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Pacific Rim Uprising Review (2018) | How to Shut Down a Franchise

Pacific Rim Uprising is an utter waste of resources, and above all, of a good storyline. We had such a great Kickstarter with Guillermo Del Toro painting the benchmark for Jaegers and Kaijus with the badass flick Pacific Rim that we had witnessed in the year 2013. He had a genuine story to tell as seen in the interviews back then. I still remember the mark of conviction and hope in his head as he wished to narrate the Kaiju part of the story in years to come.

Somewhere along the line, it got lost. It all got lost. With Steven  S. DeKnight stepping over to steer the Pacific Rim ship, that hope turned into despair. With a pointless and stale movie that we got today, we have just lost the sequel. I repeat, we have lost a good franchise.

Pacific Rim Uprising overlooked the whole reason it stood for in the first place. It felt more like Transformers now, the last one to be accurate. With Kaijus in a supporting role, no wait they were barely there more like a cameo in the end, the movie drifted from its very purpose. It doesn’t have a good screenplay to bank itself on, the worst part being that it tries to poke fun at the previous run.

“That canceling the apocalypse bit was intense.”

The plot is something that would remind you of another debacle of a flick that we saw in 2016 called Independence Day Resurgence. It is weirdly similar. Somehow Scott Eastwood as Nate Lambert does it worse than Liam Hemsworth.

You pick up either Transformers or Independence Day, Pacific Rim Uprising feels like it has been spat out after they have been churned together. The way the Kaijus have been introduced feels daft as if ample thought hasn’t been given to anything in the script.

Pacific Rim Uprising Plot (Spoilers)

For its main plot, a legend’s son is created, for Pentecost, as we had seen in the prequel, was already lost. Jake Pentecost played by John Boyega who tries to be funny, only tries, plays the son to Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba).

Pacific Rim Uprising happens 10 years after the events of 2013 where we see Jake trying to live on Jaeger scraps. He runs into teen Jaeger fanatic Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny)  who has built her own single pilot Jaeger and named it Scrapper. They get caught by Pan-Pacific Defense Corps as the prequel girl Pentecost’s adopted daughter Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) gives Jake a choice – prison or return to base as an instructor with Amara as a recruit. Such great options!

On returning Jake runs into his estranged co-pilot Nate Lambert and Jules Reyes (Adria Arjona). I have no idea why the latter is in the movie.  Jake learns about Shao Corporation’s drone program which is on its way to take over their Jaeger program at PPDC. Shao is headed by Liwen Shao (Tian Jing)  and Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day) from the prequel.

During its final assessment, a rogue Jaeger Obsidian Fury shows up and kills Mori in a theatric display of power. Failing to save her just in the nick of time, it weighs heavy on Jake (well it doesn’t feel like it).

Gipsy Avenger vs Obsidian Fury

Before Mori dies she successfully transmits the location of a Jaeger production facility in Siberia. Jake and Nate take their Gipsy Avenger Jaeger for a ride to check it out. Obsidian Fury shows up once again and a battle ensues. Gipsy Avenger destroys Fury but on bursting it open they discover a Kaiju brain inside.

Dr. Hermann Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) finds out that the brain was grown on Earth. Cloned Kaiju brains attack PPDC destroying almost all of Jaegers. Gottlieb approaches Geiszler for help without the knowledge that Geiszler was the bad guy. Geiszler’s brain had been affected by the Precursors (the alien race who created Kaijus) due to regular drifting with Kaiju brains.

With ulterior motives to destroy the planet, Newton Geiszler commands those drone-Kaijus to open breaches all across the world. Shao destroys the drones in nick of time, however, three Kaijus:

  1. Raijin
  2. Hakuja
  3. Shrikethorn

manage to escape. As all three Kaijus reunite to meet in Tokyo, the PPDC team realize that their intention was to detonate Mount Fuji by reacting with it using their chemically reactive Kaiju blood. It was to release toxic gases into the air destroying all life thus allowing the Precursors to terraform Earth for their very own colonization.

Pacific Rim uprising movie wallpaper

The Final Showdown

With the help of Gottlieb’s invention of Kaiju blood-powered rockets, four Jaegers leave PPDC for Tokyo to attack the Kaijus. They are able to repel them for a while when eventually they get their asses kicked when all three Kaijus are metamorphosed into one huge Mega-Kaiju by Newton. Failing to overpower the beast, as a last resort Gipsy Avenger rockets into the sky with the help of Shao’s operated Scrapper and drops down, head on, the Mega-Kaiju as the pilots barely escape.

They kill the Mega-Kaiju as Nate captures Newton Geiszler. Eventually, we see him babbling that Kaijus will keep coming, as Jake responds that this time it would be them attacking their home ground.

