good movie.

Now, we have Pacific Rim: Uprising and it is… pretty much what you would expect.

Picking up ten years after the events of the first movie, giving Charlie Hunam’s character time to get distracted by something shiny and disappear forever, this movie follows John Boyega and, no, I don’t remember his character’s name, but I do remember that he is the son of Idris Elba’s character from the first movie whose name I also don’t remember.     Boyega is running small time rackets in destroyed coastal cities, stealing parts from decommissioned Yaegers when he comes across a little girl (who I will call “little girl”) who is also stealing parts to build her own Mini-Yaegers.

I know what you’re thinking:   How is she doing this?   How did she lift the parts?   How did she transport them?  How could a 13 year old make a working three ton vehicle on her own?   

Well, best strap yourself in and eject that suspension of disbelief because it’s not going to get any better.

Long story short, the two of them are arrested and taken to the Yeagar program because Boyega is who he is and the little girl can built rock ’em sock ’em robots by herself.

From there, we’re thrust head first into a story that involves unmanned Yaegers, an evil corporation, and a sinister conspiracy that tips its hat way too soon to be shocking.

It’s not great, but that was something we expected.   It’s also fun, which is also something we expected.

Sure, it lacks the heart of the original, but in some ways, I actually consider that a plus because it’s not dragging its feet trying to tell a human story.   I understand some folks might have liked the relationship between the man and woman in the first movie, but to me, it was a drag and Uprising negates that drag to something almost non-existent. 

The thing that works against Uprising is that it doesn’t feel as new and exciting as the first movie.   There’s a been-there and seen-that attitude that isn’t helped by the very shallow story of young recruits that suddenly have to pilot the giant machines.   Gee, there’s going to have to kill one of them to drive home the danger of what they’re doing…. hmm… looking at you dark-skinned ethnic kid formerly from the Disney Channel.

Scott Eastwood looks so much like a CGI recreation of Clint Eastwood’s younger self that it’s almost distracting.   Sure, I know that can’t be helped, but Jesus…

There’s also a very badly bungled twist in the movie that I will be talking about next so, if you don’t want to be spoiled, skip the following paragraph.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Charlie Day’s character (who I also can’t remember the name of), it turns out, is under the sway of the Precursors, the aliens that send the Kaiju, and has been since he drifted with the Kaiju brain in the first movie.   He spends ten years rigging artificial Kaiji brains into drones and uses them to open gateways to bring the Kaiju back to Earth.   This would have been a heck of a twist if they didn’t reveal it way too early to be shocking and then play Charlie Day’s character like Charlie Day and not the sinister double-agent that he was.   To me, it completely derails him as a bad guy and turns him into a bad joke, like the movie just had to cram as much comedy in there as possible and never took the character seriously.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Still, as I said, it’s fun and makes no illusions about what it is or what it’s doing.   This is a movie where robots fight monsters and, on that, it delivers in the most shallow way possible.   Anything deeper and it’s just pretending and, becasue of that, there is almost no replay value for this film at all. 

Once and done, it seems.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: