1. What is it about?
John Boyega is Jake Pentecost, whose father gave his life to save the world in Pacific Rim. Jake has dropped out of the world-protecting business and is living life as a bad apple, stealing and conning other criminals. He gets one last chance to prove himself and live up to his father’s legacy. Sure enough, the kaiju come again and Pentecost is called on to save the day with the help of a ragtag group of jaeger pilots. But can they succeed? (Of course they can.)
2. Will I like it?
If you liked the first movie or just enjoy mindless action films, you will. It’s not deep and is really just more of the same that you saw in Pacific Rim. However, they have turned the humor up a couple clicks of the dial. Both Charlie Day and Burn Gorman have returned in their roles as bumbling and brilliant scientists, delivering the jaeger’s share of funny lines. As another funny moment, Pacific Rim Uprising has one of the more surprising uses of an internet meme seen in a while, it is very laugh-worthy. John Boyega is especially good in this, arguably better than his work in Star Wars, believe it or not, and holds the film together with his performance. Young newcomer Cailee Spaeny starts out strong as a young hacker and shows promise of stealing the film, but ends up getting pushed to the background. All in all, it’s a too-predictable movie that’s mostly only enjoyable for its giant robot and kaiju fights, which are impressive.
3. Will my kids like it?
Your kids will probably love it. Giant robots and monsters fighting as cities are destroyed — how awesome is that? As mentioned above, there is a great role model for young girls, who gets relegated to a smaller role for much of the film. It’s unfortunate, because how many young women do we get to see in action films? Regardless, kids will enjoy it. One note for parents of kids who have auditory issues: Pacific Rim Uprising is very loud at times. Be advised.
4. Is the rating appropriate?
Pacific Rim Uprising is rated PG-13 for sequences sci-fi violence and action and some language. I don’t know where the line is between PG and PG-13 anymore, but almost all the violence is all very cartoony — it’s robots and monsters — and hardly objectionable. One of the supporting characters dies, but nothing more than a still hand is shown. As I recall, the language isn’t worse than anything you hear on television these days. All in all, it’s pretty family friendly for an action movie.
5. When is a good time for a bathroom break?
From the start, Pacific Rim Uprising is almost non-stop action. But at 111 minutes, you might need to step out. About a half hour in, when the stars of the film arrive at the Moyulan Training Base is a good time, at about the hour mark, when the cadets are in their barracks is another good time. But hurry back, it’s action from start to finish and you don’t want to miss much!
6. Do I need to have seen the first movie to enjoy it?
There are a couple of references to events that happened in Pacific Rim, specifically, Jake Pentecost’s father’s actions and the interactions between Dr. Gottlieb and Dr. Geiszler, but there’s enough in the dialogue to fill you in if you missed the first one. Additionally, there’s a nicely packaged summary of the events in Pacific Rim during the first minutes of Pacific Rim Uprising.
7. Do I need to stay to the end of the credits?
Immediately after the movie ends, there is a short scene that sets up a third movie. After that, there is no need to stick around, unless you want to see the immense list of digital artists who worked on Pacific Rim Uprising.