Movie review: Pacific Rim Uprising
Those expecting a dark, atmospheric film like the one director Guillermo del Toro gave us in 2013 will be disappointed.
This sequel, Pacific Rim Uprising, by Steven S. DeKnight - making his feature film debut - is completely different.
DeKnight has worked on the Spartacus TV series, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and marvel's Daredevil.
In del Toro's version, most of the fights took place at night, in the rain and out at sea. Uprising is a day movie, and the battles are city-based.
The cast is also younger and made up of different ethnicities (Puerto Rican, Cuban, Indian, Japanese, Ukrainian and Chinese) - a move clearly catered to the international market, especially China, which contributed the bulk of the box-office gross for the original.
John Boyega of Star Wars fame takes the lead in this story set 10 years after monstrous sea creatures known as Kaiju were eliminated by the Jaegers, giant robots piloted by humans.
Now, humanity is again under threat when the Kaiju manage to break through an inter-dimensional portal at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
Boyega's Jake is not an original character. We have seen people like him, a rebellious hotshot-turned-reluctant hero, many times.
Jake also bears some similarities to his Finn from Star Wars.
So does Boyega bring anything new? No.
Nor does Scott Eastwood, who plays Jake's friend and co-pilot Nathan, and their bromance lacks chemistry.
Those who do stand out are the young inexperienced cadets, led by Amara (newcomer Cailee Spaeny), a spunky teen who happens to be a fantastic Jaeger hacker.
Predictable story aside, the action and the Jaegar fight scenes are pretty cool, though the new Jaegers will remind you of Transformers, complete with some Michael Bay-esque trademark moments.
The bright setting also means the Jaegers and Kaiju are much clearer, and they are quite a visual treat.
I prefer del Toro's Pacific Rim as there was more suspense and heart, while Uprising is simply pure popcorn entertainment.
MOVIE: Pacific Rim Uprising
STARRING: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Jing Tian, Cailee Spaeny, Charlie Day
DIRECTOR: Steven S. DeKnight
THE SKINNY: Jake (Boyega), the prodigal son of legendary Jaeger pilot Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), is given a chance to prove his worth when humanity is once again threaten by the monstrous Kaiju.