Pacific Rim: Uprising
by George Wolf
I like to think it went down this way…
After hours, in a dimly lit Hollywood bar, the makers of Pacific Rim: Uprising met up with Michael Bay and his crew (let’s call them the Bay-o-nettes) for a good old-fashioned excess-off. As the final challenge was accepted, Uprising director/co-writer Steven S. DeKnight had agreed to break the record for use of the phrase “save the world,” AND include a bit of the “Trololo” viral video guy.
Done and done. And there’s some Transformer-type robot fighting.
This unnecessary sequel to Guillermo Del Toro’s lackluster original picks up 10 years after the invading kaiju were defeated by giant Jaeger robots and their skilled pilots. Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) died cancelling that apocalypse and now Stacker’s son Jake (John Boyega) and his frenemy Nate (Scott Eastwood) must whip a rag-tag bunch of new recruits into shape just in time to battle a brand new threat and …pause for close up and crescendo…save the world (ding!)
After a number of TV projects, Uprising marks DeKnight’s feature debut, and it shows. Most every frame succumbs to an invasion of empty dialogue and the cliche of least resistance. The actors pose more than they move, and even the cheapest of attempts at emotional manipulation seem too much for this film to handle.
But hey, who cares, we’re here for the robot throwdown, amirite?
Probably, but even that, minus Del Toro’s stylish pizzazz, becomes a confusing and repetitious snooze. Seriously, the guy down the row from me at the screening was snoring (which was confusing at first and then repetitive).
Too bad, he totally missed the part when Pikachu showed up and slaughtered everybody.
Okay, that didn’t happen.