Go Janglers! Pacific Rim: Uprising Movie Review

JOHN BOYEGA as Jake Pentecost in the Gipsy Avenger Conn-Pod in "Pacific Rim Uprising." The globe-spanning conflict between otherworldly monsters of mass destruction and the human-piloted super-machines built to vanquish them was only a prelude to the all-out assault on humanity.

The war that we thought we finished is just beginning.

Several years following the end of the Battle of the Breach, the Pan Pacific Defense Corps (PPDC) have kept their Jaeger Program alive in the event that the Kaiju find another way to open a portal. Jake Pentecost, son of late General Stacker Pentecost, has dropped out of the Jaeger Program to survive on his own by stealing jaeger parts to sell on the black market. As he is attempting to make a deal, he finds out that another orphan named Amara Namani has beat him to the punch in stealing a very valuable item for own jaeger that she calls Scrappy.

Together, they flee danger from rival black marketeers in Scrappy only to be stopped by the PPDC, who has deployed a much larger jaeger to capture them. Having used his last favor, Jake is given the option to rejoin the Jaegar Program, or go to jail by Commander Mako Mori, who happens to be his adoptive sister. Jake returns to the Shatterdome as an instructor. Namani is sent with him to be a recruit due to her impressive ability to build and pilot Scrappy.

After the reunion with Jake’s former co-pilot, Nate Lambert, they learn that Liwen Shao is attempting to shut down the Jaeger Program with her new drones. When a rogue Jaeger named Obsidian Fury attacks Mori’s helicopter, Shao convinces the government to move forward with her program. Unfortunately, the Precursors have used the Kaiju to infiltrate Shao’s organization with the goal of completing what they started during the Breach.

The only thing standing in front of the Apocalypse is us.

Five years in the making was worth the wait for fans of the 2013 film and anyone who appreciates CGI battles reminiscent of classic Japanese monster movies versus colossal robots that are manned with people who neurologically connect to operate them. From the creative mind of Guillermo del Toro, comes an uprising of epic proportions. Although del Toro wasn’t able to direct this sequel due to his Academy Award winning work on The Shape of Water, it appears that he heavily coached Steven S. DeKnight in his directorial debut. Industrial Light & Magic and Legacy Effects returned to provide a majority of the special effects that made the first film so entertaining.

Audience reactions to the fantastic special effects proved to me that these companies are masters in what they do. Equally notable was that the casting which was very satisfying, despite the absence of Iris Elba and Charlie Hunnam.  John Bodega proved that he can act, outside of Star Wars 7 and 8. It was a treat to see Scott Eastwood in a supporting role where he actually has lines. Newcomer Aileen Paeony surprisingly commanded a great deal of screen time where hopefully she will be noticed for future roles.

The story is very straight forward, clean, and tight with a mid credits scene that teases the audience. I’m seriously hoping that the buzz is correct and this film earns enough revenue for a third film where the plot revolves around mankind crossing over to the Ante verse to proactively prevent future invasions.

For more fun, please visit the official website at http://www.pacificrimmovie.com where you can join the Jaeger Academy, watch the trailer, and shop for Jaeger kits! Go Janglers!    – Movie Buffet

Release Date: March 23, 2018
Running Time: 1 hour and 51 minutes
Rated PG-13
Grade B
Directed By: Steven S. DeKnight

John Boyega as Jake Pentecost
Scott Eastwood as Nate Lambert
Cailee Spaeny as Amara Namani
Tian Jing as Liwen Shao
Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori
Charlie Day as Dr. Newt Geiszler
Burn Gorman as Dr. Hermann Gottlieb
Zhang Jin as Marshal Quan

About Laura McDonald