Review Roundup: Critics Weigh In On PACIFIC RIM UPRISING
PACIFIC RIM UPRISING, the upcoming sequel of PACIFIC RIM from Legendary and Universal, stars John Boyega and hits theaters on March 23rd. Directed by Guillermo del Toro, the film is set in the near future with Earth at war with the Kaiju, monsters that emerged from an inter-dimensional portal at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. The original film earned $411 million at the global box office.
The cast also features Scott Eastwood, Jing Tian, Cailee Spaeny, Rinko Kikuchi, Burn Gorman, Adria Arjona, and Charlie Day.
Check out what the critics had to say here:
David Fear, Rolling Stone: "It is a collection of noises and images and military jargon being oorah-ed at sternum-rattling volume and featherweight CGI destruction and WTF slo-mo sequences and the occasional feeling that you've been cheated, but let's not call that a movie. The idea that a sequel is rarely better than the original is a cliché - oh, and there are tons of clichés in this as well - but this is not just a bad follow-up, or even a flipped bird to fans. This is Transformers-level inanity. This is a blow to your head from a mallet. It will not make you feel like a 10-year-old, but it will make you feel 10 years older than when you first entered the theater. It is certainly not personal in any way, shape or form, just strictly chilly, CORPORATE to a fault and somehow both chintzy and wildly overblown. Del Toro didn't direct it, though he is one of the credited executive producers. He should still sue for damages."
Benjamin Lee, The Guardian: "The film in general moves at a sleeker pace, with more of an actual plot to match the shiny visuals. It's strange given that Del Toro, a newly minted Oscar-winning director, couldn't make a more entertaining film than Uprising director Steven S DeKnight, whose credits lie solely on the small screen. If anything, Del Toro's overexcitable ambition muddied the focus, while the sequel plays more like the solidly entertaining A-list B-movie we all wanted the first time. While it shares the hyper-realized, lens flare-filled sheen of the Transformers franchise, DeKnight deserves credit for making the large-scale fight scenes feel remarkably coherent, something Michael Bay struggled to do well. In the original many of the bigger showdowns occurred at night which, coupled with some messily choreographed action, meant that they were often a muddle, but DeKnight has wisely shifted the action to daytime and, as a result, it's easier to engage with the mayhem."
Kervyn Cloete, Critical Hit: "And while Pacific Rim Uprising is an immensely technically proficient film boasting top-tier VFX, it lacks some inventiveness in art design. Not to mention all the atmosphere Del Toro steeped his film in through a strong use of shadows and neons and grimy textures has been replaced by a rather flat and un-stylized world. The result is a homogenized and personality-free affair that feels more like a Saturday morning American cartoon with a helping of Michael Bay's Transformers films thanks to a few borrowed trademark Bayisms (luckily with none of the convoluted, bloated heavy metal dreck that franchise has been churning out though)."
Alissa Wilkinson, Vox: "Pacific Rim: Uprising hurtles along at a fast clip, throwing lots of generic big-budget blockbuster plot details into the mix. There's a shadowy multinational company, Shao Industries, headed by Liwen Shao (Tian Jing), that wants to swap out human-piloted Jaegers for drones. There's conflict between Amara and the other cadets. There's Jake's reluctance to take his place among the Rangers, where he doesn't really feel like he belongs. And there's a summit gone horribly wrong in Sydney. (If you're wondering where Charlie Hunnam's character Raleigh Becket went, well, we don't really know either. The movie doesn't find its former protagonist very interesting.) And there's the triumphant return of Pacific Rim fan favorite Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), who is now leading the pilot force and whom Jake considers his sister."
Helen O'hara, Empire Online: "John Boyega, employing every ounce of his considerable charisma, is the roguish Jake Pentecost, son of Idris Elba's heroic apocalypse-canceller Stacker. But Jake turned away from the Jaeger programme, and now skulks about scavenging tech to fund an extravagant snack-food habit. A chance encounter with a teen Jaeger builder, Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny), and her Bumblebee-like creation Scrapper lands Jake in jail - until he agrees to go back and train a new generation of recruits."
Brian Truitt, USA Today: "Even as the film suffers groan-inducing plot turns, Boyega's charisma keeps it watchable, whether making a sundae in the middle of an argument with his frenemy Nate or taking time for a one-liner in the middle of a fracas (a fun character quirk he carries over from Star Wars' Finn). Eastwood, who spends much of Uprising squinting like his dad, Clint, plays buttoned-up straight man to Boyega, a dynamic that's initially grating yet finds its legs in the monster-punching stuff later."
David Sims, The Atlantic: "Uprising is set 10 years after the first Pacific Rim, in which the Jaegers stood their ground in cities all around the Pacific Ocean and defeated the evil kaiju, alien invaders from another dimension beneath the ocean (but don't think too hard about it). In the intervening years, the Jaegers (which need to be piloted by a pair of humans) have become giant cops, built up by various world governments against the threat of another invasion. Many of the original film's heroes are either deceased (in the case of Charlie Hunnam's Raleigh Becket and Idris Elba's Stacker Pentecost), or semi-retired (Rinko Kikuchi's Mako Mori, who no longer pilots Jaegers and has moved into more of an admin role)."
Image Courtesy of Pacific Rim Official Facebook Page