*Spoiler warning as I do talk about some of the plot of this movie.
I didn't know really what to expect with Pacific Rim: Uprising. Like literally I couldn't really gauge what to make of it. In some parts, it looked to embrace its mecha lineage more than its kaiju. In other parts, it looked basically like Transformers: The Last Knight. And such a thought made me shudder in horror of thinking that.
Still, I went into this film with an open mind curious what to expect. Now after seeing it, I can say that this is a good sequel save for a few flaws (more on them later). First thing, John Boyega as Jake Pentecost is a great lead in this (okay let's admit it Charlie Hunnam's Raleigh Becket was just-- there as the lead. Not so much the thing you remember most from that movie). It almost makes up for the raw deal he got in the Last Jedi.
The other great film I loved about this movie is well the action is upped and we get to see a ton of Jaeger action. Oh sure Gypsy Avenger is the main mech, but this time we get a good helping of a ton other Jaegers as well (and of course the kaiju). The scenes of action are quite on part with the original film and satisfied my hunger. Plus the effect work is again top notch.
Likewise, the rest of the new cast is pretty good, save for Scott Eastwood who basically I kind of don't remember his name and his character kind of fades away. He isn't bad, just there. So basically typical a Scott Eastwood role basically.
The others basically fill their roles well, and you'll probably have a favorite. Sure they ain't as bad ass like the original Jaeger pilots (aka Max Martini's Hercules Hansen?! His character survived the original. Why the hell wasn't he in this movie dammit?), but they fill their roles nicely.
But for all my positives to say about this movie there are negatives and I have three. The biggest is that well, a character from the original doesn't make it out of this one. Their death kind pisses me off in a way. Like seriously you bring back three members of the original cast (name drop two others in the movie who are still around then have a scene to homage the fallen). And this is the best you can do with one of the best characters from the original? You kill them off in the most cliched 80s action way? I kind of had a feeling, but geez.
I mean at least we get them for twenty minutes and about five scenes, but dammit. Their death still kind of pisses me off. Yes, we get a new character in this. But without the same gripping element, we had in the original. The other two from the original fill their roles in natural ways but seriously fuck this goddamn cliche for showing up in the movie.
Another is, well like I dreaded that reminded me of the live-action Transformers franchise. Both times I kind of cringed. I mean here you have some amazing themes established (and reused for this film), but you don't use them for one of the big sequences? Instead, something so damn Michael Bayish.
The other is I think the conclusion where I think they Man of Steeled the climax. Like this was a hugely populated area. Oh sure, this is a kaiju film and I love my destruction in a film. But they sure as heck didn't move this fight out of a populated city. This city gets fucked up and then some at the end. But then again, given this city has always been fucked up in kaiju films.
Therein lies my final problem with the movie. IT FUCKING SEQUEL BAITS. Least the first one didn't do that shit. And it pulls the exact same shit ID4: Resurgence did. Oh sure, this is a better-made version of that. But goddamnit end this movie properly like the original. Don't fucking bait us for something that might not even happen! There is so much better this movie could have ended aka like the original did, but it chooses instead to go another path. Fuck fuck fuck!
Still, even with the flaws, I enjoyed the film. Yes, this film is basically ID4: Resurgence but a better made one. It has the things you loved of the original, though it might piss you off what befalls a few of the characters from said original. But at least the new ones are of somewhat good stock. Plus Boyega is a good lead and gets to do some things here. Fucking Last Jedi cutting the entire Phasma/Finn fight plus an elevator scene. BUT NO we had to get the goddamn Canto Bight instead for what felt like hours on end! ARGH!! *ahem*
So yeah, all that said the fights, the awesome new stuff we get here in Jaegers/Kaiju, plus them both doing what they do best, and Boyega give this movie a slight half star better. I was almost going to give it a 4, but the death still kind of pisses me off. It just felt so goddamn needless and a waste to what the original established. ARGH! So yeah, Pacific Rim Uprising is surprisingly good even with its flaws.
3 out of 5