New Pacific Rim: cheer-at-the-screen fun

AP
The new sequel "Pacific Rim Uprising" is a visually stunning, expertly crafted dose of cheer-at-the-screen fun. 
AP

At the end of the monsters-versus-robots flick “Pacific Rim,” a breach at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean is closed, plugging a hole that allowed hellish creatures to emerge and terrorize the globe. But after the movie earned US$400 million worldwide, was that portal really going to stay closed?

No, of course not. And thank goodness, because the new sequel “Pacific Rim Uprising” is a visually stunning, expertly crafted dose of cheer-at-the-screen fun. It’s the definition of what a blockbuster sequel should be.

The new sequel “Pacific Rim Uprising” is a visually stunning, expertly crafted dose of cheer-at-the-screen fun.

For anyone not familiar with this horrific near-future: Aliens have sent giant monsters called Kaiju to soften us humans up ahead of world domination. But we’ve created 90-meter-tall robots called Jaegers to fight back. The new film opens in 2035, 10 years after the last Kaiju was defeated.

It’s the calm before the storm.Our heroes now are Jake (John Boyega) and the teen orphan Amara (Cailee Spaeny), who builds her own Jaeger out of spare parts.

They join together to help the military fight a new opponent — a rogue Jaeger that comes out of the sea and stomps around menacingly. It is soon clear there’s a conspiracy afoot.

Part of the success of the “Pacific Rim” films is that they have cobbled together enough elements of other films to make them familiar yet newish. They owe “Blade Runner,” “Independence Day,” “Minority Report,” “Star Wars” and, of course, “Transformers” — not to mention every Godzilla movie ever made. It may not be nuanced, but it taps into something mythical — ferocious monsters rising from nowhere to be battled by 21st century swordfighters. And it’s exhilarating.

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