WHY WE CARE


Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

YOUR STORIES


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"

SUPPORT THE WORK OF PLUGGED IN

Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

PLUGGED IN RATING

Watch This Review

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Movie Review

We humans won the biggest, most terrifying conflict that had ever come our way.

An alien race known as the Precursors somehow ripped open a portal into our world and sent in gargantuan monsters to clear out the earthbound virus that is mankind. It took a great deal of human ingenuity, and the generous application of hard-hitting gigantic mechs called Jaegers (German for hunter), to beat those radioactive Kaiju back.

That all took place 10 years ago. And a decade can feel like a blip or a lifetime depending on your perspective.

Jake Pentacost, for instance, doesn't even want to think that far back. That's because he's had a hard time living up to his father's reputation: Marshal Stacker Pentecost just happens to be the guy who blew himself up to save the planet by sealing the breach those crafty Kaiju kept crawling through.

Jake would rather leave that legacy and the work of the Pan Pacific Defense Corp behind him. So he survives by scavenging valuable parts from fallen Jaegers that still scatter the landscape. And he squats rent-free in partially demolished estates of the once rich and famous. (I mean, half a mansion is better than a whole-but-grubby apartment, right?)

However, while living this scavenge-and-squat lifestyle, Jake has a chance encounter with a scrappy young woman named Amara. She's an orphan gearhead who also just happens to be building her own illegal Jaeger—something that the authorities are cracking down on.

Before you know it, both Jake and Amara get snatched up and are given an option: They can apply their skills on the right side of the law or get used to a prison cell. So they head to a PPDC base where Amara can learn the finer points of true Jaeger piloting, and where Jake can reunite with some old friends—like the hard-driving Ranger Nate Lambert—and slip back into that mech-driving role himself.

Of course, that doesn't mean that Jake is all that happy about the way things have turned out. He figures he'll just bide his time until he can slip away once more. But during that biding, a rogue Jaeger pops up and starts wreaking deadly havoc. What's worse, there appears to be a tie between this mech and … the Precursors?

Could there be a nefarious conspiracy afoot? Could humans actually be helping the hated Precursor cause? Could this be round two of the alien invasion?

For that matter, could it be time for another hero named Pentacost to step up and save mankind in its hour of greatest need?

Positive Elements

This sequel to director Guillermo del Toro's 2013 monster masher Pacific Rim delivers another rollicking sci-fi story. This one feels even more like a broad, comic book-like pic as humans once again climb into huge, robot-like mechs and put their lives on the line in heroic, self-sacrificial action. Jake starts off as a rebel, but quickly throws himself into fighting for and saving others when the chips are down.

There are nods to the value of friendship and the honor of military service here, too. Nate points out that the PPDC Rangers are a family, and they stand together as a family, too. And even when family lets you down, you forgive them, he declares.

As Jake gradually rises to the challenge, he likewise encourages Amara to live up to her potential, too, admonishing her not to "let other people define who you are."

Spiritual Content

None, really, unless you count as spiritual the fact that someone is essentially "possessed" by a large alien brain organism.

Sexual Content

Jake jokes that Nate is "handsome and sexy." The Ranger cadets share a running joke about one of their number leaving the force and joining his father's plastic surgery practice to "work with boobs." Jake clearly finds a Ranger named Jules attractive, a woman with whom Nate already has a relationship. Later, she kisses both men on the cheek before they head into battle as co-pilots of a Jaeger. "That's confusing," Jake notes. Elsewhere, we see a male Ranger shirtless.

Someone dons a headset that connects him to someone else's mind and his expression implies that he's engaged in a sensual mental interaction.

Violent Content

The core of this film is high-flying action. And that action is fierce, cacophonous and devastating. The story commences with mech-on-mech battles reminiscent of the Transformers movies, with their smashing and explosive rocket-launching bombast. But eventually the Kaiju join the fray, and things once again morph into something more Godzilla-like.

The CGI is top-notch and very realistic as the streets and many skyscrapers of Tokyo get slashed, smashed and shattered with devastating force. This time around, the mighty Jaegers deploy energy weapons in the form of enormous swords, electric whips and the like. They slam through the city causing every bit as much damage as the gargantuan beasties they're confronting.

After crowds of people make an initial run for shelter, authorities make it clear, however, that the entire civilian population of the ravaged city has been evacuated. The implication? That the massive disaster unfolding onscreen isn't actually killing scores of innocents as those fragile glass and steel buildings collapse.

That said, some of the Rangers engaged in battle don't make it out alive. A military base gets struck by exploding missiles. But there is no bloody death portrayed onscreen. The worst we witness is a scene that showcases a wounded Ranger inside a wrecked Jaeger whose uniform is tattered. He looks over at his dead partner, who's represented by a gloved hand sticking up out of a pile of rubble. At one point Nate is struck by a large object and left lightly bloodied. We also see the radioactive blue goo of the Kaiju leak out from several creatures' wounds.

Amara flashes back to a painful memory of a Kaiju attack that demolished a pier where she and her family were vacationing when she was a little girl. The mammoth creature's foot shatters the wooden structure and leaves us with the impression that her loved ones were crushed (though we don't witness that impact).

Amara and another female cadet engage in a physical tussle. But after a few blows and a body slam, the struggle is brought to a close before either young woman is seriously hurt.

Crude or Profane Language

Two s-words and seven or eight uses each of "h---" and "a--" join one or two exclamations each of "d--n," "b--ch" and "b--tard." There's one use of "crappy." God's name is misused three times (once in combination with "d--n").

Cadets manning a Jaeger have the mech perform a crude hand gesture toward a fallen Kaiju.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Nate and Jake have a beer. And a scientist pours himself a tall alcoholic beverage at home.

Other Negative Elements

None.

Conclusion

The heroes squint. The ground shakes. Metal rends. Skyscrapers crumble. And once again poor old Tokyo gets pummeled by gigantic rampaging beasties and mountain-sized robots.

That's what your movie ticket to Pacific Rim Uprising will get you.

Sure, there's plenty of well-buffed CGI gleam here. There are valiant heroes and backstabbing villains. There are even wriggling, tentacled alien brains popping up to do some dastardly deeds.

The simple fact is, though, this fast-moving, rock-'em-sock-'em pic is what it is: a matinee creature-feature begging for a tub of butter-soaked popcorn. The only thing that will keep some families and their tykes at bay is a little too much foul language grunted out through a few too many clenched jaws of Jaeger-piloting heroes.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

John Boyega as Jake Pentecost; Scott Eastwood as Nate Lambert; Cailee Spaeny as Amara Namani; Tian Jing as Liwen Shao; Charlie Day as Dr. Newton Geiszler; Burn Gorman as Dr. Hermann Gottlieb

Director

Steven S. DeKnight ( )

Distributor

Universal Pictures

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

March 23, 2018

On Video

June 19, 2018

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Hoose

Content Caution

Kids
Teens
Adults
We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!