Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018)

  • Gist: An unmitigated SEQUEL to the 2013 movie, giant piloted robots battle giant alien monsters and sometimes each other.
  • Plot: A silly, funny mess, like someone dressed it in drag and clown makeup while it was asleep during post-production.
  • Shameless attempts to market action figures: 20
  • Archtypical symbolism: You got to understand this is comic-book stuff; from an engineering or tactical point of view, giant robots make no more sense than Batman refusing to use guns, but they tap the hero-power fantasy, rockstar/samurai individuals with top-tech wizardry.
  • Shameless attempts to appeal to a Chinese audience: 10-15
  • Acting: Solid, considering how hard it must be to commit to a CGI Sequel Extravaganza; John Boyega and Cailee Spaeny are great together.
  • Shameless attempts to appeal to an American audience: 15-20
  • Underdog multiethnic teenage hero wannabes who probably will help save the day: 9
  • Traditional pulverizations of Tokyo: 1
  • Unsurprises: Mostly

Conclusion: See it if you like the first Pacific Rim, if you enjoy the Fast and the Furious, if you’re into manga and gundams and whatnot.