Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: PACIFIC RIM – UPRISING (minor spoilers)

Ok, listen, I’m probably going to get my ass ripped apart by some of you but I didn’t think PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING is as bad as the critics are making it out to be. But, if you didn’t like the first one (I actually happen to find the first one quite engaging), you aren’t going to like this one at all. But if you did like the first one, have an open mind but then leave it at the theater entrance door, and know that it at least can’t be as bad as the last two Transformer movies, you might come out of it thinking it was “‘aight.” Also, if you focus on the special effects, the fights, and John Boyega’s performance, you might not hate it as much as some official critics would allow you to believe. Of course, if you focus on the major problems, like the film completely ruining Charlie Day’s character from the first one, Scott Eastwood cannot act, and that the final ultimate objective of the kaiju is quite dumb in its Avatar-esque type plot device, you will REALLY hate this film.

So am I recommending this? Because it sounds like above that I can’t make up my mind. I’m going to give this a shrug. It’s completely harmless. It doesn’t really destroy the reputation or anything the first one built, but it doesn’t exactly expand upon it either. It is something to play in the background in a get together party in the garage or basement of someone’s house. It’s a literally shrug. It has its moments, but in the end you really couldn’t give a shit less. Maybe my expectations were just low going into the theater. I will give the film a little bit of merit for trying to do something different other than the rift just opening up again and the kaiju just coming out to play again. It tries to come up with a side story that thinks it is bolder than it actually is. It’s bold, but then it is ruined by what the kaiju have really been seeking all along. I really want to tell you what it is, but you’ll know it the second it comes out of Burn Gorman’s mouth. And you’ll roll your eyes.

Anyway, the set up plot is really basic bitch in nature. The son of Idris Elba from the first film, tried Jaeger school but failed and is now living the drunk, stealing, I don’t give a fuck life. He tries to steal something, crosses path with a young girl that is looking to steal the same thing (she actually builds a small jaeger herself), they get caught and to avoid jail she has to enter the Jaeger academy and he has to go back to train the lot of them. As you can tell it is very basic plot set up fair. And the more I think about it I can’t fucking believe writer/director Steven S. DeKnight fucking left Daredevil to do this. But then the movie gets a bit interesting once they get all that shit out of the way, and the story goes into a way to somehow bring the kaiju back. Again, I won’t tell you what it is. It seems pretty interesting at first, but then you get to the finale finale and its a bit of a let down. It’s basically blue balls when it comes to that plot structure.

But the action is actually pretty good this time around too, I saw it in 3D and I actually recommend seeing it in that format and in the largest screen possible. In those regards it brings you into its atmosphere and sucks you a little bit into the movie even though there are so many things going against it. Like Scott Eastwood. God damn, that kid is riding his father’s coattails and is just not coming up to snuff. He’s terrible in everything he is in, and he’s terrible in this. I want to tell him to get off Hollywood’s lawn. And Charlie Day. Fuck. They completely ruin what good will his character had in the first movie. Basically, take Charlie Day from the first movie, and have him fuck Charlie from It’s Always Sunny, and you get the monstrosity this movie deals his characterization. And almost unforgivable, thankfully he isn’t in the film too much. He’s in a lot, but thankfully its fleeting, if you catch my drift.

But John Boyega completely saves this movie from being total trash. He is not Finn in this, not at all. He makes Jake Pentecost his own character, using his native tongue, and you don’t even see a hint of Star Wars in him. I also like the Jaegar building girl Cailee Spaney. Usually a girl like that would be annoying but here she gives off some pretty good attitude. I just didn’t like that basically they recycled the plot line of the junk girl from the last Transformers movie into this. It makes it seems somebody was copying somebody else and that there was no originality when it came to her storyline. Another two actors that come back from the original are Burn Gorman and Rinko Kikuchi. Burn Gorman’s character is thankfully the same good old comic relief from the first film. But if you are excited that Rinko is back, hold back your expectations. You should know what happens by now to original characters that come back in sequels where the sequel takes place a decade after the first one…you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see the cliche.

So meh. Shrug. It’s not as bad as the critics are saying, but the film isn’t great by any means. It’s a mindless time while sick in bed on Netflix or perusing movie channels at home (if you still subscribe to that shit). There is a right after the end credits sequence that hints at another different way that the film could go, but I say let it die. The first film didn’t need a sequel. It was and is completely unnecessary. If they do do a third though, get Guillermo Del Toro back on board and fire the rest, because I don’t think my ass will be back in the seat if the same people from this are brought back. While this didn’t destroy the franchise, there were definite seeds planted that ultimately could bring about the apocalypse. But for now, *shrugs* whatever.

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