‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’ is loud, fun and empty action.

John Chavez

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






In what was one of the more anticipated releases this year, “Pacific Rim: Uprising” was unleashed to audiences around the world.

While visually bombastic, “Pacific Rim: Uprising” entertainingly captures the fun of Guillermo Del Toro’s original 2013 action flick, but fails overall to tell a compelling story and joins the ever growing list of inferior sequels. This is because the movie focuses too much on its action sequences and neglects everything else.

“Pacific Rim: Uprising” stars John Boyega, of Star Wars fame, as a former military pilot struggling to survive in a world that was ravaged by a past war against giant alien monsters.

When the world is once again threatened, he is forced to rejoin the army as a pilot of giant monster-fighting robots and must learn to work alongside his fellow soldiers.

The initial “Pacific Rim” debuted to generally good reviews, it had been a while since audiences had a decent monster movie. “Godzilla” was still a year away, and “Kong: Skull Island” was still in its planning stage.

Possibly wanting to cash in on the Transformers franchise success as well, this movie had both giant robots and giant monsters fighting in all the visual splendor that a blockbuster budget could muster. For what it’s worth, it did it fairly well. Unfortunately, this novelty has worn out by the time its sequel was released, as the movie does not offer anything new to the table. There is nothing significantly original in the story that improves over the previous one.

What is different this time around is that Del Toro is no longer in the director’s chair. A troubled production and delayed release date because of studio conflicts forced this change. In his place is newbie director Steven S. DeKnight.

This is very apparent in the tone of this film, as it differs much from the original. Gone is the darker, gloomier visuals, as well as the heavier handed tone that was a characteristic of Del Toro’s original. In its place is a lighter tone which results in a less overbearing film that feels like a watered down version of the past movie.

Giant monster movies are not seen as the absolute best Hollywood can offer, and this certainly pertains to the film. What it boils down to is basically giant things punching each other in the face.

While this is entertaining, and certainly justifies a ticket, the movie never really moves beyond that. Emphasis is really put on the battles and action sequences, with the movie opening immediately with one.

The visuals and fights were very eye-catching and a treat to watch. However, that’s all there really is to this movie.

All of this is at the expense of plot and character development. Boyega and Scott Eastwood share almost no chemistry, with the scenes between the two coming off as wooden and insincere. The two actors simply spoke dialogue at each other with no real emotion or connection evident.

There is a whole cast of characters where the only things we know about them comes from very brief quips. This gives a very one-dimensional view to these characters and is a real point in which the film is lacking.

All things considered, the film is nothing more than a fun action movie, with many good visuals and exciting action. However, that’s basically all the movie has to offer, leaving audiences wanting more than just loud, hollow action. Overall, this film is 3 out of 5 stars.