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Film Review: More Action, Less Enjoyment in ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’

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CHICAGO – The giant robot film genre is in trouble. It wasn’t enough that “Transformers” has ground it to dust, but now the “Pacific Rim” sequel is going the same direction. There is action-a-plenty in the followup to Guillermo Del Toro’s fun and light first film, that lightness is missing in “Pacific Rim Uprising.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

It’s not a bad film, it’s just a conventional one. Del Toro did sort of an anti-Transformers take in the first Pacific Rim, applying his signature of myth and fairy tale to giant robots versus Godzilla-like creatures. He also produces this one, and first time feature director Steven S. DeNight helms and co-writes this latest adventure. There are folks from the first film, including a hyper Charlie Day (time to switch to decaf, dude) and Burn Gorman as scientists, but with a five year gap between stories it’s a constant, “now what his (or her) purpose?” This will be a satisfying take for fans of the developing franchise, but what made the first one interesting is missing, and that becomes more pronounced than what is there.

The film first introduces Jake Pentecost (John Boyega), the son of war hero Stacker Pentecost, who lost his life in the battle that defeated the Kaiju… those strange other-dimensional creatures that emerged from the sea at the Pacific Rim. The global world is still producing their protectors, the Jaeger (giant robots), but a black market for their parts has emerged and Jake actually participates in feeding that market.

When he encounters Amara (Cailee Spaeny), a teen girl who is building a rogue Jaeger, they both end up in jail. To obtain release, they both agree to go into Jaeger training – Jake is already a full ranger, Amara is a recruit. At the same time, a Jaeger corporation is developing a drone program. Their technology, aided by Drs. Geiszler and Gottlieb (Charlie Day and Burn Gorman), contains a biological chip that is connected to the Kaiju. Another battle is coming, with Jake and Amara about to participate.

“Pacific Rim Uprising” opens everywhere on March 23rd in regular and IMAX screenings. See local listings for IMAX theaters and show times. Featuring John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Burn Gorman, Rinko Kikuchi and Charlie Day. Written by Steven S. DeKnight, Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder and T.S. Nowlin. Directed by Steven S. DeKnight. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Pacific Rim Uprising”

Lotsa ‘Bots in ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Pacific Rim Uprising”

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