Pacific Rim Uprising hits theaters this week and all my excitement for giant robots and monsters was drained after director Steven S. DeKnight turned Guillermo del Toro’s universe into nothing more than an average kids movie.
The four writers involved in the sequel (DeKnight, Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder, T.S. Nowlin) are more interested in selling toys then giving us their version of The Hunger Games. Once all the kids started piloting the Jaegers, it became standard fare like the Avengers, because you knew no one was going to die. The first film was gritty, dark, and any character could get blown to bits at any second. Del Toro built tension, in Pacific Rim Uprising DeKnight builds a toy empire.
All the fights take place during the day, are brightly lit, and this becomes counterintuitive. Seeing the CGI against sunny skies takes you out of the movie experience as you feel like you’re watching a cartoon instead of a live-action movie. The daylight is an example of the tonal shift of the sequel. The cartoonish Power Rangers elements of the film reach a climax when the main villain was commentating on the battle using lines like; ‘Arghhh!’ and ‘Take that!’ It was very Rita Repulsa.
With all the negatives, Pacific Rim Uprising is a way better film than any of Michael Bay’s Tranformers movies. The monsters and robots look good enough, with some great CGI work during the battles – even if the daylight is a hindrance. John Boyega is given every opportunity to shine, and he does an admirable job. After Pacific Rim Uprising , I now want to see a buddy cop film with Boyega and Scott Eastwood; the two of them had chemistry, and Eastwood would be the perfect straight guy to Boyega’s troublemaker.
With four writers on the film you think one of the characters with some depth, but no. Pacific Rim Uprising is a very shallow movie, with not an ounce of emotion. There are two deaths in the film and yet neither carry any weight or consequence. The situations are quickly glossed over and your attention is brought back to bright shiny things.
If Pacific Rim Uprising was a cartoon or a kids show it would be great, but since it’s a $150 million dollar film, people should get fired because they just stole from you.