|Fisting your fondness for the original.
Let me tell you the single dumbest fucking thing in Pacific Rim: Uprising. In order to establish the third act threat and plot, the movie posits that all the kaiju in the first movie were actually heading toward Mount Fuji, but nobody realized it.
In Pacific Rim, all the monsters emerge from a single point in the Pacific Ocean, and head toward various locations, including Alaska, San Francisco, and Sydney, but if they kept going, you see, they’d end up in Mount Fuji. No, really. Makes total sense.
That’s also the most entertainingly dumb thing about this movie, which, for the most part, takes the world built by Guillermo Del Toro for the original movie and runs it through whatever computer churns out generic, completely unironic blockbuster formulas. There are a bunch of bland twentysomethings, John Boyega as the son of Idris Elba who we never heard about in the first movie because he was kicked out of the service a year before, a lot of really obvious pandering to the Chinese market, and a lot of mediocre, uninspired robots fighting first other robots and then robot-monster hybrids and then monsters and then one giant monster made out of the three monsters because Charlie Day is evil.
Oh, Charlie Day is evil in this one. The alien overlords from the first movie took over his mind. so he wants to blow up the world by getting a kaiju into Mount Fuji, where its blood will react with the rare earth elements in the active volcano and blow up / terraform the Earth. Which, you know, if that’s your plan, maybe start with the flying kaiju from the first movie, because the Earth ain’t got shit fro flying kaiju defense.
Scott Eastwood brings discgrace to the Lambert family name as “Ranger Lambert”, a character even more bland and unnecessary than his Fate Of The Furious character, which is saying something. Then there’s a bunch of trainees called upon to save the day all of whom fail miserably. There are new robots who are less interesting than you thought they were in the trailer, because they get maybe ten minutes of screen time except for the new Gypsy Danger, now called Gypsy Avenger.
Look, Pacific Rim was not a film masterpiece. But what it was was aware of when it was dumb and threw style and cleverness and humor at the dumb until you mostly didn’t notice it. Pacific Rim may not have been art, but it was at least fuckin’ awesome. The sequel is in every way the movie you were afraid they’d made the first time you saw the trailer and got that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. It’s so dull the few good jokes from what was obviously a desperate punch-up pass stand out like a sore thumb and, as a result, don’t work. Avoid at all costs.