If you go into Pacific Rim: Uprising expecting the same level of quality as the first movie, you’re going to be disappointed, but if you approach it with a B-movie mentality, you’ll have a lot of fun. The film centers around John Boyega as Jake Pentecost, the son of Idris Elba’s character from the first movie and a small-time grifter who is forced to re-enter the military after being caught selling stolen Jaeger parts, as well Cailee Spaeny as Amara Namani, an orphan who is recruited after having built her own illegal Jaeger.
Burn Gorman and Charlie Day’s Hermann and Newt return from the first movie and are as entertaining as ever, and Rinko Kikuchi’s Mako Mori also returns in a small role. Otherwise, the film focuses entirely on the new cast. The human drama of the film is all pretty cliche and the dialogue is downright cringey at times, but nobody watches a movie like this for the drama anyway. There is a twist midway through the movie that I genuinely didn’t see coming, and it pushes one of my favorite characters into the center of the plot, so it isn’t all bad.
There are a lot of cool fights in this movie. Our heroes have to fight not only against kaiju but also against other Jaegers that attack for unknown reasons. The special effects are equal in quality to the first movie, with the same rock ’em-sock ’em thrills that made the first film so much fun. They don’t skimp on the fights either. There are half a dozen or so major battles in the movie that steadily increase in scale, and even when the human parts are boring, you never have to wait too long for more giant robot action.
Pacific Rim: Uprising is not going to win any awards for subtlety, but if you dig giant robots as much as I do, it’s a heck of a lot of fun.
Final Rating: 3.5/5