Pacific Rim Uprising
Starring John Boyega, Cailee Spaeny
Directed by Steven S DeKnight
Rating: *(1 star)
The BHFS, Big Hollywood Franchise Spectacle,is fast running out of steam. After the insipid Tomb Raiders last week there is the criminally vapid Pacific Rim Uprising this week to reckon with the one more intolerable than the other. In both the cases I came out of the traumatic ordeal wondering what was the need for a sequel to a bad film in the first place.
Could it be that Hollywood actually enjoys torturing its global devotees by whipping up snapshots of worldwide devastation that not only bring a bad name to apocalypse but also to filmmaking in general? Does this pantomime to futuristic feel-awful cinema, even qualify as cinema?
These belated sequels are as unwelcome as torrential rain during an election campaign. Even if America loves bearing through these tortuously indecipherable plots about brave men, braver machines and their fight against global destruction, why must we be inflicted with their fruits of vanity?
This film has some sharply designed scenes of Tokyo’s skyscrapers being plundered by giant robots emerging from the sea in waves of unseasonal stormtrooping .The principal characters align themselves into projecting a parody of forces of Nature exuding a kind of ungracious and vulgar optical extravagance that is plainly irrelevant and unwanted.
I think Pacific Rim Uprising marks a kind of watershed in the chequered history of Hollywood’s apocalyptic cinema. It is a work of shameful superfluousness and tasteless vulgarity. The characters are interwoven into a pan-global cultural mash-up with a Chinese heroine(Rinki Kickochi) running the show with a commandeering sneer.There is an Indian character too,played by KaranBrar who hardly gets to speak two lines.
The hero is a Black American Jake Pantecost(John Boyega, bearable if you can take his sneering contempt for rules) who is a bit of a rogue-hero .Jake is tormented by the memories of a gallant father and within no time he is supposed to be grieving for his dead Chinese half-sister. However the emotions, even before they begin to flow, get flummoxed and smothered in the sheer bigness of presentation which the director flaunts in childish glee , bathing the frames in a kind of whiplash grandeur that is as impressive as a molar extraction done to the encouraging sound of symphonic music.
The mounting is impressive. But the execution is clumsy and cantankerous. The narrative is wobbly and scattered , moving from one over-written episode to another. What makes the journey of tedium even more unbearable is the stilted acting. The actors are all amateurish over-eager to blend into the mood of vehement vigour.
The narrative displays no restraint . There are no fullstops in this journey into digital Armageddon.The biggest blunder in this bludgeoning tribute to the spirit of regurgitated grandeur is to substitute a genuine emotional core with a surplus of robotichijinks which are as seductive as a bar dance performed in a dry state.
The Hollywood spectacle has run out of steam.RIP.
It is running on a fantasy fuel that creates an illusion of grandiosity. This film flatters to deceive. And the deception is so expansive and overblown that you wish its creators would be crowned the biggest scamsters of franchise filmmaking since Man invented the Sequel.
It’s time Hollywood stopped binging on bilge.We are not interested.