Pacific Rim Uprising

Pacific Rim Uprising

2018, PG-13, 111 min. Directed by Steven S. DeKnight. Starring John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Tian Jing, Cailee Spaeny, Rinko Kikuchi, Burn Gorman, Adria Arjona, Zhang Jin, Charlie Day.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., March 23, 2018

Are you looking for some hot Jaeger-on-Jaeger action? Horny Kaiju rising from steamy, lava-encrusted openings deep down in the ultra-wet Pacific ocean? Live! New! Girl! Cadets! John Boyega, maybe? Well then, check out Pacific Rim Uprising’s nonstop mecha-monster action. Guaranteed to satisfy your insatiable hunger for more huge, massive bigness, especially if nonsensical plot devices and wooden line readings are “your thing.”

This sequel to Guillermo del Toro’s kickass paean to Japanese monster vs. robot movies, like Gigantor and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, is utter rubbish compared to its 2013 precursor. Enter with low expectations and you might just have some rock ‘em, sock ‘em, let’s-ravage-Tokyo fun.

Set 10 years after the events depicted in Del Toro’s film, Boyega is Jake Pentecost, the orphaned son of Idris Elba’s planet-saving Stacker Pentecost. As the cities of the world slowly rebuild following the attack by giant monsters from another dimension, Jake spends his days stealing and selling used parts from Jaegers (giant robots controlled by mind-melding human fighters), and living the hustler’s dream in one half of a beachside Santa Monica mansion. (The other half is buried under the skeletal remains of a Kaiju.)

While out searching for thievables one day, he meets cute with 15-year-old tech genius-orphan Amara (Spaeny), who has cobbled together her own small mega-machine, coyly dubbed “Scrapper,” in an abandoned warehouse. There’s trouble afoot at Jaeger HQ, however. A rogue ‘bot is running wild in the streets and it soon becomes apparent that there’s a traitor somewhere. Enter Kaiju, assume battle formations, kill off a lead character from del Toro’s film, and if you don’t know the rest of the story already then this probably isn’t the movie for you.

The Jaeger vs. Jaeger brawls are ripped clean out of Michael Bay’s Transformers mythos and the Kaiju this time around are less awesome in their sheer, towering bizarreness. Boyega and newcomer Spaeny give it their all; but let’s just face the fact that, just like porn, giant monster movies are all about the climax. Pacific Rim Uprising has a doozy of a final melee, but director DeKnight (Daredevil) simply can’t muster much more than an echo of the original’s heart and soul. Genre fans are recommended to sit back and await the release of Michael Dougherty’s forthcoming Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More John Boyega Films
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
The saga ends … in fan service

Richard Whittaker, Dec. 20, 2019

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
A stellar entry into the beloved franchise

Richard Whittaker, Dec. 15, 2017

More by Marc Savlov
The Marksman
Liam Neeson is the action man again in this border thriller

Jan. 15, 2021

Beautiful Something Left Behind
The hard path to healing when kids suffer a death in the family

Jan. 8, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Pacific Rim Uprising, Steven S. DeKnight, John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Tian Jing, Cailee Spaeny, Rinko Kikuchi, Burn Gorman, Adria Arjona, Zhang Jin, Charlie Day

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle