Granger on Film / “Pacific Rim Uprising” is a frustrating, featuring mindless, metallic mayhem
Anticipation of the international box-office is what propelled this generic sequel to Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 epic “Pacific Rim,” which flopped in the United States but made millions overseas.
Laden with special-effects, its sci-fi plot pitted humans against the Kaiju, which are alien-engineered sea monsters that emerged from a multidimensional gateway, known as the Breach, located on the floor of the Pacific Ocean.
Sacrificing his life, Gen. Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) was one of the original’s heroes. Ten years later, mankind’s preservation is in the hands of Stacker’s rebellious son, Jake Pentecost (John Boyega), who notes, “I am not my father…my generation, we were born into war.”
A former Jaeger pilot, Jake makes a tidy sum from selling parts salvaged from decommissioned Jaegers, those giant human-shaped robots operated by co-pilots who mind-meld with the machinery and each other.
“If you can steal what no one else can,” he says. “You can live like a king.”
Spunky 15 year-old Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny) is also after parts for her small, one-pilot Jaeger that she dubs Scrapper.
When Jake and Amara are apprehended by the authorities, they’re dispatched to train the next generation of Pan Pacific Defense Corps pilots at a Chinese military base, where Jake gets into a rivalry with Nate Lambert (Scott Eastwood, who resembles his squinty-eyed father Clint).
Significantly, Guillermo del Toro (Oscar winner for “The Shape of Water”) is not directing this time ‘round. Instead, Steven S. DeKnight is at the helm, working from a simplistic script by Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder and T.S. Nowlin, based on characters created by Travis Beacham.
Rounding out the cast, Charlie Day and Burn Gorman return as eccentric scientists Dr. Newt Geiszler and Dr. Herrmann Gottlieb, plus Rinko Kikuchi as Jake’s adopted sister, Mako Mori.
Owned by the Beijing-based Dalian Wanda Group, Legendary Pictures backed this project, filmed in Australia and China.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Pacific Rim Uprising” is a frustrating 5, featuring mindless, metallic mayhem.