Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, reunites with Mako Mori to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including rival Lambert and 15-year-old hacker Amara, against a new Kaiju threat.
In 2013, Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim told the classic tale of man versus beast, when the Kaiju alien threat invaded Earth through an oceanic portal in the Pacific. Earth fought back when the Pan-Pacific Defense Corps presented its finest technological advancement, the Jaeger. (It’s pronounced “yay-ger”, folks, so it’s sure to be impressive). Coming in at the humble size of a skyscraper, the Jaeger’s complex machinery required the drifting (delicate act of blending) of multiple human pilot minds and in the end, proved to be the only force strong enough to stop the Kaiju and close the portal once and for all.But it’s 2018, which means we’re well overdue for a bombastic sequel. After the sacrificial death of his heroic father, Jake Pentecost (John Boyega) has rejected the call to follow in his father’s footsteps. Instead, he’s found a rhythm in a life of thievery, and it isn’t until one of his jobs lands him and another young thief named Amara (Cailee Spaeny) in jail that he finally listens to his sister, the voice of reason who reminds him of his talent and potential. Pentecost agrees to return to the Pan-Pacific Defense Corps to train cadets in the Jaeger program, and not without bringing the prodigious Amara with him. As it turns out, the Kaiju are back, but not in the way anyone would have expected. The aliens have developed, but so has humanity, and in this wild new flick of junkyard-metallic aesthetics mixed with neon-green alien blood and boom-crash sound-effects, it’s a race to stop the Kaiju who, as it turns out, are after something unexpected, and will stop at nothing to get it. What does Dove think? Movies like this (the ones that aren’t that bad but not that worthwhile) are hard to work through, because at the end of the day, we have to acknowledge the obvious: it’s pure entertainment. While the movie comes away fairly clean with no real shocking content, there’s just enough that we have to ask the question: if we approve it, is it worth it? In Pacific Rim, we find nothing of true worth to take away from the film; we are unmoved by the characters. For that reason, the gratuitous violence overrides, and Dove cannot approve it. Though Pacific Rim: Uprising presents itself as a formidable force in trailers, it unfortunately ends up being a bout of flashy action managing a fun time but little in the way of any real critical thinking. It’s a movie you watch passively, with very little thought, and there’s just enough stuff to raise alarm for some folks.