Pacific Rim Uprising

by JC Alvarez

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday June 19, 2018

 Pacific Rim Uprising

The calm before the storm, an uprising is in the works! It's certain that Hollywood's latest trend has moved on from prequel projects and reboots in an effort to keep franchise film money-makers on the radar with audiences. The bombastic summer blockbuster "Pacific Rim Uprising," now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, is an example of the studio system injecting life into the name recognition of franchise, but not all that effectively improving on its predecessor.

This sequel puts John Boyega an emerging talent from the current "Star Wars" films follow-ups, who also happens to be a producer on "Uprising" as the son of the first film's heavy-hitter Idris Elba. Elba's character makes the ultimate sacrifice in that story, which depicts a scarily large-scale battle between Earth's civilization to beat back an extra-dimensional enemy that sends terrifying monsters through a rift in the Pacific Ocean. Humanity's first-line of defense comes in the form of giant robot defenders called Jaegers that go toe-to-against the mighty "Kaiju" monsters.

Inspired by Japanese anime and similar-styled models, "Pacific Rim Uprising" raises the stakes by introducing the mega-monster "Kaiju" that gives our heroes a real run for their money, though the introduction of a squad of "Power Ranger" sized recruits that move in to save the day doesn't really hold the gravitas that was relevant in the first film. The battles are bigger, but Boyega's fame hasn't really rallied an audience behind him, so it's a bit of a stretch to become invested in his hero, though we imagine that next installment might help fill that plot line out.

The first film, which was directed by the Academy Award Winner Guillermo del Toro, really benefitted from that filmmakers predisposition for blowing up the movie monster genre into enormous proportions! Del Toro has always demonstrated a unique skill for truly authenticating the unbelievable and turning it into something tangible. Everything keeps blowing up in "Uprising" including the giant Jaeger robots, which have become increasingly harder to tell apart from that other franchise favorite featuring alien robots that are more than meets the eye.

"Pacific Rim Uprising" is fun enough and is especially engaging as family viewing, graphic violence and monsters aside. Not recommended for younger viewers, it does have an appeal for ages 8 and up, especially for the gamer set! The Blu-ray is loaded with Bonus Features that elaborate on the world building aspect of the "Pacific Rim" franchise and include commentary from this installment's director, including a behind-the-scenes look at what might be the "next level" Jaegers being positioned to appear in the new episode to follow.

"Pacific Rim Uprising"
available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD
$19.99
www.universalpictures.com

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".