Pacific Rim was a big surprise to me when it came out in 2013. It not only was a great blockbuster monster movie, it also renewed my enthusiasm for the genre, sparking me to pick up and rewatch old Godzilla films. So when the sequel Pacific Rim Uprising was announced I was cautiously optimistic, because there are just so many things that could be done wrong with it. My optimism was at an all-time low when I learned that Guillermo del Toro would not be returning to direct this go around. Suffice it to say, there was anxiety going into this film.
Taking place ten years after the invasion of the first film, the world has moved on and started to rebuild. The breach in the ocean that had allowed the kaiju into our world has been sealed off and the gigantic man-made Jaegers have been downgraded to patrolling the world’s major cities and policing against illegally made mini-Jaegers.
That is until someone sabotages a wave of remotely controlled next-gen Jaegers and opens the breach, allowing three mega kaiju in and starting a new war against the precursors.
Thankfully, Jake Pentecost (played by John Boyega from Star Wars fame), son of the world’s hero Stacker Pentecost (who sacrificed himself saving the world) has recently been busted stealing parts from decommissioned Jaegers, along with a spunky young homebrew Jaeger builder. Coincidental timing, of course, but it provides us with a good protagonist duo, and Boyega is hot right now.
Of course, we see the return of Scott Eastwood, Charlie Day, and several others from the previous film. In fact, the cast is better this time around in my opinion (but Idris Elba is sorely missed). The acting is great, and the Jaeger/kaiju fights are as satisfying as ever.
So where does Pacific Rim Uprising go wrong? Well, like the original, the mad scientist duo led by Charlie Day is just plain awkward and takes another step out of the realm of plausibility this time around. Some people will love this (especially those who appreciate Day’s humor style), but personally, I find that it takes me out of the experience.
Overall, I actually enjoyed Pacific Rim Uprising quite a bit. I can’t quite say that if it is better or worse than it’s predecessor, but I can confidently say that this is a worthy successor. However, I would have like to see something new done in this series that pushed it forward a bit more. But in the end, giant monsters are fighting giant robots, what is not to like?
Pacific Rim Uprising is a visual spectacle to be sure. Practically the entire film is bustling with CGI effects that look fantastic in 4K and HDR. The robots and monsters both are exciting to watch, and the damage that they both inflict and cause leads to a really interesting mix of textures and fine detail.
The color palette in this film is more varied than you might think. Of course, there is a lot of dark scenes, but Jaegers are well colored and the kaiju have crazy neon lighting, which is really cool on screen.
This release has a Dolby Atmos audio track that is a real joy to listen to. With the amount of action on screen, this movie would fall flat on its face if the audio didn’t match up. The fights and explosions are extremely satisfying and make great use of all surround channels, including excellent immersion with the highs. This is a really fun one to watch – and listen – to.
Unlike most of the 4K UHD releases we are seeing, the special features are included on the UHD disc this time around, which is nice to see. There are, however, no 4K exclusives.
- Deleted Scenes
- Hall of Heroes – Boyega describes the Jaegers in the film
- Bridge to Uprising – various cast members talk about the film
- The Underworld of Uprising – a bit of a history lesson on the franchise
- Becoming Cadets – a mini-feature on the secondary characters of the film
- Unexpected Villain – spoiler alert – there’s a surprise villain – and this goes more in detail about them.
- Next Level Jaegers – all about the new Jaegers in this film
- I Am Scrapper – a closer look at the mini Jaeger called Scrapper
- Going Mega – a short look at the mega kaiju in the film
- Secrets of Shao – a short look at Shao’s character
- Mako Returns – discusses Mako, a returning character
- Audio Commentary with Director Steven S. DeKnight
Pacific Rim Uprising 4K UHD Final Thoughts:
I went into this film with very low standards and was pleasantly surprised. I can see how fans of the original could either be happy with this offering or disappointed, depending on what they wanted in a sequel. However, if you like giant monsters and robots battling it out, and you want to see it in 4K glory with a kick-ass Atmos soundtrack, I would suggest picking this one up. It’s available on 4K UHD and Blu-ray.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgment or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.