Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018)

I was certain that I wasn’t going to like this one. After all, the trailers looked…silly.   

So it does come as a bit of a surprise that I enjoyed it.  Stranger things have happened, I suppose, but it’s generally a bad sign when the sinister alien monster in the trailer grabs the arc whip of the robot attacking it, and spins it about like a twenty-story bullroarer.

Now let’s get this straight:  I’m not saying it was a great film, and I’m certainly not saying that it wasn’t silly.  After all, even the original film was silly.  But, as giant robot movies go (and I will note that as a genre they do tend to be silly) this one was fun.  Not as epically fun as the original film, but then, that is a lot to ask for.

You know the basics:  giant monsters attack, so we build giant robots to stop them.  There’s a bit more to it than that, but not that much more.  This time, the aliens have help, in the form of giant Jaeger robots taken over by the Kaiju nerve tissue a major corporation built into them for the usual sorts of reasons big evil corporations do these sorts of things.  It probably seemed like a good idea at the time. 

Of course, Idris Elba’s character is dead, and most of the original characters are missing without an explanation.  So most of the robot fighting is left to a team of, you guessed it, angsty teens!

Well, at least they don’t sparkle.

The best moment comes when Charlie Day’s Dr. Newton Geiszler comes home from a busy day in the lab, ready for some fun in the bedroom with “Alice,” although I have to admit that the opening chase with “Scrapper” is a lot of fun, too.  John Boyega has been getting a lot of play lately, thanks to his lead in Attack the Block (although I’m not sure how many people actually saw that one.  But they can remember him from Star Wars instead).  He does actually manage one of the most difficult feats in any dramatic medium and delivers a fairly decent “fire up the troops” speech (something which rarely manages to be particularly impressive and is more often than not plain dreadful — and yes, I’m looking at you Cloud Atlas).  

Yeah, it doesn’t have any great lines like “We are cancelling the Apocalypse!”, but it works.  And that’s saying a lot.

This is a classic, turn off your brain and make a lot of popcorn movie.  You may hate yourself afterwards for enjoying it, but probably not very much.  I mean, you get what you paid for, giant robots fighting it out with big alien monsters, Kaiju Eiga style.  It isn’t Pacific Rim — and I sure as heck miss Ron Perlman! — but it does have big robots! giant monsters! and they even wreck Tokyo!

What more could you ask for?

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