Archive for Steven S. DeKnight

MOVIE REVIEW: PACIFIC RIM UPRISING

Posted in Aliens, Eye Candy, Monsters, Movies, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Sequels with tags , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2018 by darklordbunnykins

Film Title: Pacific Rim Uprising

No, Pacific Rim Uprising is not horror, but it has monsters – sorry, kaiju – so close enough for The DLB. It’s also not horrible, which was what I have to admit I was expecting from this sequel to Guillermo Del Toro’s only okay original. In fact, in many ways, it is a better movie that is even more fun.

Uprising takes place a decade after the Breach was closed. Jake Pentecost (John Boyega), son of war hero Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba, seen here in hologram), has been living a life of petty crime in a coastal city devastated by the giant monsters when he meets Amara (Cailee Spaeny), an orphan with a talent for making Jaegers out of junk. Arrested together, they are sent to Jaeger pilot boot camp where we learn that Jake washed out of the academy years ago, despite his potential. Now, in a bid to both honour his father and get out from underneath his shadow, he agrees to train a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including Amara. Activate redemption narrative now.

Film Title: Pacific Rim Uprising

Less obvious are some of the rather clever plot twists that follow, involving, sorry, cool new iterations of both Jaegers and kaiju. In fact, Uprising is surprisingly clever, despite a fellow critic’s not disrespectful pronouncement that it is “big, dumb, and fun.” Big and fun? For sure, but I also admired how director/co-writer Steven S. DeKnight and his team found a way to both honour Guillermo’s first film – which, to me, always felt more like one of his one-for-the-studio films, like Blade II, than, say, something personal The Shape of Water – and expanded that universe.

Film Title: Pacific Rim Uprising

Credit much of that success to Boyega’s charisma and humour, as well as expanded roles for scientists Hermann Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) and Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day). Their dynamic is particularly entertaining, even if it has changed significantly from the first film. (Go see it to find out what I mean.)

Film Title: Pacific Rim Uprising

Yes, there are some amazing new kaiju and some awesome mayhem, but the focus is as much on relationships and story, making Pacific Rim Uprising that rare sequel that, to my twisted mind, surpasses its predecessor.