Who doesn’t love giant robots and monsters fighting from the first Pacific Rim film? No one I want to be friends with, that’s for sure. The highly anticipated sequel to the original Guillermo del Toro film has had some starts and stalls, but after a few pushbacks it finally is getting to theaters.
Is it terrible? Not really, no. Does it have the same del Toro magic as the first? Of course not.
There is a decidedly Transformers feel this time around- and I don’t mean that in a negative way, really. There are explosions, there are Jaeger fights (obviously), and there are jokes. Like, a lot of jokes compared to the original.
No, there is no Charlie Hunnam, and no Hannibal Chau, so don’t go in expecting them. John Boyega is a nice addition to the franchise, his familial relationship with existing characters was for the most part was believable and not just a plot point.
The biggest takeaway from Uprising (for me, anyway) was how easy inclusion felt. What I mean by that is the non-white-dude factor within the Jaeger pilot program, and also the strong women calling the shots. It didn’t feel forced, it didn’t feel shoehorned in, it felt pretty effortless and natural. Of course the cadets would be more than just white dudes, and I appreciated the effort put in on that front.
It also sets the stage for additional films in the universe, so, if you need more Jaeger vs Kaiju in your life (like we all do), never fear.
SCORE: 3.5 out of 5, viewed in IMAX non 3D, would see again
The inclusion for sure, which I’ve already touched on. The additions to the cast of younger multiracial actors and actresses is a nice acknowledgement of the ‘world coming together’ theme from the first Pacific Rim, as well as seeing more than one woman in the pilot training program.
One of my biggest pet-peeves is when a sequel film with as big of a cult following as the first Pacific Rim has multiple “duh moments” where they basically explain the previous film. We. Know. We know there was a rift, we know there were alien things from another dimension, we know. We get it, we saw it, you don’t have to keep reminding us. And yet- they do.
My screening had several critics commenting on the fact that the majority of the fights in this film take place during the day, in full lighting, when in the previous film, it was mostly at night- which set the moody tone of the del Toro style. While it didn’t detract at all from my enjoyment (I did in fact not hate it) I can understand the disappointment.
One of the best parts of the original film is the score by Ramin Djawadi. This time however, we get a weird remix of the main theme, and it just doesn’t hit the same emotional chords. I personally was disappointed by this, but it does fit the feel laid out in the trailers with their hiphop undertunes.
See it in a theater with a good sound system, the dialog at times is a little muddy (like in the prison cell) but the action sequences are great.
Legendary Pictures Pacific Rim: Uprising opens on March 23rd, 2018.