Blockbuster sequels can be extremely risky and sometimes unnecessary. In 2013 Guillermo Del Toro gave us the entertaining Pacific Rim and it was overall received pretty well. Del Toro did not come back for the sequel and it is incredibly obvious because Pacific Rim: Uprising takes everything the first one did well and throws it out the window. There are very few enjoyable aspects in this big-budget second instalment.
Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, reunites with Mako Mori to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including rival Lambert and 15-year-old hacker Amara, against a new Kaiju threat.
There are several problems with Pacific Rim: Uprising, but none stand out as much as the uninspired screenplay. Its like the writers sat down in a conference room and said “Okay guys, how lazy can we be with this one?” It is extremely frustrating to see this because sequels do have the potential to be on par or even better than the original, so the fact Pacific Rim: Uprising is so sluggish means the filmmakers truly did not care about it. The story is so thin and pretty predictable throughout.
John Boyega is the only enjoyable part of Pacific Rim: Uprising. He is so damn talented and does the best he can with the lackluster screenplay and rushed character he’s handed. He had some funny moments and basically kept the movie from being pure trash. The rest of the supporting cast including Scott Eastwood, Charlie Day, and Cailee Spaney were pretty underwhelming. Scott Eastwood should not be acting. Period. Charlie Day really fell flat in his antagonist role and had way too many cheesy one liners. As a matter of fact, the entire movie had too many cheesy one liners. Some of the bad acting probably comes from an inexperienced directorial effort from Steven S. DeKnight. It wasn’t the worst directing and acting in 2018, but it would make a top 10 list on that subject.
Of course, Pacific Rim: Uprising is a CGI heavy movie. For the most part, the visual effects look good in this one. One can guess that’s where most of the budget went, but it just sucks that it was almost all for nothing. These big battles between the Yager and Kaiju were pretty boring overall. The first 5 minutes, yeah it’s pretty awesome. But after that it gets so repetitive and boring. They’re constantly falling into buildings and running at each other, that’s it. There is no creativity in the choreography of these giant fights. It is a real problem when a viewer is yawning while seeing all of this destruction on screen.
One of the most annoying things with Pacific Rim: Uprising is that it tries, but has almost no emotional pull. The movie tries so hard to connect you to the characters, but ultimately it feels rushed and forced. Del Toro’s Pacific Rim at least attempted to have character development and at times, it worked. Uprising barely tried and when it did, it was almost impossible to care.
Overall, Pacific Rim: Uprising is a very generic and lackadaisical sequel that slaps the first one in the face. It is so frustrating that studios put out sequels like this instead of trying to make something as enjoyable as the original. John Boyega’s performance and the visual effects are the only two aspects that are entertaining. We can only hope that this second installment flops and we don’t get a third one. Don’t waste your time seeing this one in theaters.