As much as I admire the grandeur of the idea, isn’t there an easier way to battle giant monsters than to use giant robots? Maybe make a giant missile and shoot it from a giant launcher? Or better yet, a giant bear trap sprung by a giant piece of cheese? I don’t know, I don’t buy the concept, but on paper, it’s a fantastic idea.

If you can get beyond the awful dialogue, the absurd story, the cheesy music and the over-acting, the special effects are kind of cool. That’s simply not enough though.

John Boyega and Scott Eastwood headline the B-list cast as Jaeger pilots brought back to drive their big robots a mere 10 years after the events of the original “Pacific Rim.” We are given a quick and dirty recap, which is nice, but if you didn’t see the original and are seeing the sequel, you will be disappointed. Come to think of it, if you did see the original, you will be disappointed even more.

Boyega plays Jake Pentecost, the rowdy son of legendary pilot Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba).  He is the carbon copy of “Pacific Rim’s” Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) in that he’s a bit roguish, has problems with authority, but somehow is still the best and most revered pilot in the fleet.

This time around, the creative liberties around the monsters goes overboard, and we find our Jaeger pilots (including a bunch of untrained teens) battling the King Kong of Kaiju, off the charts in terms of size.

Director Steven S. DeKnight has made the leap from television directly to a tent pole blockbuster, and it shows. The film abounds with nonsense, frivolous details, and glitzy action scenes that actually diminish any semblance of narrative that the story might have had in pre-production. It’s a miserable failure on his part, but he’s not entirely to blame. The five-person writing team dropped the ball by any cinematic standard.

The acting can’t be faulted as much as the weak, vapid characters that are derivative at best. They have pretty cool names though.

Guillermo Del Toro’s name is all over the film, but he’s merely a consultant collecting a producer’s pay. The fact that Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures dropped this on Universal’s plate should indicate that there either isn’t full confidence in the franchise, or they just don’t have room on their plates for it to continue. I say franchise, because it is pretty clear that the “Pacific Rim” series will continue on, probably with an Asian target market, but for the audience’s sake, I hope they put a bankable actor and a viable story on the table first.

“Pacific Rim: Uprising” had potential. I actually enjoyed the original for what it was, and the cast, although not as strong in the name recognition department, are decent actors in their own rights. The difference, as it so often is with sequels, is the lack of capitalization on the strengths of the franchise, and a genuine absence of originality in the writing.

Rarely do I fail to recommend a film to any demographic, but “Pacific Rim: Uprising” is simply unwatchable. It’s not only disappointing and weak, it’s inexcusable. There are enough filters in the filmmaking process that someone should have stood up and said,“Wait a minute, this is terrible!” but nobody did. For that, I give the film one of the lowest ratings I’ve ever given. That said, I will still go see “Pacific Rim 3: Revenge of the Return of the Ridiculous Robots.”

 

If you can get beyond the awful dialogue, the absurd story, the cheesy music and the over-acting, the special effects are kind of cool. That’s simply not enough though.

John Boyega and Scott Eastwood headline the B-list cast as Jaeger pilots brought back to drive their big robots a mere 10 years after the events of the original “Pacific Rim.” We are given a quick and dirty recap, which is nice, but if you didn’t see the original and are seeing the sequel, you will be disappointed. Come to think of it, if you did see the original, you will be disappointed even more.

Boyega plays Jake Pentecost, the rowdy son of legendary pilot Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba).  He is the carbon copy of “Pacific Rim’s” Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) in that he’s a bit roguish, has problems with authority, but somehow is still the best and most revered pilot in the fleet.

This time around, the creative liberties around the monsters goes overboard, and we find our Jaeger pilots (including a bunch of untrained teens) battling the King Kong of Kaiju, off the charts in terms of size.

Director Steven S. DeKnight has made the leap from television directly to a tent pole blockbuster, and it shows. The film abounds with nonsense, frivolous details, and glitzy action scenes that actually diminish any semblance of narrative that the story might have had in pre-production. It’s a miserable failure on his part, but he’s not entirely to blame. The five-person writing team dropped the ball by any cinematic standard.

The acting can’t be faulted as much as the weak, vapid characters that are derivative at best. They have pretty cool names though.

Guillermo Del Toro’s name is all over the film, but he’s merely a consultant collecting a producer’s pay. The fact that Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures dropped this on Universal’s plate should indicate that there either isn’t full confidence in the franchise, or they just don’t have room on their plates for it to continue. I say franchise, because it is pretty clear that the “Pacific Rim” series will continue on, probably with an Asian target market, but for the audience’s sake, I hope they put a bankable actor and a viable story on the table first.

“Pacific Rim: Uprising” had potential. I actually enjoyed the original for what it was, and the cast, although not as strong in the name recognition department, are decent actors in their own rights. The difference, as it so often is with sequels, is the lack of capitalization on the strengths of the franchise, and a genuine absence of originality in the writing.

Rarely do I fail to recommend a film to any demographic, but “Pacific Rim: Uprising” is simply unwatchable. It’s not only disappointing and weak, it’s inexcusable. There are enough filters in the filmmaking process that someone should have stood up and said,“Wait a minute, this is terrible!” but nobody did. For that, I give the film one of the lowest ratings I’ve ever given. That said, I will still go see “Pacific Rim 3: Revenge of the Return of the Ridiculous Robots.”