Enjoy this Monday with Mildred!
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Oh, what a difference a director makes. Pacific Rim was a revelation to me, a movie about big, giant robots driven by human teams fighting big, giant monsters from the deepest oceans. The story is old as time, a man must overcome his fear and doubt to achieve his goal of saving the world, though driving a big, giant robot is not the as old as time. The story is tightly told and has several really neat gargantuan fight scenes in big cities with lots of tall buildings just aching to be knocked down. If they were serious about safety, they’d make tall buildings Godzilla and Avengers proof. Pacific Rim was directed by Guillermo del Toro, who makes a point of carefully crafting his movies, ridiculous premise or not, and this is a great movie I recommend you watch.
Pacific Rim: Uprising, on the other hand, is directed by Stephen DeKnight, well known tv director of shows like Dollhouse, and Travel Boobs (no, really). I suppose no one in Hollywood has yet learned the lesson that handing the reins to a big budget sequel of a nearly classic science fiction film to a tv director (Alien3 anyone?) might not be such a great idea. We all know that Hollywood is a terrible student.
There is no one main story line here with a B subplot. The slacker son of the first movie is dragged into heroism rather than having to overcome his own demons. A young woman is put in the driver’s seat of a giant robot on the basis of her ability to scavenge parts from the ruins of past battles. The nerdy scientist hero of the first movie now has a giant monkey on his back while crafting the next line of planetary defense. Okay, now that I’ve typed all that out I realize that PR:U is actually a movie about losers who are thrust into the limelight regardless of talent or force of will. Cadet Viktoria did have awesome hair, so not all is lost. Maybe the next one can be about an older secretary with bad knees.
Without a coherent plot, it would be a great idea to at least have some great giant fight scenes to juice up the viewer. What we get, though, is an endless, Zach Snyder fest of skyscrapers being dumped over the head of monsters, one after the other. The skyscrapers, not the monsters. Because in a Snyder fest, if some over-the-top action doesn’t work in fight scene the characters must do it ten more times. I was also amused to notice the same deep, shuddering scream that is so often used for giant monsters was also used a couple of times for collapsing skyscrapers.
There was a death that is supposed to greatly affect us, but the character has such a small footprint it left me a little confused about their identity, so I didn’t really care.
I really thought I’d like this movie, because they fooled me with a decent trailer. But the last half hour or so of screaming skyscraper demolition had me watching the clock and turning down the sound a couple of times, and when I went back to the trailer after watching the movie I could see how well I’d been led down the garden path.
If you don’t care about how well-crafted your giant monster movie is, you’ll be fine with Pacific Rim: Uprising, but I can’t really recommend it to anyone else. Unless you think it’s funny to hear a disintegrating skyscraper roar in pain (Anger? Fear? Excitement? It’s difficult to tell in context.) you should be able to find something better to watch.
- Pacific Rim: Uprising – Official Website
- Pacific Rim: Uprising – Facebook
- Pacific Rim: Uprising – IMDB
- Pacific Rim: Uprising – Wikipedia
Pacific Rim Uprising – Official Trailer 2 [HD]