Pacific Rim: Uprising
I was largely left cold by Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, but I remain an unabashed fan of his 2013 monster mash Pacific Rim. That story of human-controlled robot “jaegers” defending the planet against enormous “kaiju” beasts was everything I ever could have wanted from the Transformers movies, offering a thoughtful and progressive take on the genre without skimping on the action and destruction. The monster mush sequel of Steven S. DeKnight’s Pacific Rim: Uprising is more in line with what the Transformers movies already are: a brainless orgy of bad jokes and PG-13 violence that never stops cutting to the chase. Set 10 years after the original as those pesky kaiju invaders launch another attack, Uprising strips away del Toro’s cinematic zest and humanity in favor of non-stop robot punching. It certainly satisfies on a base level, even though Uprising often feels like a straight-to-VOD fugitive.