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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?

The Great Wall Movie Review (2016) | Typical Monster Flick

The Great Wall movie is one of those monster flicks that starts abruptly without offering you any perspective. Unlike mythical horror movies that are built on sheer horror and tons of suspense, The Great Wall movie doesn’t bank on the fear factor rather chooses to go with the action platitude to the finish line. It ends up becoming a resounding dud shot when you can see through a plot that sounds very cliched, can feel the shallowness of its scenes and literally read the flick’s apparent contrivance.

Theme and Plot of The Great Wall Movie

The Great Wall movie tried to cash in on the myth surrounding China’s biggest miraculous defense. It created a story out of a mere lore and tried to throw in some tangible veracity to it. Yes it shows the wall in a light that would leave children fantasizing for days.

In doing so, its writers made the wall something it couldn’t have possibly been even in a dream. The movie tried to aggrandize the then extant Song Dynasty scenes with epic armies that acted tough and in unison. They responded pretty well to each other using signs and noises a normal guy couldn’t possibly register.

Max Brooks, Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz created alien mythical monsters that visited every 60 years trying to overrun the planet with huge numbers. At the center of them is a queen, a gigantic monster who stays protected by her very own circle of trust er…monsters who do not let anyone get near her. She is calling the shots for her race and yes, she is literally yowling for a boss fight.

matt damon and pedro pascal in the great wall movie

Imperial Court has assigned the job of protecting its realm to a military order called The Nameless Order. Our hero William portrayed by Matt Damon who is way too heroic for a hero, and who barely makes mistakes, is a complete badass with his bow. He has Tovar played by Pedro Pascal for a sidekick who keeps questioning his choices. Both are mercenaries who accidentally run into the Imperial Court in their search for black powder, an ancient moniker for what we brand today as gunpowder.

Willem Defoe‘s character Ballard was terribly written. You could feel him disappear without any bang, oh wait! there was one for him alright. Pleasant escape!

The Good Things

If you try to focus on the good things the movie retains the first thing would be the music by Ramin Djawadi. He is capable of giving you goosebumps with his score. You could feel that emanating through the reverberation that drums produced in The Great Wall movie’s trailer.

Then there is that rare grim attitude Matt Damon wears most of the times, where you can see him delivering lines with a steady resolve. There is one particular scene where we find Lin Mae portrayed by Tian Jing trying to make William understand trust. She tries to coax him into jumping that she wouldn’t let go. But William, who is used to not trusting anybody chooses not to, and responds:

I’m alive today because I do not trust anybody.

Then you cannot overlook the colossal army of The Nameless Order either. It’s huge. The way they move, the way they walk, the grandeur and the resplendence is beyond comparison. It is enough to put you in awe.

Then there are the monsters that are intelligently thought of with the concept of the queen at the center of it. A well thought of fantasy.

You can order The Great Wall here:

Other Issues

Now that we have good things out of the equation, let’s move on to the ugly part. There were plenty of issues starting with the creation of fear. With movies that deal with monsters and aliens, there has to be that morsel of fear lurking that should terrify its viewers. With the Chinese finding it not a big deal since they have always imaged beasts and monsters all their lives, it ends up becoming kind of a big deal, a factor that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Everything happens too fast, there is no slow graze to help one experience that fear. That’s one of the most important points that the flick overlooks. Apart from that you have the cliched storyline. You have seen this happen so many times that it compels you to yawn your way into it. Heroics included are too childish to be true. Also, climax isn’t exactly the movie’s forte. You know what will happen. No element of surprise there.

Then one of the most daft things the movie does lost in its splendour is with the human harpoons, the acrobatic soldiers or the crane troop. When you are left on the mercy of a rope and an army of monsters below you don’t go spearheading straight into their jaws. No matter how cool it looks. That’s leaping into the mouths of death. That’s what they do, and many pay the price too as was expected.

The Final Verdict

The Great Wall ends up becoming really mediocre if you look at what it has in store for you. A predictable story, monsters that you are going to probably forget with time. Some heroic stunts with arrows that look good but too good to be true. It all becomes forgetful in the end which should have been exactly the opposite of what we all wanted.

You can check out the trailer of The Great Wall here: