Pacific Rim Uprising movie cast: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Burn Gorman, Charlie Day
Pacific Rim Uprising movie director: Steven S DeKnight
Pacific Rim Uprising movie rating: 0.5 stars
The Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’ is called so for the near continuous volcanic activity in this oceanic belt, lining continents from South America to East Asia. But really, the active and dormant volcanoes located here, adding up to more than two-thirds of the Earth, would perhaps be stunned into silence by the sheer destruction wrought by Pacific Rim Uprising, that flaunts its wares in the same waters. Guillermo del Toro, still enjoying his Oscar, has to take some blame for this metal-on-metal havoc, which he helmed the first time around as director (Pacific Rim, 2013) and now shepherds as producer.
The survival of the world, of course, is at stake — if you can care for a world that barely stirs outside scrapyards containing discarded robots, or outside laboratories where more of those are continuously churned out. A lot of reasons are offered for this exercise, with characters talking alternatively English and Mandarin, but really all you need to know is that giant robots called Jaegers once fought giant monsters called Kaijus, who may or may not return (but of course they will). Hence, we must have many trained men and women “pilots” ready, at all times, to get into those robot boots to fight the good fight.
It’s repeatedly drilled in that it was one such good fight that killed Jake Pentecost’s (Boyega) legendary pilot father (played by Idris Alba in the earlier film). Jake has since gone suitably rogue, though always hanging around discarded Jaegers. On one of those days where he has just escaped a gun pointed to his head, he runs into a young girl called Amara (Spaeny), who has built a Jaeger all by herself from similar scrap. They bond, and Spaeny, a Natalie Portman crossed with Jennifer Lawrence, has enough spunk to bring those scenes alive. Soon the two find themselves on a training camp for pilots, just in time for things to get really interesting.
The man lending this dash of interest is Dr Newton Geiszler (Day), a mad scientist, pitted against another crazy one called Dr Hermann Gottlieb (Gorman). But Geiszler has that squeaky voice, those funky glasses, and that brewing resentment against his Chinese boss, to make all the difference.
However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This battle of the minds is just a prelude — before another Jaeger falls with a loud clang.