Pacific Rim Uprising – Blu-ray Review

Pacific Rim Uprising - Billboard

After giving Pacific Rim Uprising a favorable review and watching it once again on Blu-ray, I can safely say that Uprising is a more enjoyable film than the original. The original film wasn’t what anyone really expected. In the end, all it did was world-build and provide lots of exposition. Thankfully, Uprising takes the exposition from the first film and briefly references it. As a result, Pacific Rim Uprising is able to freely focus on the fun of seeing mechs battling it out.

With Steven S. DeKnight at the helm, he brings his signature combat style to the film. The showrunner for “Spartacus” and “Daredevil” develops some crazy fight choreography for the mechs. This is something that we’ve only seen in anime so we’ve never seen it in live-action form. It’s definitely awesome to see—especially if you’re into anime. Of course, that’s not the only thing that made Pacific Rim Uprising so entertaining because the film is hilarious too. Even after several watches, the jokes are still able to hit its mark.

Unfortunately, the film doesn’t look as cinematic as its predecessor. It might be due to DeKnight’s television background, but the film has a very television look to it. Everything looks glossy and clean as opposed to the original’s grounded and lived-in look.

In addition, Pacific Rim Uprising sports an outrageous plotline and villain. No matter how many times you watch the film, the way that the monsters return to Earth is a crazy idea. The hybrids and mega kaiju are weird concepts that seem out of place in this world. That’s saying something since this is a world full of giant robots and monsters. Not to mention, the characters are all one-dimensional and some are barely seen at all. Needless to say, there isn’t much character development in this film.

John Boyega brings a lot of the entertainment value to the film. He just has great charisma and impeccable comedic timing. On the other hand, Scott Eastwood provides a very wooden and bland performance as Nathan Lambert.

Overall, Pacific Rim Uprising is the kind of mindless entertainment that’s totally fun to watch. The film has its flaws but if you’re willing to give it a chance then you’ll have a good time. After all, this is the kind of live-action mech vs. monster that you’ve been waiting for.

Movie Rating: 3/5 atoms

Pacific Rim Uprising - John Boyega

Pacific Rim Uprising hits Blu-ray with a 1080P MPEG-4 AVC encoded video and a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. Although the film is a regular 1080p Blu-ray, the film is as clear as an Ultra HD release. The details are crisp and clean as you can clearly see the finer details in the film. Unfortunately, there’s quite a bit of crushing in the shadow details. Most notably, in the night time scenes at the beginning of the film. As dark as the film is, the video is still evenly bright during the daytime scenes. Hence the crushing is only found during dark scenes but the black levels are spot-on during the day.

The color saturation is also very good in this transfer too. The colors are so vivid that they pop off the screen. Although, there are certain scenes where the colors bleed instead of having a gradual gradation. Not to mention the skin tones look very natural as well. Overall, this is a pristine transfer despite some minor hiccups.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Pacific Rim Uprising - Scott Eastwood

Pacific Rim Uprising hits Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD track. The review will reflect Pacific Rim Uprising‘s core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. This audio mix is dynamic as the visuals themselves. The mix makes good use of the dynamic pans in between the different channels in the soundstage. Also, there’s some oomph to the battle sound effects. Not to mention, the mix really immerses you with the way it envelopes the soundstage with effects like the loudspeakers on a jaeger, sonic booms from Gipsy’s plasma cannon, or the growls from a kaiju.

Unfortunately, the dialogue is a bit on the low side when it’s coming from the center channel. There were several times when I needed to turn up the volume during the quieter, dialogue-heavy scenes. But when the action kicked in then I had to turn the volume down. At the same time, the dialogue gets drowned out by the louder surround channels. Overall, this is a hell of an immersive mix despite the dialogue issues.

Audio Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Special Features
Pacific Rim Uprising - Jaegers

Pacific Rim Uprising‘s Blu-ray disc contain the following special features:

  • Deleted Scenes
    • Alt. Party James Gunn
    • Amara Arrives at Shatterdome Part 1
    • Amara Arrives at Shatterdome Part 2
    • Jake & Nate Discuss Jake’s Return
    • Amara Meets the Cadets
    • Amara Meets Liwen
    • Newt and Alice
    • Kaiju Brain from Fury
  • Hall of Heroes
  • Bridge to Uprising
  • The Underworld of Uprising
  • Becoming Cadets
  • Unexpected Villain
  • Next Level Jaegers
  • I Am Scrapper
  • Going Mega
  • Secrets of Shao
  • Make Returns
  • Director Commentary

About half of the featurettes are the standard promotional EPK stuff that you find on YouTube. On the other hand, these featurettes cover a wide array of topics and go in-depth on each subject. You’ll definitely find some interesting tidbits from the cast and crew interviews. If you’re invested in this world then you’ll find a lot of information about the new jaegers and kaiju. Especially as you watch the “Hall of Heroes” piece because John Boyega breaks down the capabilities and abilities of each jaeger. It’s a short but very informational piece.

Of course, if you were looking at the list of deleted scenes then you would’ve noticed James Gunn’s name on there. Yes, the director of Guardians of the Galaxy makes an appearance in this deleted scene. It may be short (and without sound) but you can see why the scene was cut. The same can be said about the rest of deleted scenes too.

Special Features Rating: 3/5 atoms

Overall, Pacific Rim Uprising may have major flaws but it’s still an entertaining film. After all, there’s never a dull moment as you watch mechs battle monsters. The video and audio presentations are impressive for a Blu-ray because it looks and sounds like an Ultra HD Blu-ray. The special features are your standard promotional featurettes so there’s nothing special here.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Universal Home Entertainment.

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