In all honesty, I am probably the most forgiving person when it comes to movies. If I sit down to watch a movie, I want to enjoy it. As a result I tend to latch onto the little things I did enjoy and minimize the things I didn’t. That’s partly why I don’t write movie reviews for the site. I’m just too damned nice to them. That was until Pacific Rim: Uprising came along…
Holy hell. This may be the most irreverent direct sequel I’ve ever had the misfortune to sit through.
It somehow manages to completely miss the point of the original movie in the most effortless way. It’s sort of benignly offensive in a way. It gets it all wrong, but never with enough effort to make it seem like it’s going out of its way to be insulting. It’s as if the creative team just happened to stumble upon the exact wrong way to do everything by accident.
If there’s one thing I can say about it, it’s that the writers almost certainly heard of Pacific Rim.
At a guess I’d say it played out like this:
Steven S. DeKnight, who I generally like (I damn near worship Marvel’s Daredevil Season 1 and prefer Angel to Buffy), was no doubt sitting in his living room, masturbating vigorously to Transformers Revenge of the Fallen, because hot damn if Uprising makes one thing clear, it’s that he loves Transformers. Anyway, he was sitting there rubbing another one out to Skids and Mudflap (and that’s his right, we’re not here to kinkshame), when he gets a phonecall from someone.
This someone gave him a very detailed rundown of the plot and themes of Pacific Rim. They told him everything of import as well as a few interesting discussion points to have in mind when he gets around to watching it. All good, wholesome stuff. Unfortunately, our dear Stevie never got around to watching it.
What Do They Speak on Cybertron?
Now, Steven was learning a second language at the time. It doesn’t matter which language. All that matters is that he wasn’t stellar at it and that the person on the other end of the phone spoke almost exclusively in a very specific, colloquial version of that language. One or two things may have been lost in translation. It didn’t help that while Steven was getting up to all this, his roommate was sitting on the couch next to him, watching End of Evangelion on a 23 inch Alienware laptop.
The roommate had a sweet pair of Bose closed cup headphones, because he’s a nice chap and didn’t want the volume to interfere with Steven’s tantric Transformers marathon, and he was watching it dubbed with no subtitles, because he’s also a freaking degenerate. The end result was that Steven noticed a few key scenes, but didn’t really know what was going on.
This is how Pacific Rim: Uprising was born.
I can’t produce any actual proof for this theory, but I think anyone who has seen Pacific Rim and then compared it to Uprising will agree that it’s certainly plausible, and has at least a 90% chance of being completely true.
When Does The Healing Begin?
It’s been about a week since I watched it and still I can’t comprehend how a movie about giant robots fighting giant monsters manages to be so damn bland. The last time I felt so unmoved by events of such supposed earth-shaking magnitude, I was complaining about a Marvel Comics event storyline. Not only that but it does it with negligible style and negative grace. I can’t believe the sequel was made on the same budget as the original either, because it looks like it could be a higher class Disney Channel Made-For-TV movie.
The Mako Mori Test
All of this is before I even get to its major crime, which is the flagrant disregard for the original film’s characters and themes. It drops some names, and even gets some of the original cast back, but that really just seems to serve as some tenuous way to connect it to the original. The writers clearly had no idea who these people were, and had no interest in keeping up their stories or missions from the original movies.
I can’t even commend the damn thing for having female protagonists(ish) when all it does it fridge them in order to… to what? I don’t know? To toy with our lingering emotions from the original? Let me tell you, there was no bloody need. Every other part of this sequel does a fine enough job of assassinating the aspects of the original. I was already well on my way to mourning it long before there were any on-screen deaths. I just, ugh!
And really, why the hell would you give one Jeager a very obviously over powered laser sword, only to have them spend most of their screen time trying to lay an armoured Kaiju out with kung-fu kicks? That’s just so dumb. So f*cking dumb. All of you should be ashamed!
P.S. Holy sh*t. Never let America try to make an Evangelion movie. I shouldn’t have to say that, but every warning comes with a story.