You can order Pacific Rim Uprising from here:

The Final Verdict

Pacific Rim Uprising is nothing but a waste of a good story. What it had originally planned on becoming, it only ended up drifting away from its primal plot. To worsen other things there is no good screenplay to keep it engaging, no good fights to make you jump on your seat.

Yes, there is ample destruction but you can’t help wonder what would have happened to all those people even though they were presumably safe under the bunkers? The destruction feels somehow more like what Superman ended up doing in Man of Steel. Somehow this movie failed to bring goosebumps, but only concern for life trapped underneath.

The story of Pacific Rim 2 feels like a juvenile plot. If I try hard to remember the good, the only thing I can come up with is its visual effects.

With such a pointless flick in its baggage, there’s no coming back from this. Can we reboot this already?

Star Wars The Last Jedi Review (2017) | Epicness Continues

One word. Epic! Star Wars The Last Jedi promises goosebumps and it delivers exactly that on a silver platter. Episode VIII in the Star Wars saga has an extremely well-written story that gambols on different storylines to keep viewers interested. It has so many awe-inspiring moments in it to leave you wonderstruck, nay, starstruck with each scene that follows. Whether it be the inclusion of new characters or species, Star Wars The Last Jedi movie aces them all in a plot that’s simply befitting.

Direction of Star Wars The Last Jedi

You might know Rian Johnson from Looper fame. He is a fantastic director who carries a gradual enthralling pace when it comes to depicting frames. While others choose to run towards action, he lets it come of its own accord. That being said, Star Wars The Last Jedi movie has plenty of action but there’s not a single moment in it where you feel it has been rushed. Every section has a proper build-up which Rian creates to rope you in until it reaches fruition. When everything sieves in, it feels like as if each story meets its perfect end.

Yoda: The greatest teacher, failure is.

In terms of presentation, he scores the highest when he chooses to depict decimation in a light that lets things stand out. Yes, a nod to that final Crait fight in red and white. Simply spectacular!

Rian breaks free from all standards and conventions of cinema. He obliterates those customary fetters that we have become so accustomed to – seeing things happen the way they are supposed to happen. He toys with parallel storylines wherein an expected course of action doesn’t generally work as planned. To be honest, it all feels like life itself. How many times have you felt that way? Like when you expect something to happen and things don’t go as planned. There’s always Plan B for failures. Rian Johnson presses on that living and extant nerve.

You cannot overlook Rian’s genius even when portraying the force ‘connection’. Never for a second does he get into the eyes of the characters to show us what they were seeing, primarily because it is a notion intangible that binds them. You cannot depict them seeing each other in a crystal clear light. It’s a feeling to be felt.

Rey and Luke Skywalker

Reprising her role as Rey, Daisy Ridley once again proves why she was a perfect choice for a protagonist when she was signed for one of the most brilliant and successful running franchises of all times. To take the legacy forward Rey leaves no stones unturned and fits in her storyline that follows the events of The Force Awakens like a glove.

Rey and Luke in Star Wars The Last Jedi

I need someone to show me my place in all of this.

We find Rey learning ways of the Jedi from a reluctant Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). It is a relentless struggle to bring Luke to train her and the director makes sure you understand the struggle really well. It is quite palpable when you look inside Luke’s brain and find out as to why he had decided to call it quits. The tension runs for a while, and though exhausting at times, it all builds up for its epic showdown.

The Balance between the Dark and the Light

The Last Jedi teases you more than once to make you truly believe the story that’s painted on the screen, forcing that layer of credibility, making you actually think that inclining to the Dark or the Light is only a thought away. And it builds itself around that quotient intelligibly. You get to know what Force is all about and what it all means through what Rey actually sees and feels.

Luke Skywalker: Breathe. Just breathe. Now reach out. What do you see?

Rey: Light. Darkness. A balance.

Luke Skywalker: It’s so much bigger.

That montage of frames Rian Johnson decided to go with, goes on to show how he wishes us all to have a glimpse of what we have been only registering in our thoughts for decades. That popular symbolic energy that permeates us has a form to be felt. Rian makes it all very tangible for us.

Kylo’s Tussle (Spoilers)

Whilst Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is busy walking on the precipice of the forces, occasionally gleaming with that good guy spark, you realize it’s something Darth Vader was struggling with too in the past prequels. But Adam Driver simply nails it! With all the right expressions, the brawl in his head oozes out like a real struggle.

The Empire, your parents, the Resistance, the Sith, the Jedi…let the past die. Kill it, if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you are meant to be.

You can taste defeat in Rey’s hopeful face when she makes a theatrical broken heart sound real. It is as if you are rooting for Kylo for a second, counting on him to turn towards Light, and then your heart gets broken too. Rey and Ren make it all very relatable transporting you into their world.

To break Rey, Kylo does what any villain would do. Plucking that parentage card and playing it. Giving her hope, a darker one to coax her into joining hands with someone that connects.

You come from nothing. You are nothing. But not to me.

