PACIFIC RIM:  UPRISING – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 15 mins.

Director:  Steven S DeKnight

Starring:  John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman

Rise Up

It’s been 10 years since the War against the Kaiju ravaged the globe; the Pan Pacific Defense Corps continues to evolve and strengthen the Jaeger program.  Some cities still lay in ruins, littered-with the bones of the dead kaiju and destroyed buildings. Others are prospering and have been rebuilt bigger and better.  People are scouring the Earth for old Jaeger tech and equipment to construct their own, which are kept in highly-secured lots.  “Pacific Rim: Uprising” follows Jake Pentecost (John Boyega), the son of the late Stacker Pentecost and a former PPDC Ranger, who lives as a smuggler and thief profiting from those who seek the Jaeger tech.  After a situation goes awry, Jake discovers a young girl named Amara (Cailee Spaeny) who’s constructed a miniature Jaeger of her own; landing him right back with the PPDC.  Brought-in to serve as an instructor (and Amara as a recruit), Jake is reunited with his sister, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), and an old friend Nate Lambert (Scott Eastwood).  Jake and Nate’s relationship makes it evident that their past ended on bad terms.  While ushering-in a new era of sentinel Jaegers, introduced by Shao Industries to be controlled from a safe, remote location, Jake and Nate are co-pilots once again.  While in-control of Gipsy Avenger at the Pan Pacific Summit, a rogue Jaeger attacks and badly-injures Gipsy Avenger and the whole PPDC is put on-alert.  As the sentinels are approved, a surprise turn of events leads-to the reopening of the Breach, causing three kaiju to enter the Earth.  With PPDC’s Jaegers mostly destroyed, Jake and Nate must turn to the recruits to stop these kaiju before they begin a mass extinction event.

When “Pacific Rim” was released back in 2013, Guillermo del Toro introduced us to a new World of Jaegers and Kaiju that, while the film as a whole may not have been universally loved, blew audiences away with the large-scale battles.  Newcomer director Steven S. DeKnight has taken full advantage of that as “Pacific Rim: Uprising” is chock-full of big, glamorous, beautifully-shot Jaeger action sequences.  Another big hit from the first film was the banter and relationship between Dr. Hermann Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) and Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day).  Not only do they pick-up right where they left off, but they play a much bigger role this time around as well.  The rest of the cast is led-by John Boyega, as he continues to prove that he is one of the top new leading men in Hollywood; his wit, charisma, and comedic timing are impeccable.  Spaeny and Eastwood assumed most of the secondary acting duties, both convincing in their own right, as well as Tian Jing.  The film does a good job of not handcuffing itself this time around, leaving room for new adventures if audiences want to see more.

However, there is strangely only 1 single mention of Raleigh Beckett from the first film, but it is left open-ended.  The film also features impressive CGI, as the Jaeger battle sequences and other action set pieces.  However, “Pacific Rim: Uprising” has its fair share of problems as well.  Firstly, the film takes a long time to get going, with the plot moving painfully slow until a big twist is unveiled about 40 minutes in.  While the first half is certainly underwhelming, the second does its best to make-up for it.  The film also takes an interesting turn that pushes the boundary of belief but, as the premise itself is unbelievable, manages to work in the story.  “Pacific Rim: Uprising” has a run time of 111 minutes, considerably shorter than the original, but it struggles to get off the ground early.  The film never tries to be more than what it was originally meant to be, bad-ass action and dumb, outrageous fun.  On this, I’m happy to say, it delivers on all fronts and fans of the original will be pleased to hear that their worst nightmares can be put to bed!

“Pacific Rim: Uprising” picks-up ten years after the War against the kaiju, with a new threat front-and-center and all hope is nearly lost.  The film features some great action sequences, some fun new characters, and excellent visual effects.  If you’re a fan of the original or excited to see some robot vs kaiju battles, go see “Pacific Rim: Uprising” this weekend


This humble opinion is brought to you by T. K. Edwards


Director by:  Steven S. DeKnight

Cast:  John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman

It has been 10 years since the Kaiju attacked Earth and were defeated.  Now a new generation of Jaeger pilots must learn to work together to fight against a new Kaiju threat.


I went to see Pacific Rim Uprising with mediocre expectations.  Usually sequels do not live up to their originals and that once again seems the case for this franchise.  Now…that’s not to say Pacific Rim Uprising was a bad movie. That is definitely NOT what I am saying.  It just wasn’t as good as the original.  It had everything I was looking for and expected, but there were some flaws to it that I could not get past.  So, let’s start with the flaws and then move into the compliments. First there was the acting. I was not impressed by John Boyega’s surrounding cast.  He did great, but It felt like everyone acting around him was doing their first movie (and some were). Second, the film’s humor. If you’re going to do comedy in a movie you can’t push it on your audience.  Every joke in this film felt like there was this 5 second delay added to it because you didn’t realize you were supposed to laugh at it. It was an admirable attempt throughout the movie, but none of them were played out correctly.  Finally, the backstory to some of our characters was not there. The film did give you backstory on its’ main characters, but as far as it’s other minor characters a.k.a. the “away team” (Star Trek reference…LOL) we got nothing, so there was no emotional connection to any of them when they died in battle.  Now onto the compliments… 🙂
John Boyega was excited to play this role and you can tell by his performance on screen.  His energy throughout the film is what grabs your attention and keeps you in your seat. If he was not in this film, then Pacific Rim Uprising would have just been a bunch of giant robots fighting alien monsters, which I would still watch because it sounds awesome…Ha!  The special effects in this sequel were incredible! Sometimes I’ll catch a movie slipping with their CGI and a Beavis & Butthead quote will pop up in my head – “These special effects are NOT very special” – Butthead.  But that is not the case with PR2 because they went all out with their CGI.  Each action sequence was amazing and all the camera angles chosen were terrific.  As far as the story, I loved all the subtle connections to the first film and the plot twist that was thrown in was also a fun surprise.  All in all, my recommendation for Pacific Rim Uprising is go ahead and see this one in theaters or watch it at home. It’s worth a ticket for those who are fans of the franchise and for those who just want to see giant robots fighting alien monsters…again, awesome!  Until next time, thanks for reading.

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