PACIFIC RIM UPRISING — Review by Susan Granger

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Anticipation of the international box-office is what propelled this generic sequel to Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 epic “Pacific Rim,” which flopped in the United States but made millions overseas. Laden with special-effects, its sci-fi plot pitted humans against the Kaiju, which are alien-engineered sea monsters that emerged from a multidimensional gateway, known as the Breach, located on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. Continue reading…

Sacrificing his life, Gen. Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) was one of the original’s heroes. Ten years later, mankind’s preservation is in the hands of Stacker’s rebellious son, Jake Pentecost (John Boyega), who notes, “I am not my father…my generation, we were born into war.”

A former Jaeger pilot, Jake makes a tidy sum from selling parts salvaged from decommissioned Jaegers, those giant human-shaped robots operated by co-pilots who mind-meld with the machinery and each other.

“If you can steal what no one else can,” he says. “You can live like a king.”

Spunky 15 year-old Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny) is also after parts for her small, one-pilot Jaeger that she dubs Scrapper.

When Jake and Amara are apprehended by the authorities, they’re dispatched to train the next generation of Pan Pacific Defense Corps pilots at a Chinese military base, where Jake gets into a rivalry with Nate Lambert (Scott Eastwood, who resembles his squinty-eyed father Clint).

Significantly, Guillermo del Toro (Oscar winner for “The Shape of Water”) is not directing this time ‘round. Instead, Steven S. DeKnight is at the helm, working from a simplistic script by Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder and T.S. Nowlin, based on characters created by Travis Beacham.

Rounding out the cast, Charlie Day and Burn Gorman return as eccentric scientists Dr. Newt Geiszler and Dr. Herrmann Gottlieb, plus Rinko Kikuchi as Jake’s adopted sister, Mako Mori.

Owned by the Beijing-based Dalian Wanda Group, Legendary Pictures backed this project, filmed in Australia and China.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Pacific Rim Uprising” is a frustrating 5, featuring mindless, metallic mayhem.pacific rim

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.