Pacific Rim: Uprising Review: Better Than Expected Edition

Pacific Rim: Uprising is now in theaters, and it stars John Boyega as the son of Idris Elba’s character from the first film. Boyega brings his now undeniable charisma and comedic timing to this sequel like a champ, and even while the trailers for it didn’t offer up much hope for it in terms of being entertaining, I can tell you that it’s way better than most of us expected it to be. I credit this to Boyega himself, but also to the film’s plot, which packs in a legit plot twist that I can say I didn’t see coming. It’s not a movie that will keep you talking about it for days after watching it, but it is entertaining enough to watch in theaters, and I do recommend doing so.

You can check out our full review via the embedded video or script.


“Hey now fans of being War Ready, War Ready, Matt Heywood here to review Pacific Rim: Uprising, or the film that had really bad trailers.

I’m not gonna lie, I had very low expectations for Uprising going in, solely based on its bad trailers. I mean they were messy, loud, and just didn’t paint a picture of a film that could have an entertaining narrative to compliment its high octane action sequences and CGI visuals.

Now, after seeing the Pacific Rim sequel, I can honestly tell you that I was pleasantly surprised by what it offered up. It was entertaining, it had solid acting, it had some humor, and it even managed to pull off a plot twist that felt like a genuine surprise to me. Maybe my low expectations going in helped to make Uprising feel more enjoyable than it may truly be, but either way I enjoyed myself watching it, and I would 100% be down for seeing the franchise continue with this cast into a third film, which is teased in the end by the way.

The film takes place 10 years after the original, so humanity is still picking up the pieces from the Kaiju attacks that took place across the globe. The narrative closely follows John Boyega’s character Jake Pentecost, who is the son of Idris Elba’s character from the original. Jake is a bit of a lost soul, but due to his criminal activities, he makes his way back into the Yaegar pilot fleet to train new cadets. He’s joined by Scott Eastwood’s Nate Lambert, who is a fellow Ranger and instructor. He also is joined by Cailee Spaeny’s Amara Lambert, who is a gifted young mechanic that ends up in the Ranger program due to a run in she has with Jake.

Jake struggles with his role of being a Ranger again, but after a tragic event strikes close to home he hardens his resolve and becomes somewhat like his charismatic Father in the first film. I’ll digress from summarizing any further plot points to avoid spoilers, but I can tell you that there is a story in this film outside of watching badass looking robots beat the hell out of each other as cities crumble at their feet due to their hellacious brawls.

I mean that stuff is pretty awesome to take in to, because the action does resemble almost human-like fight choreography, even though you’re seeing skyscraper size robots duking it out. The action didn’t feel messy like a Transformers movie, so the set pieces actually feel fluid and tense. But again, the fact that Uprising actually had a somewhat enjoyable and easy to follow plot, which also packed in a legit twist, is why it came off as much more enjoyable than I ever could expected.

I truly thought I’d just watch a Transformers-like robot beat ‘em up with no real narrative meat to it, but I actually got a coherent and entertaining plot to compliment the unadulterated robot on robot beat down action. It’s not a story that will keep you talking for days after a viewing, but for the genre of film, it works well enough to keep you engaged, which is all we can ask for this film’s concept. In fact, my only issue is that Charlie Hunnam’s character is barely even acknowledged, which is strange considering he was the lead in the original, but his absence ultimately doesn’t affect this movie.

Speaking of the cast, I do credit them for the plot being entertaining enough to compliment the action, but not take a back seat to it. John Boyega, if you didn’t figure it out by now, is a legit star. This dude can act his pants off, and he brings an air of believability to every role he plays. He just nails his performance as Jake Pentecost from top to bottom, and is both believable as an action star, and as a character actor that can carry dialogue heavy scenes, while also being skilled in the comedic delivery of lines. I literally love this guy, and can’t wait to follow his next project.

Burn Gorman and Charlie Day also both stand out while reprising their roles as Dr. Herman Gottleib and Dr. Newton Geiszler from the first movie. They just make for a great odd couple, and Gorman in particular has a few standout scenes that will make you laugh or cheer. Day on the other hand plays a brilliant mad scientist, so I’m glad we got to see these two work together again, because they offer up some fun scenes.

If you’re like me and you’re feeling hesitant about ponying up cash to go see Pacific Rim: Uprising at the theater because you didn’t like the trailers, I can tell you that they do not reflect the final film. While it won’t win any awards, or be touted as doing something wildly different, it’s serviceable enough to keep you intrigued with the characters and their world, while also propping up the action as more than just CGI robots slogging the shit out of each other and monsters. Plus, John Boyega is a Mack Daddy, so there’s that too.

Uprising earns an unexpected 7.5 out of 10 review score from Team EB. Maybe that score is a reflection of my low expectations going in, but when it was all said and done, I had a genuinely good time while watching, so I fully back my score and do recommend that fans of the franchise go out and see this film. If enough of us do, there’s almost a guarantee that we will get a Pacific Rim 3, and I’m okay with that now.

Thanks for watching, this is Matt Heywood signing off for, where we make you a better geek, one post at a time.”


Review Summary

Story - 7.5
Cinematography - 7.5
Sound - 7.5
Acting - 8
Entertainment Value - 7



Pacific Rim: Uprising is shockingly entertaining despite the rather uninteresting trailers that were released for it. John Boyega is the main reason for this sequel being as entertaining as it is, so this dude's star continues to rise and shine post his introduction into the Star Wars universe.


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Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he’s not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB’s Star Wars Time podcast show.