Cinescape Magazine is a look at film, tv, comics, video games, and 70's, 80's and 90's nostalgia from the perspective of two normal average joe's that just love movies, in whatever form they come in.
"My father was a hero. But I ain't my father."
If you're going to rip off the plot from another franchise's sequel for yours, then it would probably be smarter to steal from something well written like The Empire Strikes Back (cause it wouldn't be the first time), instead of an unenthusiastic dead lay like Independence Day: Resurgence. In all honesty that's what Pacific Rim Uprising is, a mostly unoriginal knock off of ID4 2 that is worse than a predecessor that wasn't so great either. At least with the first Pacific Rim, there was an enjoyable amount of popular actors that were guided by Guillermo del Toro's (The Shape of Water) unique style. While here it all seems like the boring leftovers that you pushed to the back of your plate until you realized that they were all that was left.
At least there was a picture of Will Smith (Focus) in that ID4 sequel that couldn't afford him, cause Charlie Hunnam's (King Arthur: L.O.T.S.) character is not even mentioned here. Yeah, let's just feign ignorance about the guy who helped save the entire freakin planet! In his place is the son of Idris Elba's (The Dark Tower) character played by John Boyega (The Last Jedi). He isn't a bad leading man, he's just nothing special this time around. I can't blame him when all he has is a weak "son of a hero" complex and inspirational speeches that we've all seen in some form or another before. Charlie Day (Hotel Artemis) returns and is actually used in a clever twist on how the Kaiju return. However mentioning anybody else is a waste of time, but I'll kinda sorta do it anyways.
There's a demographically marketed teenager tag-along that can somehow build complex robots in her spare time, an old angry Jaeger buddy who inevitably comes around, a group of disposable young pilots, and a returning character who's sacrificed only for the sake of pushing Boyega forward by provoking an emotional response. Sorry, but it didn't work. It was a cheap throw away.
Speaking of cheap; with such a huge budget ($150 mil), you'd think that somebody would've been able to do a better job with the Jaegers and cities. Together they both look like pre-visual cutscenes from a 90's computer game. At least the Kaiju still look cool and well detailed. People come and go as there's nobody to care about when many of them meet their doom. Because of that and the script's "Michael Bay" approach at plotting for teens, I really couldn't get into any of the action scenes even when a few of them were decently shot. The seriousness of the situation was palpable last time, while this sequel proves that there's no reason to rejoice, because no matter how many sacrifices you inflict on its citizens, there's always another doomsday scenario just down the road.
|Legos might've actually looked better than some of the visuals|
Besides the clever twist, the only thing that Pacific Rim Uprising can brag about, is that it doesn't suck as hard as what it ripped off in the first place. Does that help its case? Not really. Be prepared for another boring sequel in the next few years. Or better yet, just try to ignore it and pray that the upcoming Godzilla vs Kong movie makes up for this one's many shortcomings.
Rating- 2 out of 10
Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018)
PG-13 | 1h 51min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 23 March 2018 (USA)
Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, reunites with Mako Mori to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including rival Lambert and 15-year-old hacker Amara, against a new Kaiju threat.
Director: Steven S. DeKnight
Writers: Steven S. DeKnight, Emily Carmichael
Stars: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny