Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Pacific Rim Uprising: What Critics Are Saying

In the futuristic landscape of Pacific Rim Uprising, humans have engineered even bigger and better robots to protect the Earth from interdimensional monsters, but there's still no real defense against movie critics.

The reviews are in for the sequel to Guillermo del Toro's 2013 sci-fi hit, and they can't be all that encouraging to new director Steven S. DeKnight. After serving as an executive producer on shows like Daredevil and Spartacus: War of the Damned, he makes his feature directorial debut with Uprising, but critics aren't exactly being kind to the film starring John Boyega (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) as the leader of a new generation of Jaeger pilots.

Entertainment Weekly's Chris Nashawaty said the movie has plenty of problems and (like many other critics) he definitely misses del Toro, who now serves as a producer. "Now, under the limp reins of director Steven S. DeKnight, the follow-up feels like a flat cocktail of tedious mayhem, amateur-hour Starship Troopers-level acting (minus the tongue-in-cheek irony), and plot holes so gaping that a 20-story radioactive iguana could rampage right through them ... To be honest, the best way to see this one is probably a year from now on late-night cable."

Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter also said the sequel pales in comparison to the first movie. "Lacking the stylistic flair provided by del Toro in the original, this sequel directed by Steven S. DeKnight becomes increasingly tiresome in its cliched plotting and characterizations, hackneyed dialogue and numbingly repetitive, visually incoherent action sequences. There were no less than three editors on the project, and you get the feeling that they weren't on speaking terms."

Variety's Nick Shager thinks Uprising takes the series in a dangerous direction. "This second entry in the franchise ditches, or downgrades, many of the elements that made del Toro's original unique, while reconfiguring its style and attitude to more closely align with that of the Transformers films — a makeover that not only renders this follow-up unremarkable, but suggests (given the underwhelming box-office performance of Michael Bay's last Hasbro-based effort) diminished long-term prospects with robot-fatigued audiences."

However, some critics like Mike Ryan at UPROXX, do see some value in the over-the-top action. "Pacific Rim Uprising is a dumb movie that knows it's a dumb movie and just tries to show you a good time and doesn't needlessly bog us down with too much character development or exposition because it knows we don't really care. We don't buy a ticket to Pacific Rim Uprising to know the backstory of any of these characters. We just want to see robots punching monsters — and Pacific Rim Uprising has plenty of that."

The Guardian's Benjamin Lee agrees with that sentiment. "It might drift out of the memory just as easily as it drifted in, but there's a goofy likability to Pacific Rim: Uprising, a primal thrill to be had, and a confident slickness behind it that means, despite a nearly two-hour running time, it doesn't outstay its welcome. DeKnight has already hinted that a cinematic universe could be on the way and given the wafer-thin structure of the plot, that seems like a mistake, so before the waters get muddied once again, switch off and enjoy."

Judge for yourself when Pacific Rim Uprising thunders into theaters on March 23.