Film Review: “Pacific Rim: Uprising”


Starring:  John Boyega, Scott Eastwood and Charlie Day
Directed by:  Steven S. Deknight
Rated:  PG 13
Running time:  1 hrs 51 mins
20th Century Fox

I will admit right here that I never saw the original “Pacific Rim.”  I’ve been told it was pretty good.  I certainly hope so, because this new installment isn’t.

After a quick shot of Idris Elba – I’m told he was the hero in the first film – we learn about how mankind and their giant Jaegers pulled together to defeat the evil, monstrous Kaiju, which in my limited imagination meant that some Transformer rip-offs beat Godzilla and his family.

It is 10 years later and the world isn’t really doing well.  We meet Jake (Boyega) and learn he is the son of Elba’s character.  Jake lives on his wits and the barter system.  Squatting in an abandoned Hollywood mansion, he’s not above trading an Academy Award for a box of cereal.  He’s also not above stealing, mostly technology, and selling his spoils to the highest bidder.  When he is caught stealing parts from damaged Jaegers he is sent back to “the academy,” where he will now train a class of young people to be the next great Jaeger pilots.  Hijinx ensue!

A loud movie with lots of giant shiny things, “Pacific Rim: Uprising,” is a CGI spectacle of crushing metal played against a background of tough kids and one-liners.  Think of it as “Real Steel” without Hugh Jackman.  Which is a shame because the cast seems to be trying their best.  Boyega is bold and cagey here at times.  Hopefully he’ll demonstrate some of this ability in the next “Star Wars” film (sorry, I think Finn is a little too wishy-washy sometimes).  As the tough-as-nails Amara, Cailee Spaeny also shows some emotional depth.  And damn it, Scott Eastwood is one handsome man.  Charlie Day also shows up (apparently he was in the first film) but spends most of his screen time yelling, like he’s channeling Bobcat Goldthwait

If you like big shiny things destroying things, this is the film for you.  If you don’t, go see “Black Panther” again!

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