Movie Review: PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING (Blu-ray Combo Pack)

PACIFIC RIM UPRISING is based on characters created by Travis Beacham. The movie was directed by Steven S. DeKnight from a screenplay he cowrote with Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder andT.S. Nowlin and stars John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Charlie Day, Rinko Kikuchi, Burn Gorman, Tian Jing and Adria Arjona.

Ten years after the events of the first film, the Kaiju return in Pacific Rim: Uprising with a new deadly threat that reignites the conflict between these otherworldly monsters of mass destruction and Jaegers, the human-piloted super-machines that were built to vanquish them. In Pacific Rim: UprisingJohn Boyega stars as the rebellious Jake Pentecost, a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the monstrous Kaiju. Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through our cities and bring the world to its knees, he is given one last chance to live up to his father’s legacy. Jake is joined by gifted rival pilot Lambert (Scott Eastwood), 15-year-old Jaeger hacker Amara (Cailee Spaeny), returning veterans Charlie Day, Rinko Kikuchi, Burn Gorman and a talented crew of fiercely young cadets. Rising up to become the most powerful defense force to ever walk the earth, they set course for a spectacular all-new adventure on a towering scale.

Pacific Rim: Uprasing takes place ten years after the events of the first movie and follows Jake Pentecost, the son of the heroic Stacker Pentecost. Jake is rebellious and isn’t in good standing with the Jaeger program but that quickly changes when he accidentally meets Amara Namani, a rebellious young hacker who has built her own little Jaeger, Scrapper, out of scrap. The two rebels also have a little altercation with the Pan-Pacific Defense Corp that Jake has eluded for years and they end up becoming an important part of it when this new threat emerges. A rogue Jaeger called Obsidian Fury shows up and causes some damage but the big question is, who is piloting this metal giant? On top of that, the Breach is briefly reopened and the Precursors send more Kaiju through it before it’s closes again and they have a new plan to destroy the planet.

The Precursors send these new monsters to activate the Ring of Fire by detonating Mount Fuji with the Kaiju’s chemically reactive blood. You see, when Kaiju blood comes in contact with Earth elements it has a monsterous side effect. Jakes reteams with his old partner Lambert and they have to do a rush job on the young cadets to get them ready for the new Jaegers – Gipsy Avenger, Guardian Bravo, Bracer Phoenix and Saber Athena. There’s also a mysterious new villain that’s introduced in this sequel besides this latest Kaiju invasion and this sinister new enemy has introduced this technology that the small team of heroes and their Jaegers have to go up against. What happens is, there’s also this drone army that’s supposed to be the next generation of defense but when this new technology is inserted into the mix, the drones turn of their creators and go on a disasterous rampage. When they all find out what’s actually going on here, they quickly come up with a plan to try and stop this latest threat before it destroys the planet. In the end they succeed – but not without lots of destruction and sacrifice.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The Blu-ray disc is chrome and features the movie logo and the DVD disc is yellow and features the movie logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. The picture and sound quality for the standard-definition disc were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Pacific Rim: Uprising was an exciting but flawed entry into this fun “giants monsters versus giant robots” franchise. I’m a big fan of this whole Pacific Rim universe that Guillermo del Toro created a while back and I’ve even been collecting the cool action figures that have been released since then. Even though Uprising wasn’t as great as the first one, it was still an entertaining sci-fi movie. The story was interesting enough but the character development lacked some with the new faces that were introduced. Thankfully, there were some veterans from the first movie to help things some. I think this was the directorial debut for Steven S. DeKnight and I thought he did an okay job bringing it all to life on screen. I’m not sure I would of let him helm a project this huge when the future of the franchise is at stake and unfortunately it didn’t bank big at the box office – just like the first movie. Still, the best part of Uprising was easily the special effects and visuals that went into the making of these giants that battle each other and cause all kinds of damage in the process. There’s also this sinister new villain introduced that I kind of liked and the tease that they could possibly take the battle to the Precursors if there’s a third movie – and I hope there is. Pacific Rim: Uprising will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital hD) on June 19th.

Distributor: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Run Time: 111 Minutes

Rated: PG-13

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.40:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English Dolby Atmos / Spanish Dolby Digital 7.1 / French Dolby Digital 5.1 / EDA

DVD Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (2.40:1)

DVD Audio: English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

Special Features: The extras include sixteen deleted scenes, ten featurettes, some audio commentary and a digital copy of the movie.

  • Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Director Steven S. DeKnight 06:56)
  • Hall of Heroes – John Boyega takes us through the awesome weaponry and cutting-edge enhancements of the latest generation of Jaegers featured in the film. (03:25)
  • Bridge to Uprising – The cast and crew discuss how the world of Pacific Rim has changed in the ten years since the events of the original film. (04:39)
  • The Underworld of Uprising – Humanity won the Kaiju War, but every war has casualties. John Boyega and Steven S. DeKnight give a tour of the coastal “Relief Zones.” (03:47)
  • Becoming Cadets – Step into the Shatterdome, and learn the grueling physical and mental preparation required of the young actors who portrayed the PPDC cadets. (05:58)
  • Unexpected Villain – Learn the secret reason that turned one of the most beloved heroes of the original film into a villain obsessed with humanity’s destruction. (05:48)
  • Next Level Jaegers – The cast and crew discuss the amazing technological advances of the Jaeger program in the years since the events of the original film. (05:08)
  • I Am Scrapper – Actress Cailee Spaeny shares the backstory of Scrapper, Amara’s incredible self-built Jaeger and its many unique abilities. (02:42)
  • Going Mega – Filmmakers take us through the technical and creative challenges of creating the most deadly threat the Pan Pacific Defense Corp has ever faced: the Mega Kaiju! (03:21)
  • Secrets of Shao – Meet the woman behind Shao Industries. Actress Tian Jing shares her insights on the enigmatic tech tycoon Liwen Shao. (03:14)
  • Mako Returns – Actress Rinko Kikuchi and director Steven S. DeKnight explain the significance of Mako Mori’s return and her importance to the events of Pacific Rim Uprising. (02:08)
  • Feature Commentary with Director Steven S. DeKnight
  • Digital HD Copy

 

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