The Downfall of “Pacific Rim Uprising”


Posted Sat, Apr 14, 2018

Jake Pentecost (John Boyega) preparing to go to battle against Kaijus.

In the first “Pacific Rim” directed by Guillermo Del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Shape of Water”), colossal beasts known as Kaijus emerge from beneath the Pacific Ocean, which we later discover are entering from an interdimensional portal. An alien race uses them as war machines sent to wreak havoc on our world. Yet humanity strikes back with the use of Jaegers, giant robotic mech suits piloted by two or more people mentally connected through a process called drifting, which helps alleviate the pressure Jaeger pilots endure during combat.

“Pacific Rim Uprising” picks up where the last story left off, taking place in the aftermath of a Kaiju ravaged world. The next generation rebuilds society, riddled with the bones of Kaijus, gigantic genetically engineered monsters.

 In the year 2030, some of the remaining survivors loot Jaeger parts from wrecked robotic suits that are worth a lot of money on the black market. Others learn to build new Jaegers out of scrap parts in order to defeat the Kaijus in the event they return to reclaim Earth.

“Pacific Rim Uprising” is Steven S. DeKnight’s feature-film directorial debut. This is one of the many reasons as to why this sequel falls flat in comparison to Guillermo Del Toro’s original vision. Most of the cast is filled with young stars, such as Cailee Spaeny and John Boyega. Characters from the original cast include Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day), Herman Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) and Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi). Even Boyega, who played Finn in recent Star Wars films, couldn’t save this movie from dry dialogue and lack of substance.

“Pacific Rim Uprising” is Steven S. DeKnight’s feature-film directorial debut.

 The entertainment value suffers a serious case of the mundane, simply made to cash in on the success of its predecessor. There wasn’t enough story development to make this film worthwhile. Considering the youthful ages of the new Jaeger cadets, it often felt more like watching “Power Rangers.” The special effect sequences were the most exciting moments of the film, and they were few and far between.  

The script of “Pacific Rim Uprising” felt rushed, unfinished and didn’t contain all the pulpy details of the original. A sequel should propel the story forward in an epic fashion. Unfortunately, the pacing of the story felt processed and slow as a snail’s crawl, leaving the viewer with a déjà vu feeling that they’ve somehow seen this all before.

Even the Kaijus weren’t as scary this time around. In fact, there’s never any real threat because they have the technology to evacuate an entire city within a few moments. The intended humor fell flat. However, the unintended humor was the display of destruction the Jaegers inflicted on their own city for no apparent reason, almost as much as the Kaijus.

All in all, nothing new to see here. Move along.


About Kavann Tok

Kavann Tok is a freelance Denver-area journalist. Website:

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One Response to “The Downfall of “Pacific Rim Uprising””

  1. Linda H. Says:

    Appreciated the specific reasons for the negative appraisal. It was concise and not emotional. Good writing!
    Thank you for providing this insight on a poorly written movie.


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