Explosions and Crashes Galore
Pacific Rim: Uprising is another of those robot/Transformer type films that kids the world over seem to love. They clamor in Brazil and call it Circulo de Fogo: A Revolta and shriek in Hungary with Tuzgyura: Lazadas! The first Pacific Rim movie hauled in about $400 million world-wide. Will this new film top it? There seems to be no language barrier to keep fans away, and explosions and crashes appear to translate easily into other tongues.
John Boyega toplines this sci-fi adventure. With Boyega’s appearances in the Star Wars sagas, he must be specializing in science fiction these days. These films certainly provide him a high profile with modern day movie-goers. He’s a pleasant fellow and has been given a few comic situations in this film to lighten the very heavy, metallic load of the film. Many fans will be content to ogle his very prominent biceps and chest, and I’m sure he will rate highly with the bubble gum teen-age set.
Boyega plays the son of deceased Commander Stacker (Idris Elba) who spends his time as a wastrel delving lightly into partying. He has long given up his pursuit of being a Yaeger (robot) pilot at the Pan Pacific Defense Forces. He accidentally meets teen-age Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny), a young woman who has illegally built her own Jaeger robot. Jake and Amara get arrested for battling a real Jaeger. This thrusts Jake back into the folds of the pilot program that trains cadets, along with this old sometime-pal Nate Lambert (Scott Eastwood). Being an exact replica of his real dad Clint, Eastwood looks like a graduate of the Squint Division of the Wooden Indian School of Acting. Neither Eastwood can be considered a great actor, but look how far old dad got with minimum acting credentials.
Being a co-production with our Chinese movie-maker friends, several top Asian stars appear to solidify the Far Eastern appeal for the movie. Borrowed from Japan is actress Rinko Kikuchi (she made a big splash in 2006 for her Oscar® nominated role in Babel) who plays Jakes’ adopted sister and looks after him. Top Chinese female star Tian Jing portrays Mrs. Shao (The Great Wall), who runs the Jaeger factory. Popular actor Jin (Max) Zhang (The Grandmaster) plays Marshall Quan. Plus, there is young Wesley Wong, 30, as heartthrob Cadet Jinhai. So, the movie offers enough pulchritude for all sorts of ethnic and sexual persuasions to make everyone happy as clams.
With the inclusion of all the Asian stars, much of the dialogue is spoken in Chinese. But it’s all sub-titled. (I might remind the film company that most Americans loathe reading subtitles.)
Kiddies will be waiting for all the computer magic and green screen magic assembled to bring action to the screen. This is also where Dolby 7 sound shatters your eardrums and makes deaf dogs howl. My head actually hurt after the viewing. My own eardrums were still vibrating three days later like they did to the sound of J. Arthur Rank’s movie gong back in days of yore. The sound man must have run out of aluminum pots and pans to bang together to enhance the giant robots cascading to the ground in a smashing heap during one of the 2, 467 fights on screen. Or at least it seemed like that many.
Well, what else can I say? How do you review crashes, explosions and buildings collapsing like they are made of sorghum paste? You simply have to enjoy seeing cities like Tokyo being bashed in by giant lizards (Kaiju). Apparently, the Japanese love seeing Tokyo collapsed because they have let Gorgonzola, or whatever its name is, stomp on it for more than 50 years.
(Released by Universal Pictures/ LegendaryEntertainment and rated “PG-13” for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and some language.)