Pacific Rim: Uprising           review by Bobby Blakey

When Guillermo del Toro unleashed his Kaiju / Jaeger face off Pacific Rim in 2013 it was met with mixed results where people either loved it or hated it with little in between. I loved the film for what it was despite its flaws and have been eagerly awaiting a follow up, but it looked like it may never happen. Finally the follow-up is here with Pacific Rim: Uprising starring John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Tian Jing, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, and Rinko Kikuchi with Buffy, Smallville and Daredevil writer and director Steven S. DeKnight at the helm, but does it offer up the same action and dark tone as the original or will it be a fight not worth continuing?

Pacific Rim: Uprising follows Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, who 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. Heading into this film I was really looking forward to not only seeing more Jaeger and Kaiju action, but also to see what John Boyega could do with yet another franchise. While I had a ton of fun with this new outing it wasn’t without its flaws. Boyega is the shining light in a sea of mixed performances. Some are good and some are meh, but Boyega holds it together throughout with his swagger and quick wit.

Where the first film had a unique look and darkness to it that screamed del Toro, this time around you can tell it is a whole different film. There is a lot more of the action happening during the day which some seemed to want, but it does loose some of the coolness the first film had with the glowing creatures. That being said there is no shortage of action to have some fun with, but there is way more less involving Kaiju than you might be expecting. I was surprised to see the direction they went which tried to make it be it own thing, but for me it took away part of what makes the series work. They were clearly trying to do their own thing this time around and kind of kickstart the franchise and it works fine, but feels more like something in the Transformers universe than the Pacific Rim one.

The last half of the film gives us no shortage of Kaiju action and while their designs are not as great as the first film, which I believe is the lighting aspect, they are still fun to see in action. The effects here are decent enough through the majority of the film, but there were a couple of moments that felt a bit off for some reason. In the end my love of giant robots and monsters won out making me still have a fun time with this long awaited sequel to one of my favorite films of the genre. Whether you enjoyed the first film or not, but love the genre then give this latest chapter a shot just make sure to shut off your brain and watch it for what it is.

In addition to the film this release includes bonus content including deleted scenes, commentary, and a ton of featurettes taking you behind bringing the next chapter of the Kaiju / Yeager battle to life. Join the fight and grab your copy of Pacific Rim: Uprising available now on Digital, 4K Ultra, Blu-ray and DVD from Universal Home Entertainment.

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