June 11, 2018  (Web Review)

Pacific Rim Uprising

Universal, 111 min., PG-13, DVD: $29.99, Blu-ray/DVD Combo: $34.99, June 19

Reviewer rating: 1.5/4

Anticipation of international box-office propelled this sequel to Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 Pacific Rim, a film that flopped in the United States but made millions overseas. Laden with special-effects, the sci-fi plot pits humans against the Kaiju—alien-engineered sea monsters that emerged from a multidimensional gateway located beneath the Pacific Ocean. Sacrificing his life, Gen. Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) was one of the original film’s heroes. Ten years later, mankind’s preservation lies 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 illegally selling parts salvaged from decommissioned Jaegers, which are giant human-shaped robots operated by co-pilots who mind-meld with the machinery and each other. Spunky 15-year-old Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny) also steals parts for her small, one-pilot Jaeger, dubbed Scrapper. When Jake and Amara are apprehended, 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). Significantly, del Toro doesn’t direct this one; instead, Steven S. DeKnight is at the helm, working from a simplistic script. Serving up mindless metallic mayhem, this is not recommended. [Note: DVD/Blu-ray extras include audio commentary by director Steven DeKnight, deleted scenes (7 min.), and the production segments “Becoming Cadets” (6 min.), “Unexpected Villain” (6 min.), “Next Level Jaegers” (5 min.), “Bridge to Uprising” (5 min.), “The Underworld Uprising” (4 min.), “Hall of Heroes” (4 min.), “Going Mega” (4 min.), “I Am Scrapper” (3 min.), “Secrets of Shao” (3 min.), and “Miko Returns” (2 min.). Exclusive to the Blu-ray release are bonus DVD and digital copies of the film. Bottom line: a solid extras package for an unremarkable sequel.] (S. Granger)