I was blown away by the first Pacific Rim. It was big and dumb and I couldn’t stop smiling when I watched it. Pacific Rim: Uprising is also big and dumb, but it misses the heart of the first movie. Which is a shame, because the movie has a promising start, but then somewhere someone decided that the second half the movie had to be a pointless monster fight, and while Pacific Rim is a movie series about giant robots fighting giant monsters, apparently the writers must have had a contest for the dumbest reason for this fight because it defies all logical explanation.
Pacific Rim 2 takes place ten years after the events of the first movie, and the world has obviously changed. People are rebuilding after the attacks, and the Jaeger program is struggling to continue to have relevance. Meanwhile, Jaeger tech is booming on the black market as people try to build their own massive robots. A post Kaiju world is an interesting one. Sadly, the movie doesn’t continue to explore this, and instead has a series of increasingly dumb things happen until some robots fight some monsters.
I would have loved Pacific Rim: Uprising if had just extended the first part of the movie to a logical conclusion (or at least a more logical one). While I may have suggested the writers had some sort of terrible contest to decide the ending, I am guessing there was actually more than a little executive interference that demanded a monster v robot fight like the one we got, and the writers had to figure out how to make it work. Which is what makes this all so aggravating. Had the whole thing been bad, I wouldn’t have been as upset, but there were some good ideas here that just got squandered.
I am guessing you can tell that I was disappointed with how Pacific Rim: Uprising turned out, but if you like the first movie, the second one is worth a rental, or if you are MoviePass subscriber like me, there are worse movies. The robots and the monsters are still cool, even if the reason they are fighting is not. Let’s hope Pacific Rim 3 learns the right lesson’s from Uprising.