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.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Universal - 2018
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 111 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Action

Disc Format: BD-100
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Max Zhang, Charlie Day, Jing Tian, Cailee Spaeny, Rinko Kikuchi, Burn Gorman
Directed by: Steven S. DeKnight
Music by: Lorne Balfe
Written by: Steven S. DeKnight, Emily Carmichael, T.S. Nowlin, Kira Snyder
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: June 19, 2018
"Rise Up"
My Take:

Pacific Rim Uprising stars John Boyega as the rebellious Jake Pentecost, a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the monstrous Kaiju. Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through our cities and bring the world to its knees, he is given one last chance to live up to his father’s legacy. Jake is joined by gifted rival pilot Lambert, 15-year-old Jaeger hacker Amara, and a talented crew of fiercely young cadets. Rising up to become the most powerful defense force to ever walk the earth, they set course for a spectacular all-new adventure on a towering scale.

I am most definitely a fan of Pacific Rim. I enjoy its full on sci-fi action/thrills and ambitious slant on the monster movie genre. I found it to be thoroughly fulfilling in that regard and enjoyed the infusion of elements that distill the subject matter. After seeing the trailer for Pacific Rim Uprising I wasn’t under any illusions that it was going to live up to its predecessor and, it didn’t. It’s not a terrible film but, its narrative is skimpy, it’s characters are uninspired and its action is repetitive and unengaging.

Looking at it just as mindless entertaining where giant robots take on earth invading monsters it has a moderate level of fun that features a series of clashes and a bit of melodrama that misses more often than not but, keeps it from descending to unrecoverable depths. A few members from the cast of the original film reprise their roles but, it feels kind of cheap. Production elements are very decent and also contribute to the moderate level of entertainment. Unfortunately, Pacific Rim Uprising is the poor cousin to its predecessor, coming off rather ham fisted and feeling like a missed opportunity.

Replay Value: 2 Stars

Parental Guide:

The rating is for sci-fi violence and action and some language.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation(HDR-10): 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
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UHD Presentation (Dolby Vision): 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

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Dolby Atmos Rating: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

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Pacific Rim Uprising comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Pacific Rim Uprising was derived from 3.4K/2.8K sources, rendered from a 2K DI, and up-converted to 4K. The 1080p transfer for Pacific Rim Uprising looks great and this Ultra HD rendering takes it up a notch with a discernible increase in detail, emboldened contrast, and a noticeably sharper image. The film has a multitude of sequences containing streaming/cascading light, and mixed light dark elements, that simply look terrific. At times this can be a somewhat darkish film, and its low-level sequences had excellent depth and dimension.

Color reproduction is consistent, with primaries like blue, red, and green appearing richer, even a bit more delineated. Secondary hues look great as well. Whites are emboldened, detailed and bright, especially during low level transitions viewed in a darkened environment. Contrast abounds, lending an authenticity that underscores the subject matter, bringing it to a visually rewarding level. The specular highlights during the various explosions, arcing light and arms fire in the finale look terrific. The use of shadows mixed with light looked very natural. The sun splashed exterior sequences also benefitted from the HDR application, appearing vibrant and visually engaging.

Resolution received a boost although the differences between the UHD and 1080p renderings aren’t quite night and day. Close-ups tend to look amazing, with resolvable texture visible in the various interior/exterior sets, physical features, and CGI backgrounds being quite obvious. Having not seen this film’s theatrical presentation, I can’t be certain, but, I believe that what we are seeing is a faithful rendering of the film’s elements. Pacific Rim Uprising in Ultra HD presents extremely well and is the best way to experience the film on home video.

Dolby Vision vs HDR-10:

I utilize the TCL 55P607 UHD Dolby Vision HDR flat panel in my review system to enable me to compare the visual quality of titles that contained the Dolby Vision metadata versus its HDR-10 counterpart on the same disc. All titles are first watched via my JVC front projector. I then select specific scenes which are watched on the TCL, first via HDR-10 then via Dolby Vision. The TCL isn’t among the top tier flat panels with DV, however it came recommended by AVS Senior Editor Mark Henninger, and calibrates/performs extremely well for a set at its price point.

