Pacific Rim Uprising: My Movie Review

Pacific Rim Uprising is a 2018 American sci-fi film that is a sequel to the 2013 film Pacific Rim, where Guillermo del Toro originally directed the film and as well serving as producer. Yet, this time for its sequel it was directed by Steven S. DeKnight (which is in fact his first feature film to direct), with screenplay by himself, Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder, and T.S. Nowlin. 

The film ‘s principal photography began in Australia in November 2016 and was released in the US by Universal Pictures on March 23, 2018, in 2D, Real D 3D, IMAX 3D, and IMAX. The said film has a production budget between $150-$176 million and made a worldwide grossing income of $286 million, making it the 10th highest-grossing film of 2018 as per latest statistics. 

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!!!

The film is set in the year 2035, a plot that follows humanity again fighting against Kaiju, giant alien monsters with a vision to destroy and dominate the world. The sequel stars 6-time award-winning British actor John Boyega (Finn of Star Wars/ Moses of Attack the Block/ Dismukes of Detroit/ Ty of The Circle/ Bond of The Whale/ Ugwu of Half of a Yellow Sun/ Danny Curtis of Becoming Human) as Jake Pentecost, the son of Stacker Pentecost, and one of the prominent pilots who man a mobile weapon robot called as Jaeger. American actress and singer Cailee Spaeny (The Cashier of The Shoes/ Erica of Counting to 1000) played her role as Amara Namani, a street orphan who created Scrapper, a Jaeger created by a civilian named Kai.

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Award-winning American actor and son of renowned Hollywood actor Clint Eastwood named Scott Eastwood (Lieutenant GQ Edwards of Suicide Squad/ Little Nobody of Fast and Furious 8/ Luke Collins of The Longest Ride/ Andrew Foster of Overdrive/ Trevor James of Snowden/ Mitch of Mercury Plains/ Jackson of Diablo/ Sergeant Miles of Fury/ Lundsford of Flags of our Fathers) played his role as Jake’s estranged co-pilot named Nate Lambert. 

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Chinese actress Tian Jing (San of Kong: Skull Island/ Liu He of Fist & Faith/ Shen Zhenzhu of The Glory of Tang Dynasty/ Commander Lin Mae of The Great Wall) played her role as a businesswoman and technologist named Liwen Shao. Oscar nominee and 9-time award-winning Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi (Chieko Wataya of Babel/ Bang Bang of The Brothers Bloom/ Akane of Westworld/ Asuka Moriki of Terra Formars/ Witch of 47 Ronin) played her reprised role as Mako Mori,  the stepsister of Jake who is now the PPDC (Pan Pacific Defense Corps) Secretary General and a former pilot of a Jaeger named Gipsy Danger. 

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American actor Burn Gorman (Stryver of The Dark Knight Rises/ Holly of Crimson Peak/ Nicholas Farlow of Jamestown/ Major Hewlett of TURN: Washington’s Spies/ Morgan of Imperium/ Karl Tanner of Game of Thrones) played his reprised role as a scientist named Dr. Hermann Gottlieb, who continued to work at PPDC, an organization created by the United Nations against Kaiju. Two-time award-winning American actor Charlie Day (Benny of The Lego Movie/ Charlie Kelly of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia/ Art of The Monsters University/ Richie of Luis) played his reprised role as a brainwashed and former scientist in PPDC named Dr. Newton Geiszler, who later became the Precursor Emissary after his mind was taken by the Precursors.

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Award-winning Chinese actor Jin Zhang (Ma San of The Grandmaster/ Cheung Tin-chi of IpMan 3/ Guo Nan of Wushu) played his role as Marshal Quan, a commanding officer of PDCC. 

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Puerto Rican actress Adria Arjona (Amanda of Life of the Party/ Dorothy Gale of Emerald City/ Helena of Narcos/ Dani Silva of Person of Interest/ Emily of True Detective) played her role as Jules Reyes, one of PDCC’s officers.

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The movie has received a lot of mixed reviews from critics, some of which called the film inferior to del Toro’s first film a tedious to watch. Though some criticized the script, direction and humor, yet others praised it as a fun and goofy entertainment, whilst praising the performance of Boyega and Spaeny including its visual effects.

According to a review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film got an average rating of 5/10, and an approval rating of 43% based on 196 reviews. The website’s critical consensus also reads, 

Pacific Rim Uprising won’t win any points for subtlety or originality, but it delivers enough of the rock ’em-sock ’em robots-vs.-kaiju thrills that fans of the original will be looking for.”

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The film got a weighted average score of 44/100, based on 44 critics, and indicating “mixed or average reviews” on Metacritic. IMDb, the world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content, gave the film 5.9/10 based on 357 reviews. CinemaScore’s audience’s poll gave the film an average grade of “B” on an A+ to F scale, down from the first film’s “A-“, however reported filmgoers according to PostTrak gave it an overall positive score of 78%. 

Mark Kennedy of Associated Press has awarded the film 3.5 out of 4 stars and called the film “cheer-at-the-screen fun”, lauding Spaeny’s chemistry to Boyega as well as his performance, whilst also commending DeKnight for using daylight instead of del Toro’s rainy night settings from the first film. 

Mel Evans of Metro gave the film 4/5 stars, and called it “very loud, mighty fun, but not much more,” while applauding Boyega for his performance and noting his chemistry with Eastwood. Ethan Sacks of New York Daily News gave the film 3/5 stars, and gave positive response to Boyega and Spaeny’s acting, while comparing Boyega’s character to Han Solo. However, he criticized the characters’ dense back stories, noting that, ” a movie about massive monster-fighting robots doesn’t need so  much engineering”.

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On my own personal review, the original Pacific Rim is much better, not just because the director was Guillermo del Toro, it’s because the first film made monsters called kaijus as horrifying and death-threatening especially that they attacked at nights. Yet, this one has its own style, the manned-robots here quite somewhat same concept with Transformers, and it’s just like added with additional pilots that may look like watching also a Power Rangers film. Nevertheless, this film is good for kiddos. 

When robots are your favorite stuffs, this movie will certainly entice your appetite, as this one really takes you for a ride of defending the planet. This is a movie that combines robotics and engineering to entertain viewers with the latest innovation of saving the world using technology. It’s a matter of heroism where robotics is being applied to ensure safety, peace and order against terrifying alien monsters that may annihilate our world. This movie, though got a low rating, is still a good recommendation to watch especially those who are robot-enthusiasts. Pacific Rim Uprising is not just a mere movie to ignore, it’s more than just a film that you will really enjoy watching with families and kids. It’s indeed an uprising film. I give my 7.7/10 for my own star ranking.If you haven’t watched this film yet, check out its trailer below:

Video Source: Movieclips Trailers                                                                       

Featured Image: source


What do you think?

12 Points

Written by Trafalgar Law

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