Review : Pacific Rim – Uprising

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“Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, reunites with Mako Mori to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including rival Lambert and 15-year-old hacker Amara, against a new Kaiju threat.”

This movie thought me two things. 1 this movie being set 10 year ahead of the original Pacific Rim meant they could basically set it in an entirely new universe. And 2, that the technology definitely now exist to make a fully actualised live-action Evangelion movie. This movie sets son of Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost, Jake Pentecost, played by John Boyega, as the title character in this post monster war world as he slowly finds his way back to being the kind of hero his father was. We get a return from about half the original cast here, and some of them are used in ways I can honestly say I didn’t see coming, but those weren’t the only surprises in this movie. The biggest surprise here, is actually a fear I had going into this movie, and that was the tone. Now to some people, this might be something they prefer, but to me, a fan of the first movie, and the tone they set there, seeing them go in the complete opposite direction is a bit jarring. This movie went from Hellboy with giant robots, to a Saturday morning Evangelion cartoon. I think if you’re coming to this movie without seeing the original, you can have a lot of fun with this movie, but if you’re a fan of the first, I think this is going to disappoint you, as it did me. Boyega is great as his character, but it feels like he’s surrounded with a cast than can hardly help him raise the pedigree of this movie. They are most all fine actors, but so many of them are more associated with “B” level movies, when this movie clearly wants to be a “A” level movie, but only based off the pedigree of its predecessor. All in all, Pacific Rim Uprising is one of those movies that if you don’t take seriously, can be good fun, but if you want anything even a little bit deeper, you’re not going to find it here.

Review Score: 5 out of 10

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Review : The Mummy

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“An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.”

The Mummy, not to be confused with our beloved Brendan Fraser’s The Mummy from 1999. This Mummy is from 2017, and stars Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella in the titular role of “The Mummy” here. This movie also has the distinction of being the start (kind of) of the new Universal Studios “Dark Universe” of connected monster movies, that they plan to create using all the classic monster movie rites that they own. And in that vein, this movie does do well to set that universe up, and it does introduce many of the ideas and things that will return in the future. As a movie itself however, it isn’t as strong. The movie does have a good bit of action, and it is well done, especially during the none cgi stuff, which Tom Cruise of course is famous for. Sofia Boutella also does a pretty good job here, and she brought a real nice presence and a good physicality to the role also. She had to toe a line very often of sexy and scary, and she did a good job with that. Russell Crowe’s role here was also not bad, but it isn’t huge as its meant to really be a tease of the future more than anything else. All in all I do think that this movie has it moments, but overall it seems to fall kind of flat, and makes this movie much more interesting as a setup for the Dark Universe, than a new and compelling action, adventure movie.

Review Score : 6.5 out of 10

Review : Kong – Skull IslandĀ 

“A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.”

Kong Skull Island is a stand alone King Kong story, that’s meant to serve as a building block for a new set of monster and monster mash up films to come in later years. As such it does do well to add to some of the myth and lure created by the 2014 Godzilla. This being a stand alone movie however does mean it needs to be able to be a good movie without any help and it does do so. This addition to the monster universe is much more of an in your face, action adventure that I think seeks to bring back some much missed fun to the genre. Kong himself is presented extremely well here and comes across as a great character on his own. The movie also does a great job at building up skull island to a place of real beauty and peril. The cast is fairly large, and that does lead to some pacing and character development issues, but nothing that get so in the way that you can’t enjoy what in display here. If you’re a fan of either these characters or this genre, Kong skull island should be a fun if not too serious ride. PS there is an after credit scene so you can stay till the very end if you’re interested.

Review Score : 7 out of 10