Even though Guillermo Del Toro stepped down as director for Pacific Rim Uprising to work on The Shape Of Water, he did help with the production for the movie.
Charlie Hunnam's character from Pacific Rim, Raleigh Beckett, does not make an appearance in this movie. In the book, Pacific Rim Uprising: Ascension, it tells what happened to Raleigh Beckett after the breach was closed.
Despite getting #1 on the first weekend box office, Pacific Rim Uprising made $28 million in the box office, which is $9 million less than Pacific Rim's opening weekend.
Ten years after the breach was closed and ending the kaiju war, Jake Pentecost, son of the kaiju war hero, Stacker Pentecost, reunites with his sister, Mako Mori, to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including his rival Nate Lambert and 15 year old hacker Amara, against a new kaiju threat.
As far as story goes, Pacific Rim Uprising was very underwhelming. Outside of new designs for robots and monsters and fight scenes, it does not really show anything new. If the movie tried to do anything it was trying to be like the Marvel comic book movies by trying to be witty and humorous while still keeping the fights serious even though most of it just falls flat. What is frustrating me is if you have seen the recent previews, then you have practically seen most of the movie. I hate seeing a preview of a movie that basically shows you most of the movie. It ruins all of the surprise leaving very little room on what to expect. There is a plot twist in the movie that I did like that had to do with Charlie Day's character, Newton Geiszler. The change in his character through out the movie didn't make me think much of anything at first until it was revealed that he was the antagonist all along and was being mind controlled. As silly as that sounds the way that was revealed was kind of cool. The fact that he became addicted to drifting with a kaiju brain like he was getting high on it caused him to be mind controlled by the aliens from the first movie. It was like a metaphor for drug addiction and an addict's struggle with that addiction while pushing away the people that care about him the most. Lastly, there are just way too many things to focus on that the movie simply did not have time for. There is a lack of focus on ideas that the movie is trying to show. There are characters that have interesting stories and some ideas thrown around, but because there are other characters and too many ideas that the movie focuses on there is no time to tell at least one of their stories. At least in the first movie, the story mainly focused on Raleigh Beckett, Mako's co-pilot for Gypsy Danger, and their mission to close the portal once and for all. In Pacific Rim Uprising, it would concentrate on Jake Pentecost, then it would bounce to Amara, and there is the whole other plot with rogue Jaegers, the hybrid Jaegers, Newton going crazy, industrial espionage, etc. There is just too much going on all at once that I could not process what was going on in the movie.
John Boyega really pulls his own weight in this movie and his character is kind of likeable, but I wish I could say the same about the rest of the cast as well. While their acting skills are not the best, everybody did a good job to make the best of their characters. The problem I have with the characters in this movie is that I could not make any connection with them. Everybody is so bland. There are sub-plots that are briefly mentioned, but never explored. For instance, Scott Eastwood's character, Nate Lambert, has a bit of history with John Boyega's character, Jake Pentecost. The only thing you know is that they were once partners piloting Gypsy Avenger and they had a fight. This would have been really interesting to explore as it could have given Scott Eastwood's and John Boyega's characters more development to build upon to make both characters more likeable. Instead, the movie mentions it once and it is never heard about again. Again, this is because of the movie's lack of focus on one main character and one main story trying to be told in such a short time period. If the script was cleaned up and focused on one main character, then the story wouldn't have been as boring as it was.
The CGI and special effects are great. For a movie that has a lower budget than the first movie, this movie really goes all out in bringing much more clear visuals than the previous movie. This and having all of the fight scenes in the day time just makes this movie easier and much more enjoyable to watch. The designs for the Jaegers, the hybrids, and the Kaiju are sharp and crazy looking, but I just wish that there were more to show. When it comes to giant monsters I always love the fighting scenes. This is what movies like Pacific Rim are mainly made to be, but once again the previews already showed most of those fights leaving no surprises and it goes back to that other reason, the movie's lack of focus. What is most disappointing to me is that usually in most cases, sequels would or at least try to top the previous film. The only thing Pacific Rim Uprising topped the first movie are the visuals and special effects.
While Pacific Rim Uprising has great CGI and special effects it does not make up for the rest of the movie that is very bland. It is like the movie is trying too hard to be like the Marvel comic book movies, which does not fit well with this type of movie, and has too many ideas bouncing around that the movie focuses on. It doesn't help either that the previews shows most of the movie leaving very little room for any expectations making the experience even more underwhelming. Pacific Rim Uprising is a definite pass.
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