The monstrous alien bioweapon Kaiju returns in the forthcoming sequel to 'Pacific Rim', and a new generation of heroes led by John Boyega as Jake Pentecost must band together to save humanity with a new and improved Jaeger defence program. 'Pacific Rim: Uprising', directed by Steven S. DeKnight, is coming next Spring.
Set ten years after the Battle of the Breach, 'Pacific Rim: Uprising' sees humanity face an unexpected new Kaiju threat. The war between mankind and their Anteverse adversaries is far from over, but in the last decade the Pan Pacific Defense Corps (PPDC) have developed their Jaeger program to be the most powerful defence force the world has ever seen.
Enlisted into the new army of Jaeger pilots with the supervision of the now deceased General Stacker Pentecost's adoptive daughter Mako Mori, played by Rinko Kikuchi, is Jake Pentecost; a former pilot and Stacker's biological son; and 15-year-old hacker Amara Namani. They are joined by Jake's personal rival Nate Lambert, but they must learn to set aside their differences and work together to have any chance of saving humankind from extinction.
Simplistic and sometimes painfully goofy, this Australian musical comedy only holds the attention by occasionally touching on some real relational issues. Otherwise, filmmaker Mark Lamprell lets the tone veer so wildly from colourful wackiness to dark emotions that nothing is particularly believable. Even the one big theme, about how much a woman is willing to give up for fame, is undercooked, as it were.
The woman in question is Elspeth (Laura Michelle Kelly), who lives in an idyllic farmhouse in rural Tasmania taking care of her tearaway twin toddlers (Levi and Phoenix Morrison) while her husband Jimmy (Ronan Keating) works with whales in Antarctica. Far away from their family and friends in Britain, Elspeth expresses herself by cooking up a storm and writing songs about her life as a domestic goddess. And when she creates a webcam blog so Jimmy can see her little performances, she becomes an internet sensation, catching the eye of corporate shark Cassandra (Magda Szubanski) in Sydney. But if Elspeth wants to pursue stardom, she'll need to leave her boys with a sitter (Celia Ireland) and put even more distance between her and Jimmy.
The relatively simplistic plot never puts too much pressure on Elspeth, despite several further wrinkles, including an amorous busker (Spartacus star Dustin Clare) in Sydney and a young hottie (Lucy Durack) back home to tempt Jimmy. But really Jimmy is the nicest, most helpful hunk any girl could want. And the film's funniest strand involves all of Elspeth's neighbours falling for him as they watch their relationship unfold on the internet like some sort of hidden-camera reality show. But nothing feels remotely realistic, especially the way people laugh uproariously at Elspeth's cute but resolutely unfunny webcasts. At least Kelly fills the screen with bubbly energy, while Szubanski spices things up with another wildly nutty performance (and the show-stopper musical number). By contrast, the sexy men are merely around to complicate Elspeth's decision-making.
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