Ocean monsters anything but Pacific
Pacific Rim Uprising,3stars Review: Katie Walsh
The Pacific Rim action franchise has a relatively simple premise — giant robots and alien monsters clobber each other to smithereens — but surprisingly, it’s driven by a supremely radical embrace of teamwork and empathy.
This isn’t necessarily a surprise, because it comes from the big, beating heart of Guillermo del Toro, who has always seen opportunities to focus on love and connection in moments of horror.
Del Toro directed the first Pacific Rim, and produced its sequel, Pacific Rim Uprising, which he has left in the hands of director and co-writer Stephen S. DeKnight, who brings a singularly frenetic energy to his feature directorial debut that manages to outpace the first film.
John Boyega stars as Jake Pentecost, the son of the legendary Stacker Pentecost (played by Idris Elba in the first film), who sacrificed himself in the great war against the kaiju.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Pacific Rim lore, all you need to know is giant alien monsters came out of the sea to destroy everything on earth, and humans hit back with enormous fighting robots called jaegers.
A decade after the first war with the kaiju, the ocean breaches are sealed, and all seems at peace — for now. Jake, a former Ranger pilot who flamed out and now spends his time partying and bartering on the black market, is pressed to re-enlist as a get-out-of-jail-free card, along with a scrappy young girl, Amara (Cailee Spaeny), who’s been cobbling her own homemade jaeger together.
Like a kaiju, DeKnight has a relentless, propulsive and often bonkers style. Pacific Rim Uprising moves at breakneck clip, so just try to keep up. Boyega doesn’t let a scene go by without a sidebar, quip or joke, while Spaeny shines in her first film.
Milla Tesar, 6, and friends at her birthdayparty.