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April 2, 2018

Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018) --- "Giant Robots Vs Giant Robots, Poor Japan Just Cannot Catch A Break."

Plot Summary
Jake Pentecost is a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity's victory against the monstrous Kaiju. Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through cities and bring the world to its knees, Jake is given one last chance by his estranged sister, Mako Mori, to live up to his father's legacy. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Directed by Steven S. DeKnight (Netflix's Daredevil), starring a horde of characters – including John Boyega, Cailee Spaeny, Scott Eastwood, Jing Tian, Charlie Day, Rinko Kikuchi, and Burn GormanPacific Rim: Uprising (2018) is an entertaining and adequate sequel to the 2013 film Pacific Rim directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (Shape of Water). Now while I prefer the original one more, I still enjoyed Uprising to an extent and I am eagerly looking forward to more sequel films.
     The film takes place 10 years after the first film and primarily follows Stacker Pentecost’s (Idris Elba) son, Jake, a once-promising cadet who was kicked out of the academy must now return and help train a new team of Jaeger cadets to stop a new threat. This plot is pretty similar to the last film but there are some differences in between. There is a surprising plot twist you probably didn’t see coming as well as a nice mix of light humor and drama. The action sequences are big, loud, and exciting. And while the first film had more Jaeger vs. Kaiju fight scenes, there is an interesting battle against a rogue Jaeger that proves to be better than expected.  The visual effects are spectacular and further enhance the action sequences. Compared to the last film and through creative designing the new Jaegers have received a complete upgrade, each with their unique line of weaponry.
     The cast is pretty great overall. John Boyega's (SW: Last Jedi) carries the film between action scenes with a great deal of charisma Cailee Spaeny plays a convincing 14-15-year-old in her first performance debut, Scott Eastwood's (Fate of the Furious) character is a bit predictable but like his father Clint he provides some great moments of clarity, and it was great to see Jing Tian (The Great Wall) in another movie so soon. I am glad that Charlie Day, Rinko Kikuchi, and Burn Gorman reprised their roles from the first film but I was a little disappointed with their lack of screen time and the rushed synopsis of what they’ve been doing the past 10 years. I think part of the reason is that I was hoping Charlie Hunnam would provide a small cameo of Raleigh Beckett, whose status is unknown but I highly doubt we’ve seen the last of him. The only other Issue with the cast is the severe lack of character development with the supporting cast, mainly the other cadets. Considering their screen time I expected at least a better introduction to their characters.

     Overall, Pacific Rim: Uprising is an entertaining film with great action, spectacular visual effects, and a fittingly well-rounded cast. Guillermo del Toro created something new and fresh with the first film, so obviously, this one had a lot to live up to. And while it was not better than the first film, neither is it worse, rather both are pretty equal. Uprising is a bit of an improvement in the area of visual effects and design but it does lack a certain aspect of reverence for its inspiration. This is partly due to an inexperienced and relatively new director but the only way to get better is to keep trying and learning from your mistakes. So keep up the good work Steven S. DeKnight. Now if you were expecting a rehash of the first film then you will be sadly mistake but if you like Power Ranger meets Godzilla and great visual effects then this film is for you. 

"Fire everything you've got."
- Jake Pentecost 

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  8.5 of 10 stars
Worth Buying:  8.5 of 10 stars

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Godzilla (2014)
Independance Day (1996)
Independence Day 2: Ressurgence (2016)
Pacific Rim (2013)
Prometheus (2012)
Returner (2002)
Stargate (1994)
Transformer 1 (2007)
Transformer 2: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Transformer 3: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Transformer 4: Age of Extinction (2014)
Transformer 5: Last Knight (2017)

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