Pacific Rim: Uprising Blu Ray Review (Universal)
Pacific Rim Uprising is a 2018 science fiction film co-written & directed by Steven S. DeKnight (Angel, Smallville, Dollhouse, & Daredevil TV Series). This is DeKnight’s feature film directing debut, he only directed television before this project. Guillermo del Toro was originally going to direct this sequel to follow up his original film but the production kept getting delayed. He even wrote his own script for it but by the time they were ready to finally do it he already signed on to do The Shape of Water. It turns out he made the right choice considering he won multiple Oscars for that film. He remained on the feature as a producer. Charlie Hunnam was going to return to his role in this but he had scheduling conflicts with King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. A few of the original cast members returned to do this sequel. Pacific Rim: Uprising’s release date got pushed back multiple times. Legendary Comics released Pacific Rim: Aftermath in 2018. The six-issue comic book series serves as a bridge between the two films. This film had an estimated budget of $350 million after production & promotion. It grossed $290.1 million worldwide at the box office. Warner Bros. Pictures who produced the first film with Legendary Pictures until 2014, released this film internationally..Universal who collaborated with Legendary currently distributed the film domestically. A third entry is already planned if the studio decides to make another film in the series.
In 2035, ten years after the Battle of the Breach former Jaeger pilot Jake Pentecost (played by: John Boyega from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Detroit, & Attack the Block) survives by stealing & selling Jaeger parts on the black market in the Los Angeles. He is the son of the legendary Stacker Pentecost. He runs into fifteen year-old Jaeger enthusiast Amara Namani (played by: Cailee Spaeny from Bad Times at the El Royale & The Shoes). She built her own Jaeger & named it Scrapper. Both get arrested by the Pan-Pacific Defense Corps. Jake’s adoptive sister PPDC Secretary General Mako Mori (played by: Rinko Kikuchi from Pacific Rim, Babel, 47 Ronin, & Assault Girls) gives him the choice between prison or return to PPDC as an instructor.
Jake starts training Jaeger program cadets with his estranged former co-pilot Nate Lambert (played by: Scott Eastwood from Suicide Squad, The Fate of the Furious, Texas Chainsaw 3D, & Fury). The Jaeger program is threatened by Shao Corporation’s drone program developed by Liwen Shao (played by: Tian Jing from Kong: Skull Island, The Great Wall, Special ID, & Police Story: Lockdown) & Dr. Newton Geiszler (played by: Charlie Day from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Horrible Bosses 1/2, Pacific Rim, & Vacation). Hermann Gottlieb (played by: Burn Gorman from Pacific Rim, The Dark Knight Rises, Game of Thrones, & Crimson Peak) seeks out for help from his old friend. Things start to get out of control. The new cadets must step & become pilots to help save everyone again from the monsters that threaten their society!
If you enjoyed the original Pacific Rim it’s safe to say that you will probably like this sequel also. It’s very similar to the first film. At the same time, that’s kinda a negative thing also because director Steven S. DeKnight lacks the creativity of Guillermo del Toro. He should probably stick to directing television because a big budget production like this seemed to be too much for being his first full length feature film. I am not saying he did a bad job or anything but he didn’t really change much to give this follow up it’s own identity. At times it felt like a cheap imitation of the first film. You seen the budget in my earlier comments so you know it wasn’t cheap to produce this. I wasn’t talking about the quality because the visual effects are top notch just like the original. Everything looks awesome in this including all the locations & set pieces.
I really dig the atmosphere in this universe. I am mainly talking about it feeling rushed & underdeveloped. Also, one of the biggest strengths from the original was the casting. It was loaded with talent & character actors. This one not so much besides a select few. With all that being said, it’s still a very fun & entertaining popcorn flick with amazing visuals. Can’t really go wrong with Robots vs. Monsters plus it’s action packed! I really hope they somehow make another sequel to make this a trilogy but since it under-performed at the box office I am not sure if that is possible. I guess they could do a direct to video one at worst case but they need someone very creative to take control over that to make it work. Recommended for Science Fiction, Action, & Pacific Rim fans. This takes some steps back from it’s predecessor but it’s still a blast to watch & I loved the few new additions added to this crazy world.
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Universal! This 1080p (1080p) transfer looks beautiful, one of the best looking science fiction films in a long time & that’s saying alot since that genre is superior when it comes to visuals. I am big fan of this universe & how it looks in these films. It’s on whole another level when it comes to quality. I can only imagine what the 4K of this looks like! I was very impressed with this blu ray. Various audio options which include English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 , French: Dolby Digital 5.1, & Spanish: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1! As expected, these tracks do not disappoint when it comes to a great cinema experience. It feel likes you are at the movies rather than chilling at home. Both picture & sound are damn near reference quality for this release. English SDH, French, & Spanish subtitles are also included.
Let’s discuss the special features on this disc! Audio commentary with director Steven S. DeKnight. He talks about changing the Universal logo just for this film. He says he loved when other productions did it in the past. He chats about locations used for the feature. He mentions the beginning was changed a little bit in editing. He brings up some of the actors in the film. He talks about being inspired by Starship Troopers. He mentions the training that the cadets went into before doing their roles. He says John Boyega basically had to eat ice cream all day for one day of filming. He brings up that two of his favorites from the first film returned in this sequel. He mentions a scene that Guillermo del Toro suggested that he originally didn’t want in that made the final cut. He talks about the crew & visual effects used in the film. He chats about the non stop fights at the end. 8 “Deleted Scenes” that equal up to almost 7 minutes including a cameo by Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn! It also has the option to listen to the director’s commentary over the scenes. “Hall of Heroes” is a little over 3 minutes. Lead actor John Boyega goes over the various Jaegers from the film. “The Underworld of Uprising” is almost 4 minutes. It goes into details about the characters & the film. “Bridge to Uprising” is almost 4 minutes. Various members of the cast & crew chat about the science fiction series. “Becoming Cadets” is almost 6 minutes. It interviews the actors that played the roles. They talk about the variety & difference in the group. They chat about their characters a little bit. “Unexpected Villain” is almost 6 minutes & this is probably my favorite extra on here. It has some nice interviews but I can’t say much more because I don’t want to spoil the film for you. “Next Level Jaegers” is 5 minutes & it shows you the new additions to the franchise. It goes behind the scenes & it shows you how they were made. ” I Am Scrapper” is almost 3 minutes & tells you a little more about the character that’s featured in the film. “Going Mega” is a 3 minute look at the monsters from Uprising. “Secrets of Shao” is 3 minute feature one of the main characters from this sequel. “Mako Returns” is 2 minutes & it focuses on one of the few characters that returned from the original. It also includes a slipcover, a digital code, & a DVD copy of the film. It also available in several different formats including a single DVD, 4K, & 3D.