It is amazing how the creators have always managed to create dark as a tempting alternative to light. It feels so right and yet it is so wrong. Like a perfect balance! It’s good to see The Last Jedi milking it again.

The Resistance in Distress

You might think that’s the only story in the plot, but it expands as it oscillates between the one that’s holed up in the beginning frames. While Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) is incapacitated, Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) takes command.

With Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) confined indoors the rebels rebel amongst themselves as he takes charge of the situation. There’s a Plan A still under wraps headed by Finn (John Boyega) which Poe wishes to see through.

I was raised to fight. For the first time I have something to fight for.

Finn finds a pleasant company in Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) who by the way is just perfect for him.

Rose Tico in Star Wars The Last Jedi

That’s how we are going to win. Not fighting what we hate, but saving what we love.

It is brilliant what Rian does with the story when he chooses to confuse the audience by showing Holdo in a bad light, (letting us watch her from Poe’s perspective) and then resuscitates her as the one who was actually trying to help.  She was the Plan B that was playing in the backdrop all along. Watch out for her badass assault on First Order! That was out of the blue!

The Epic Showdown

Whilst at a point you feel that the movie is about to end, you realize the action is just getting started. Everything takes us and prepares us for one final showdown that’s as epic as it gets. Not only does it do justice to the title but it also does justice to Luke, the protagonist of prequels, paying as much homage to him as one could by giving him a single shot at fame in a limited time.

He shows up like a true Jedi he is, finally overcoming his recalcitrance to face the First Order’s suicidal onslaught. What follows is an eye-boggling moment to be witnessed only in theatres for true mirth.

Every word of what you just said was wrong.

You cannot also overlook what Resistance does in desperate times. Whatever limited resources they had in their hands they use it nevertheless. By heading to an old base in Crait, they revive the old. Despite surrounded by obsolete and battered stuff, they still give it a shot, fighting with what little they had, but fighting nevertheless.

The Final Verdict

Star Wars The Last Jedi is a brilliant addition to one of the most venerated series of all times. It does the franchise the most justice a movie could possibly do.

The flick also pays tribute to titular characters and goes on to include more, literally aiming the gun at impending sequels. It reprises Falcon, Chewbacca, the AT-ST, Yoda, and lets us relive a lost era. New additions are great too. Porgs are simply the cutest!

Here you can order your own life-sized porg:

There are plenty of epic moments in Star Wars The Last Jedi that you cannot simply forget.

Snoke: You are no Vader. You are just a child in a mask.

The most impressive one is hands down the way Snoke gets slaughtered. Not to mention the final showdown where Luke shows up like a one-man army. Despite the teary end to Luke’s bit, his passing away doesn’t feel painful. It was in a way fulfilling as if he was waiting for a purpose all this time, to slide the torch to his posterity before he left.

See you around kid.

Star Wars The Last Jedi is a beautiful movie that shouldn’t be missed.

Go ahead and watch this one at once if you haven’t still. May the force be with you.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review (2015)

“I know all about waiting.”

Behold y’awl! The Force has finally awakened! Star Wars: The Force Awakens is everything you wanted the Star Wars sequel to be.

After spending almost a decade devoid of force, J.J. Abrams walks in with the next big installment of the immortal saga with a brilliant plot in his baggage. Star Wars: The Force Awakens does the franchise justice it deserves. The sequel series has once again commenced and it has one of the most pragmatic plots in its vanguard. It at once gallops to answer ‘what could have happened next’ with three young actors to take the ‘new’ story-line forward.

Here we get a new perspective altogether for the first time, unlike previous installments, of a sentient Stormtrooper who doesn’t wish to be evil. John Boyega might have played a clumsy character for the better half but he is onto something big. Finn is scared but there is something good in him that compels him to do the right thing. Also, he brings an element of humour to the tale.

Daisy Ridley’s Rey wears an endearing personality throughout the flick and plays a crucial role whilst packing a fair protagonist punch trying to figure out her connection with the force. To watch Adam Driver play the badass antagonist was awesome. His voice was heavy like Vader’s, his deeds terrifying, and his anger destructive.

Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron can’t be ignored either. His flying capabilities remind you of Luke’s bad-ass runs from the prequels. There is one single shot where Po flies the X-Wing and performs so many thrilling take-downs. It was brilliantly taken from Finn’s vantage. Snoke braces us with a cameo that clears the dust for an impending doom. Andy Serkis hammers another CGI to perfection.

The flick has elements that will haul you back in time with nostalgia. Reminiscent references, images, and characters from the previous parts cloud the screen quite often and you just can’t help pointing them out like Easter eggs. Be it be the badass Vader music in just a mere glimpse, or a circular frame-changer like the one used in previous parts, it has every element shoehorned in to call it a definite Star Wars movie.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a brilliant tribute to the most revered tale in the whole universe. If you haven’t watched it yet, just run to the theatres already! May the force be with you!