* The cumulative A/V score will still be based upon the HDR-10 rating, with the DV rating serving as informational only for now.*

Comparing the DV and HDR-10 presentations for Pacific Rim Uprising, I found the HDR renderings to be very close. Each presented similarly in terms of color rendering, but I did take a close look at contrast, and delineation, during scenes containing dark and bright highlights. When I switched back and forth between the DV and HDR-10 renderings, I felt that the DV presentation revealed slightly better interstitials in the darkest portions of the image, and white detail that wasn’t quite as hot, resulting in better definition. These differences aren’t especially noteworthy, but in the grand scheme, made for a more pleasing image. At the end of the day both looked excellent, leaving me satisfied with what I saw.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the active variety that made steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects is a mix atmospherics, discrete effects and music. This is done to very good effect and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. During the first act, there are several instances where the mix generates a noticeable improvement in dimension and depth of field. There are a host of sounds that utilize the overhead channels, creating an involving listening experience. This ramps up during the film’s action-based sequences which convey the breadth/expanse of the soundstage as the track bristles with enveloping ambience and discretely placed effects. Overall, I would say that viewing Pacific Rim Uprising in Ultra HD with the Dolby Atmos mix heightened the experience of watching the film.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:
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  • Fleshtones:
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Audio: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 

Pacific Rim Uprising comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

Video quality is solid and delivers images that are highly detailed and artifact free. Detail reproduction is excellent as both people and objects are rendered with crystal clear definition that is at times, meticulously resolved. Long distant camera pans are smooth and three dimensional in perspective with well-articulated minutia. Blacks are stable and deep with appreciable dynamic range. Contrast is emboldened and stable so that colors and whites pop while not appearing overdriven. Fleshtones are lifelike and reflective of the varying complexional types among the cast. The video had a sharp, pristine quality that looked great.

The 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD (Atmos core) surround mix does a solid job presenting the track’s recorded elements. This soundtrack runs the gamut between passages of spoken dialog and music to engaging sequences that deliver enriching surround sound. Dialog reproduction is terrific as it holds sway over the front soundstage. Dynamic range is excellent as the active elements within the surround mix resound with superior clarity. The music score is integrated into the sound design and is wonderfully transparent and three dimensional. Detail rendering is first rate which brings out the finely articulated nuance of background elements within the mix. Surround use is prevalent and achieves a high level of envelopment that is appreciably involving as effects are seamlessly blended to create a stable and detail rich sound field. If I had one nit to pick with the mix it would be bass reproduction. I found the low frequency effects didn’t have the room coupling authority I was expecting, especially given the subject matter. The various encounters where large objects should have shaken the room simply didn’t. Response was fair but, not typical of an effects laden spectacle where giants are battling. Other than that I thought the track fired on all cylinders.

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Pacific Rim Uprising Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Pacific Rim Uprising Blu-ray
    • Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Director Steven S. DeKnight
    • Hall of Heroes - John Boyega takes us through the awesome weaponry and cutting-edge enhancements of the latest generation of Jaegers featured in the film.
    • Bridge to Uprising - The cast and crew discuss how the world of Pacific Rim has changed in the ten years since the events of the original film.
    • The Underworld of Uprising - Humanity won the Kaiju War, but every war has casualties. John Boyega and Steven S. DeKnight give a tour of the coastal “Relief Zones.”
    • Becoming Cadets - Step into the Shatterdome, and learn the grueling physical and mental preparation required of the young actors who portrayed the PPDC cadets.
    • Unexpected Villain - Learn the secret reason that turned one of the most beloved heroes of the original film into a villain obsessed with humanity’s destruction.
    • Next Level Jaegers - The cast and crew discuss the amazing technological advances of the Jaeger program in the years since the events of the original film.
    • I Am Scrapper - Actress Cailee Spaeny shares the backstory of Scrapper, Amara’s incredible self-built Jaeger and its many unique abilities.
    • Going Mega - Filmmakers take us through the technical and creative challenges of creating the most deadly threat the Pan Pacific Defense Corp has ever faced: the Mega Kaiju!
    • Secrets of Shao - Meet the woman behind Shao Industries. Actress Tian Jing shares her insights on the enigmatic tech tycoon Liwen Shao.
    • Mako Returns - Actress Rinko Kikuchi and director Steven S. DeKnight explain the significance of Mako Mori’s return and her importance to the events of Pacific Rim Uprising.
    • Feature Commentary with Director Steven S. DeKnight
  • Digital Copy
Final Thoughts:

Based on characters created by Travis Beacham, Pacific Rim Uprising is the follow up to 2013’s Pacific Rim. I didn't find this film to be as much fun as the original or as conventionally gratifying but, it probably musters enough merit to keep forgiving genre fans entertained. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, featuring an excellent Ultra HD video rendering, top notch high definition video, room filling lossless surround sound, including a solid Dolby Atmos immersive sound mix, and a fair supplemental package. Those expecting a wholly gratifying popcorn flick will probably be disappointed so my advice would be to give Pacific Rim Uprising a rent prior to purchase.
Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from  Spectracal )
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems