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Pacific Rim Uprising

In a year already filled with endless sequels, ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ serves to remind that it’s going to be a long 12 months. Original ideas appear to be in short supply in Hollywood, with money-men apparently in charge of the studios. If a movie makes a fortune, then the formula is copied as the countless franchises attest. Whether sequels are actually any good is another question although ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ isn’t too terrible. Neither fish nor fowl, it should satisfy admirers of the first instalment even if the threat of a third outing lingers.

Jake Pentecost (John Boyega) is part of an elite force ready to combat any alien threat. Part of the high-tech Jaeger program, Jake’s friends include Nate (Scott Eastwood) and Amara (Callee Spaeny). When evil sea creatures, the Kaiju, rise from the surface hell-bent on destruction, it’s up to Jake and the team to defeat them. With a rogue Jaeger working against them, their efforts are made harder with time running out before earth meets a deadly fate.

‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ is a very generic monster/robot movie filled with CGI wizardry. It’s certainly a spectacle with plenty of sequences featuring robotic warriors battling beasties from other dimensions. The heroes are suitably virtuous and the villains are as wicked as expected. This familiarity provides a modicum of comforting escapism as it generally entertains even if it wears its predictability on its sleeve. The characters aren’t that memorable although Spaeny delivers spark as a determined teen eager to impress.

Directed with minimal flair by Steven S. DeKnight, ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ is a by the numbers affair. The best one can say about it is that it’s rarely boring and provides mirth at the shoddy performances of most of the cast. Only the CGI offers awe-inspiring moments as one continues to marvel at the imaginative ways entire cities are blown to bits. ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ is the toy box with the movie-makers bashing the monsters together on screen ensuring the audience have little chance of feeling drowsy.

‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ is reasonable hokum without being dazzling. Like a cinematic version of a pre-packaged meal, it’s easily digested but is quickly forgotten. Whether it receives another instalment remains to be seen but the plethora of sequels may see an uprising against banality. That uprising may be even more threatening than the creepy crawlies the film depicts.

Rating out of 10: 5

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