Pacific Rim Uprising

Some critics are going to say this sequel isn’t as good because director Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water) didn’t write and director it. Nah. That first movie wasn’t that good, either. Other critics are going to try to say this is just mindless fun. There’s a syndicated critic who is seen in our local paper, that gave this 3 out of 4 stars. That would be baffling, but she gave a good review to A Wrinkle in Time, so…there you go. [side note: I really miss seeing Anders Wright in the Union-Tribune].

Now, critic Rebecca Pahle of Film Journal International said it perfectly: “Be prepared to fall asleep whenever Scott Eastwood is onscreen.” And I literally did, but woke up 10 minutes later from a loud explosion.

Some might say, “Forget Eastwood, let’s talk John Boyega.” I hear ya. I loved him in that sleeper Attack the Block fighting aliens. He’s great fighting stormtroopers in Star Wars. He’s a good actor, but watching him play a rogue criminal that gets forced into piloting one of the jaegers…who really cares?

It’s 10 years after the original. Jake Pentecost (Boyega) lost his dad (Idris Elba in the first movie), when he sacrificed himself for Earth. His son now spends his time partying and stealing scrap metal. I think he gets paid in Oreo cookies, but I’m not sure. It was a bit confusing.

He meets the young Amara (Cailee Spaeny), who has built her own jaeger. They’re both caught and instead of jail, forced to train as jaeger pilots. For those that didn’t see the first, two pilots have to be trained, and also have their minds melded so they can control it as a team. My wife leaned in and asked, “Wouldn’t it make more sense to use remote control with those things?”

She later brought up a better question, “How is this garbage different than a Transformers movie?”

She was right on both counts.

A few of the characters get some backstories and conflicts, which aren’t all that interesting. When the kaiju start rising again, we get a lot of goofy CGI. They spent $150 million on this, and you start wondering why. Other than 15-year-old boys, you wonder who would even been interested in all this.

Charlie Day is usually reliable for comic relief, but I was even bored watching him in this. Of the others that return from the first film are Burn Gorman and Rinko Kikuchi.

I chuckled hearing a muzak version of “The Girl from Ipanema” in an elevator. There were also a few interesting set pieces. But after an hour and 10 minutes of this garbage, my wife and I decided to leave.

0 stars.