Going in I had no interest in this film because I knew the only reason this movie existed was China. The first Pacific Rim film pretty much bombed in the United States, barely making over 100 million dollars. However, the film grossed 300 million overseas, including 115 million made in China so the studio decided to make a sequel, but this time make one without any of the original cast outside of Charlie Day…Who I didn’t even know was in the first film.
Pacific Rim Uprising begins 10 years later the events of the first movie, Anarcho-Communist Jake Pentecost (John Boyega), makes his living squatting and selling jaeger parts. After a run-in with a rabid training bra (Cailee Spaeny) they get sent back to the Pan-Pacific Defence Corps to train new recruits…that is until the Shao Corporation introduces drone robots that will put them all out of work…that is until those drone robots turn out to be controlled by Kaiju that want to jump into a volcano and end the world, and now you have seen the movie.
I’m pretty conflicted about my overall feelings about the movie. There is some good but more bad to unpack here. Watching this you can’t help but think you are watching another Transformers movie. They look like the Autobots and sound like them. Many of the action scenes are shot so similar to a Michael Bay movie I thought he had a producer credit in the film…he didn’t. There are issues with the tone of the story that throws off the pacing. Charlie Day is a character that feels like he is in the wrong movie. He plays his character like he plays all of his characters, but everyone else is playing it straight with the exception of some corny lines from Boyega. With a needlessly complicated story, It’s hard to tell what this movie is trying to be which is really bad considering that it took 4 PEOPLE to write this film.
With that said, it isn’t a bad watch. I’ve sat through many movies recently in which I just wasn’t invested in the story. Pacific Rim Uprising is a nonsense story, but it’s serviceable and I was not angry watching it. Audiences looking for nothing more than a popcorn flick are going to get it here. Giant robots, Giant monsters, and at least one Chinese actress to identify with means the film’s target audience (China) should enjoy this. Pacific Rim Uprising excels in the bare minimum, as long as you aren’t asking too much of this film, you’ll enjoy it on your own time, but this is not something you need to run out to your theater to watch right now, save your money for Avengers like everyone else.