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Review: Pacific Rim Uprising

John Boyega stars in Legendary Pictures' PACIFIC RIM UPRISING

While a good percentage of people who saw it thought well enough of Pacific Rim, there were questions concerning if a sequel would ever get made. For a good period of time, it didn’t appear like it would since it didn’t exactly do all that well in North America. In the past, that was enough to ensure that a sequel wouldn’t be produced, but that’s not always the case anymore. Now, thanks in large part to China, a new leading man and a slightly different approach, there seems to be at least some potential to keep this franchise going.

Set ten years after the events of the original, Pacific Rim Uprising sees John Boyega as Jake Pentecost, a former Jaeger pilot who seems to have squandered all of his potential after adopting a life within the criminal underworld. By the looks of it, he has had no desire to ever go back to the life he once knew, but when an imposing threat shows up and threatens mankind, he’s given the chance to redeem himself, save the world and live up to his father’s (Idris Elba) legacy and lofty expectations.

What I got out of Pacific Rim Uprising was that there’s some legit potential to entertain plenty of people who choose to check it out. There’s action, lively characters and plenty of conflict throughout its duration. As it stands, this is the kind of action movie that may be fun as long as you don’t put a great deal of thought in it. It may also help if you don’t go in there with high expectations.

Although a significant number of people who saw the original enjoyed it, some had serious complaints that they tried to fix in the sequel. One complaint that the audience had come in the form of its looks. From the start, almost everything we saw in that movie was extremely dark. It was so dark that it became difficult to see some of the action that was going on. In Uprising, they made sure to fix this as it’s quite a bit brighter throughout the entire picture regardless of if they were fighting or not.

They also made this a little less grim and gloomy in terms of the tone. I think that much was evident just based purely on the casting, the advertisements and the trailers. For some, this could be seen as a negative modification, but others could see it as a necessary shift. Since it didn’t perform as well as they would have hoped the first time around, this change makes sense. Not only does the movie look better, they’re clearly targeting a larger audience.

To go along with this change, I figured they would be the kind of flick that only young kids might love. What I realized is that yes, it is aimed at a slightly younger demographic, but it’s not as childlike as I had anticipated. They try to make this fun in different ways, but there’s still an attempt to make things somewhat serious and mature enough for people who aren’t interested in a movie about teenagers dealing with obstacles that usually have to overcome in stuff like this.

With the chance that all of that can be seen as positive, this is not a movie without some serious faults that halt its development and prevents from being all it could have been. The most biggest and most obvious flaw comes in the form of its storytelling. The trouble with this aspect of Uprising are clear early on in the first act. You’ll see that what’s being given to us is a jumbled mess that isn’t capable of guiding the audience through as it should be.

As it moved forward, I never felt as if this was atrocious or anything, but it continued down the path to mediocrity with no signs of improving in any facet due to this. I had no reason to believe things would get any better either, but they did once we got to the final act. Much to my surprise, this part of the movie is actually good. There was a part of me that was happy about this, but I also began to realize that there was potential for a better experience for those of us who were watching.

Although this won’t be well received due to everything it gets wrong, there are some things in Pacific Rim Uprising that people may like. I don’t know if there will be a third movie in this series, but if we get one, I hope they can do their best to build on any positive aspects that are here and improve on them. If that happens, I’d be open to it assuming they bring a tighter story with them. If not, they might as well wrap it up right now and look to doing something else.

Rating: PG-13

Director: Steven S. DeKnight

John Boyega
Scott Eastwood
Cailee Spaeny
Jing Tian
Charlie Day
Adria Arjona
Burn Gorman
Rinko Kikuchi

Film Length: 111 minutes

Release Date: March 23, 2018

Distributor: Universal Pictures

  • 5/10
    Score - 5/10
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