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Pacific Rim: Uprising Blu-ray Review

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“Pacific Rim: Uprising” is a fun ride.

Set 10 years after first film, “Pacific Rim: Uprising” primarily revolves around a former Jaeger pilot turned thief named Jake Pentecost (son of the Idris Elba character Stacker Pentecost from “Pacific Rim”) and a Jaeger fangirl named Amara. After the two get caught for criminal misdeeds, Jake reluctantly has to train the next gen of Jaeger pilots which includes Amara. However, the Jaeger program has competition in the form of new Jaeger-Kaiju hybrid drones from the Shao Corp. While they’re efficient, not all is as it seems with these drones. To describe the rest of the plot would be venturing into spoiler heavy twists and turns so to make a long story short, the Kaiju rear their ugly faces again and return through breaches and the Precursors (the aliens who created the Kaiju) are plotting Earth’s destruction (how and why I will not say).

Even though this sequel is missing some of the artistry and scope that director Guillermo Del Toro’s first film had, that’s no reason to dismiss it. Steven DeKnight does a commendable job in the director’s job here as he gives fans a worthy follow-up. At the end of the day, all you can really ask of ‘Uprising’ is to see giant robots fighting giant Kaiju creatures and you certainly get that in this intense, fast paced and action packed sequel. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the movie is the twists and turns (especially a genuine plot surprise involving a specific character). I won’t spoil what happens, but it’s an intriguing and gutsy move that provides a nice change of pace from the first film.

It should go without saying that the new and returning cast of characters do a lot to make the sequel work as well as it does. John Boyega of “Star Wars” fame makes the perfect leading man here. The actor has charisma for days and can completely carry his own movie as it turns out. Scott Eastwood finally gets a chance to break out in a bigger role and he does well holding his own alongside Boyega. Cailee Spaeny is a delight as the spunky Amara. Burn Gorman and Charlie Day return as Dr. Gottlieb and Dr. Geiszler respectively and the two oddballs interestingly have quite a bit to do in this movie (that’s all I will say).

The sequel does have a few shortcomings but nothing that hampers the overall entertainment value. First of all, Rinko Kikuchi’s Mako is woefully underutilized here. She was one of the best parts of the first film. Secondly, the lack of Charlie Hunnam’s Raleigh, Ron Perlman’s Hannibal and Clifton Collins, Jr. Ops is a bit of a bummer. Perlman in particular should have been in this movie (although he is mentioned in it). As for the plot, the “Iron Man 2” esque drones plot felt a bit too familiar for my liking. I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that something more could have been done with them especially during the pivotal scene (you’ll know what I mean when you see it).

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.40:1 1080p. How does it look? Expect to see bright colors and an overall beautiful transfer.

Audio Track: Dolby ATMOS. How does it sound? Do you want loud action? You got it. This track is absolute perfection.

Extras: * DVD copy * Digital copy * Universal trailers * 8 deleted scenes with alternate commentary by Steven DeKnight * “Hall of Heroes”- A featurette about the new Jaegers * “Bridge To Uprising”- An extra about the sequel, the mythology, and ties with the first film * “The Underworld Of Uprising” is about the criminal underworld in the sequel * “Becoming Cadets” is about, you guessed it, the cadet characters * “Unexpected Villain”- Spoiler alert! Don’t watch this if you haven’t seen the film. * “Next Level Jaegers”- Another featurette about the new higher tech Jaegers * “I Am Scrapper” is all about the Jaeger bot * “Going Mega”- The 3 Kaiju creatures (and their special abilities) get the spotlight here * “Secrets Of Shao” revolves around the Shao character and corporation * “Mako Returns”- The title says it all * A passionate and thoughtful solo commentary by Steven DeKnight

Overall Thoughts: It’s a shame the entertaining “Pacific Rim: Uprising” underperformed at the box office as I’d like to see this franchise continue on. Hopefully, this will find more of an audience on home video.

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June 10, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , ,

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