Critics split on John Boyega's Pacific Rim Uprising

Ben Arnold
Pacific Rim: Uprising has split critics (Credit: Universal)

The Pacific Rim sequel, Pacific Rim Uprising, has caused something of a marmite reaction among critics.

John Boyega stars in the new movie, as the son of Idris Elba’s character from Guillermo Del Toro’s first instalment, once again saving the world from giant beasts by using giant robots.

And those who failed to get a kick out of those aforementioned giant robots have really waded in on it.

“The sequel is an improvement on its predecessor in at least one respect: Its running time is twenty minutes shorter. Not that you feel it,” writes The Hollywood Reporter.

Variety slams its ‘paint-by-numbers approach to franchise construction, replete with a formulaic promise of future instalments that, on the basis of this entry, feels mostly like wishful thinking’.

The Playlist writes: “What was once a refreshing alternative to the countless big-budget sequels has become a franchise as crass, unimaginative and unrelenting as everything else.”

Meanwhile, Entertainment Weekly suggests: “If you enjoyed 2013’s Pacific Rim but secretly wished it was more like a vapid Transformers sequel, then you’ll love Pacific Rim Uprising.”

Those in the other camp are marginally more accepting of the fact that director Steven S. DeKnight – show-runner of cult show Spartacus: Blood and Sand – probably wasn’t trying to make Citizen Kane.

“These Mark 6 Jaegers with their electric whips, ‘gravity slings’ and plasma swords deliver all the giant robot thrills you could wish. Thanks to Boyega and Spaeny, you might even care about the human characters, too,” writes Empire.

Total Film, meanwhile, dubs it ‘respectable’.

“Boyega adds real bounce and DeKnight delivers spectacle, even if the plot doesn’t strain too far from the original’s crash-bang formula,” they write.

In higher praise still, The Guardian writes: “The film in general moves at a sleeker pace, with more of an actual plot to match the shiny visuals. It’s strange given that Del Toro, a newly minted Oscar-winning director, couldn’t make a more entertaining film than Uprising’s Steven S DeKnight.”

Pacific Rim: Uprising lands in the UK on March 23.

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