I generally admire what director Guillermo del Toro does as I can appreciate the eye the guy has for filmmaking, but to be honest I was rather underwhelmed by 2013's Pacific Rim from a story perspective. I knew del Toro would be able to deliver on a visual level for sure, but that there wasn't a strong investment to be made in any of the characters or their plight of driving a seemingly obsolete special weapon in an effort to save the world from the apocalypse. More, I wanted to be invested in the world del Toro created and while there were certainly compelling elements to the original film it wasn't as wholly satisfying as I'd hoped. For further exploration as to why the film doesn't particularly hold up in my memory as being overly interesting you can read my original review here. Moving on though, we now have the sequel that was always something of an uncertainty. It was the huge numbers in China that convinced Legendary to move ahead with a sequel, this time Universal taking over the distribution for Warner Bros. In Pacific Rim: Uprising John Boyega takes over the protagonist reigns from Charlie Hunnam as the film begins a decade after the events of the original as Boyega plays Jake Pentecost, the son of Ideris Elba's character in the first film. Jake, who was a once-promising Jaegar pilot has become caught up in the criminal underworld, but when his estranged sister, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), gives him one last chance to live up to his father’s promise, he takes charge against a new wave of Kaiju attacks. All of that said, this first look at Uprising looks to be as visually promising as the first though I'm curious to see if new director Steven S. DeKnight (who worked as the showrunner for Netflix's Daredevil season one), who took over part of the screenplay writing duties once coming on board, will be able to make me more invested in this world and these people. That isn't to say I don't appreciate the visuals-del Toro's original was as inventive and grand as anything else the auteur has done-but while Uprising certainly looks to be a colorful action romp with Boyega having a lot of fun-his character teaming up with friend Lambert (Scott Eastwood) to pilot a state-of-the-art new Jaegar called Gipsy Avenger-I'm hoping it delivers on all fronts. Pacific Rim: Uprising also stars Jing Tian, Cailee Spaeny, Burn Gorman, Adria Arjona, Charlie Day, and opens on March 23, 2018.

Synopsis: The globe-spanning conflict between otherworldly monsters of mass destruction and the human-piloted super-machines built to vanquish them was only a prelude to the all-out assault on humanity in Pacific Rim Uprising.

John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) stars as the rebellious Jake Pentecost, a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the monstrous “Kaiju.” Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through our cities and bring the world to its knees, he is given one last chance to live up to his father’s legacy by his estranged sister, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi)—who is leading a brave new generation of pilots that have grown up in the shadow of war. As they seek justice for the fallen, their only hope is to unite together in a global uprising against the forces of extinction.

Jake is joined by gifted rival pilot Lambert (The Fate of the Furious’ Scott Eastwood) and 15-year-old Jaeger hacker Amara (newcomer Cailee Spaeny), as the heroes of the PPDC become the only family he has left. Rising up to become the most powerful defense force to ever walk the earth, they will set course for a spectacular all-new adventure on a towering scale.

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