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Pacific Rim Uprising Movie Review

Sometimes it takes a family.

Reviewed by on Mar 23, 2018
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Kidzworld checked out the sci-fi actioner Pacific Rim Uprising. Is this new Jaeger vs. Kaiju battle story worth a trip to your cineplex? Read our movie review!

By: Lynn Barker

In Pacific Rim Uprising, it’s been ten years since giant monster Kaijus rose from the ocean floor and tried to destroy Mankind. The Breach on the ocean bottom was sealed and so far so good although many cities have never been repaired and former jaeger pilots like Jake Pentecost (John Boyega) son of famous war hero Stacker Pentecost, are living well by stealing and selling old jaeger parts to the highest bidder. When new Kaijus surface, will Jake have to team up with former co-pilot Nate Lambert (Scott Eastwood) to prove himself and save the day?

Cadet Jinhai, Amara, Jake and NateCadet Jinhai, Amara, Jake and NateCourtesy of Universal Studios

Two Thieves

When another thief takes a part that Jake has promised gangsters, he gives chase, finding a crude workshop with a small jaeger in it. It is illegal to build your own jaeger. The thief/builder is a 15-year-old girl named Amara (Cailee Spaeny) and, together they escape in the small jaeger with Amara piloting. They are confronted and arrested by the Pan-Pacific Defence Corps and Jake’s half sister Mako Mori ( Rinko Kikuchi) gives him the choice; prison or returning to the PPDC as a cadet instructor. Amara will be a cadet.

Amara has trouble driftingAmara has trouble driftingCourtesy of Universal Studios

Hong Kong Shatterdome

Amara is impressed with all the big name, famous jaegers at the training facility. Nate Lambert tells Jake not to steal anything and to shape up. They still have the old Gipsy Avenger jaeger and Nate needs a new co-pilot. Amara tries to fit in with the other cadets. She fails her first attempt at “drifting”, making a neural bridge with another pilot. Jake roots for her. Nate and Mako reveal that the jaeger program is threatened by Shao Corporation’s drone program; remote controlled jaegers developed by Liwen Shao ( Tian Jing) and Dr. Newt Geiszler (from the first movie). Cloned Kaiju cells are used in the drones.

Dr. Geiszler has lost his mindDr. Geiszler has lost his mindCourtesy of Universal Studios

Another Plan

Dr. Gottlieb (Geiszler’s partner from the first movie) has been trying to develop rockets to attach to jaegers to get them to fight locations quicker. He disagrees with Newt on his drone program. At the PPDC summit meeting in Sydney, official Mako will announce if she approves the drone program or not. Nate and Jake, co-piloting Gipsy Avenger, are just supposed to be eye candy at the event. However, a rogue jaeger called Obsidian Fury attacks and is barely repelled by Gipsy Avenger but not before it knocks Mako’s helicopter out of the air and she is killed. She sends a partial message about a defunct jaeger production facility in Russia which she suspected is HQ for Obsidian Fury and more.  After mourning his sister, Jake helps Amara learn to drift.

Drs. Gottlieb and GeiszlerDrs. Gottlieb and GeiszlerCourtesy of Universal Studios

Drones Approved

Mako’s death prompts the PPDC board to authorize the drone program and order their immediate deployment. At home, we see that Dr. Geiszler is still linking brains with “Alice” a kaiju brain he secretly keeps. Before Jake and Nate can investigate the Russian facility in their jaeger, Obsidian Fury destroys the complex and engages them in battle. Upon destroying its reactor, the two are shocked to learn that Obsidian Fury was controlled by a kaiju's secondary brain, as are all of Shao's drones. Humans like Dr. Geiszler are responsible for this.

Battle-scarred but still fightingBattle-scarred but still fightingCourtesy of Universal Studios

Drone Attack

Amara is about to be kicked out of the program for leading the cadets inside the downed jaeger controlled by the kaiju brain to explore how it works. Jake tells her he was a rebel cadet as well and not to give up. She’s learned that the rogue had parts made by Shao. Can they prove it? The drones malfunction and simultaneously attack shatterdomes worldwide, inflicting heavy casualties on the PPDC forces and incapacitating almost all jaegers. They also open multiple Breaches in the ocean. Gottlieb seeks out Geiszler for help, unaware that Geiszler is the mastermind behind the attack, being now more kaiju than human and wanting the kaiju to take over worldwide.

Amara and cadets in a three-man jaegerAmara and cadets in a three-man jaegerCourtesy of Universal Studios

Working Together

Liwen Shao is able to destroy her drones but three powerful Kaiju successfully emerge from the Breaches and unite in Tokyo. The team learns that the Kaiju’s alien creators want to activate the volcanoes in the Ring of Fire by having a massive Kaiju fall into Mount Fuji, wiping out all life on earth and changing the planet for their colonization.

Liwen Shao and her cohorts run the drone programLiwen Shao and her cohorts run the drone programCourtesy of Universal Studios

We are Family

The young cadets will have to step up as pilots of the four remaining jaegers alongside Jake and Nate in Gipsy Avenger. They are like a family. Can the untested cadets successfully pilot the jaegers and stop the massive Kaiju that is climbing Mount Fuji?  Can the jaegers get there in time?  Who will live and who will die? Will Geiszler’s plan succeed?

Battling the rogue jaegerBattling the rogue jaegerCourtesy of Universal Studios

Wrapping Up

Pacific Rim: Uprising is able to expand on the massive battles between alien Kaiju and human-piloted giant robot jaegers very successfully. The battles provide pure action spectacle. There is more weaponry and more destruction so if you are into that kind of sci-fi action, you’ll be pleased. There isn’t much time spent on developing the “heart” of the first movie however.  

The cadets are in troubleThe cadets are in troubleCourtesy of Universal Studios

John Boyega and young first timer Cailee Spaeny are a great team with a nice brother/sister vibe that makes you root for them. Cailee’s character is a spunky, brilliant and street-wise mini-Sigourney Weaver in Alien type who holds nothing back no matter what the odds. Cool to see a female teen help save the day as well.

Jake prepares Gipsy for a major punchJake prepares Gipsy for a major punchCourtesy of Universal Studios

It’s entertaining to watch the two weird scientists who helped seal the Breach in the first film, return and be at odds. There isn’t much time to develop relationships among the young cadets but their enthusiasm is infectious. The story seems to work until something wacky about a giant Kaiju throwing itself into Mount Fuji is added to the mix then, all sanity is off.

The last of the jaegers ready for final battleThe last of the jaegers ready for final battleCourtesy of Universal Studios

We saw the film on a huge IMAX screen and recommend you do so if you can. We had enough of a rock ‘n rollin’ good time to go three stars.

Pacific Rim Uprising Movie Rating: 3

Pacific Rim Uprising MoviePosterPacific Rim Uprising PosterCourtesy of Universal Studios

See Pacific Rim Uprising in theaters now!


Have Your Say

Are you into the idea of humans “driving” giant robots from the inside to battle ginormous monsters? Then this is the movie for you. Pilot yourself to a comment below!