Pacific Rim: Up Rising

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Swanner: Pacific Rim: Uprising takes place years after the Kaiju had been stopped and the opening deep in the Pacific had been closed. In preparation that one day they could return, Jaeger pilots are being trained and drone versions of Jaegers are being built. At the drone unveiling in Sydney, a rogue Jaeger appears and makes the world realize this war is far from over. The film focuses on the new jaeger pilot recruits who will risk their lives to save our world. Steven S. DeKnight makes his theatrical directorial debut.

Judd: The first movie was directed by Guillermo Del Toro, as as such was full of the gorgeous detail that he brings to all his movies. Direction this time around was provided by Steven DeKnight, but Del Toro is still working behind the scenes to make sure the movie looks as good as the first. The strengths of the first are still there, fantastic action sequences, wonderful set pieces, and cinematography that Michael Bay could take a lesson from. However, the movie hits the sophomore slump with the characters. It took me almost half the movie to warm up to our hero, Jake, played by John Boyega.

Swanner: I thought all the characters were your basic, by-the-book, angsty kids that ultimately save the world. Besides the terrific cinematography, Michael Bay can learn a lot of lessons from this these films like how to keep an audience interested in the story, and keeping a running time under two hours. I was a bit disappointed that it took as long as it did to get some monsters. Once the third act starts, we get full time monsters. That being said, the first two acts still held my interest enough that I was trying to figure the twists that were up coming. It was nice having Burn Gorman and Charlie Day back from the original film to add funny into the already campy film.

Judd: I agree the script was decent for this kind of movie, as were the performances and direction. This is DeKnight’s first time writing directing a major motion picture, though he did have experience with the Starz original Spartacus: Gods of the Arena and War of the Damned. The movie runs one hour and 50 minutes, but I don’t think it felt overly long, and it helps that there are probably edit-credits scenes that you and I skipped out on.

Swanner: I like that everyone associated with the film understands that these films are a reinvention of the Asian monster movies. It’s all about the fun of the story and that the good guy must win in the end. Collateral damage is never taken into consideration either. If you don’t know by now how to run away from a monster after all this time, it’s your own fault.  The film isn’t as good as the first film, but it’s still better than most, if not all, of the Transformer movies.

Swanner: 3 stars
Judd: 3 stars

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