Pacific Rim: Uprising
Set ten years after the original movies, Pacific Rim: Uprising follows the son of Stacker Pentecost in a world that has greatly evolved after the Battle of the Breach. With another mounting threat from the Kaiju monsters, humanity must find another way of reclaiming their world.
The most enticing element of the Pacific Rim franchise is, without any doubt, the vast and detailed world in which the story is set. Humans coming together despite race, region, or creed. The development of massive Jaegers to combat the unpredictable Kaiju beasts. The introduction of Drift Compatibility and the relationships that are fostered within it.
When a person first watches the original Pacific Rim, it’s hard to walk away without this deep down desire for more. It has an atmosphere that fuels the high-concept storyline with ease and fully immerses audiences into a uniquely thrilling experience.
This sequel, like most, falls short in comparison to its predecessor. To the film’s credit, it was trying to fill some Jaeger-sized shoes, but it just doesn’t seem to take the first step toward the level of heart and soul provided in the first film. What should have been a deeper, detail-driven exploration into an already excellent world was instead an exercise in broad, plot-based convolution that felt more like an unfortunate add-on, rather than a fruitful expansion.
An honest analysis of Pacific Rim: Uprising reveals hollow characterization, disbelief incapable of suspension, and the type of fanservice that doesn’t even do much to service the fans. It relies on shock, and it banks on the success of the film before it. It sits firmly in the “Summer Action Blockbuster” category of film, except that its multiple reschedulings kept it from being released in the summer and it was anything but a blockbuster. With most of its qualifiers stripped away, Uprising had to lean on its action.
Thankfully, the action element largely delivers. With less focus on the humanity of the characters, the monsters come to the forefront. The plot is largely driven by the further development of these intense, world-changing beasts that have gotten smarter since the last time viewers saw them. These humbling Goliaths suddenly become unexpected strategists, acting as the only thing that holds any interest in the film.
Humans fighting big ol’ monsters: sometimes you don’t need anything more than that. Of course, sometimes you do.
On its own, Uprising is a perfectly average film, not likely to be remembered after the first five minutes of leaving the theater. No one would have talked about it. No one would have cared. Unfortunately, this film follows another that, frankly, was on an entirely different level. The expectations soared as longtime fans entered a theatre after five years of waiting and when Uprising failed to meet them, only disappointment could follow.
Without the original creative team at the helm of this film, the movie feels flat. The themes have completely shifted and DeKnight can't possibly deliver the same carefully crafted story that seems characteristic to del Toro. It's a movie. Not good. Not bad. Just there.
Monsters Unleashed!: Pacific Rim: Uprising
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 6/106/10
Acting - 7/107/10
Music - 5/105/10
Production - 9/109/10
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