Whoops, we went down the rabbit hole on Pacific Rim: Uprising

Here at Avenging Force, you could say we’re pretty big fans of Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. So naturally, when the sequel came out, we all made our way to the theater to take it in. We sat down after giving ourselves time to think about it and talked out our reactions. We tried very hard to avoid major spoilers, so we refrained from airing all our thoughts and feelings, but we still managed a very long, very deep conversation. It is our way. Get yourself a refreshment and settle in.

Lauren: Okay so we all saw Pacific Rim: Uprising and had varying reactions to it. Overall impressions?

Sarah: My first impression is that John Boyega is an utter delight and deserves to lead more movies.

Teija: Overall, I had fun, but it definitely didn’t strike the same chord with me as the first one did. I came out of there feeling like I’d just watched Any Ol’ Action Film.

Sarah: Absolutely, it was a fun action film but it didn’t have the heart or the depth that the first movie had.

Teija: This could have been a Transformers movie for how much I got invested, anyway. Boyega was definitely the shining star.

Lauren: I agree with Teija. I had already lowered my expectations to “probably will feel more like a Transformers movie than Pacific Rim,” but overall, while it was definitely entertaining, I was still disappointed.

Sarah: I do think it was better than most of the Transformers movies I’ve seen, but I guess that’s not saying much.

Teija: I’ve only seen the first one, so it’s on par with the first Transformers in my head?

Lauren: I really like the first Transformers movie, guys. I liked it more than Uprising, to be honest.

Teija: I love that one bit where he’s like, “DRINK YOUR PRUNE JUICE, GRANDMA,” and I don’t even know why. But that’s off topic.

Sarah: John Boyega > Shia LaBeouf.

Lauren: I definitely agree that John Boyega was a huge asset (one might argue… the only asset) and elevated what felt like a weak script.

Teija: I think overall, this lacked the heart and didn’t allow you to latch onto the characters the same way.

Sarah: It lacked SO MUCH HEART. I was absolutely entertained, and I think I was more entertained than y’all were, but I was disappointed in it given how much I love the first one.

Teija: It relied very heavily on name-dropping characters from the first movie.

Lauren: Name-dropping but without the satisfaction of actually telling us what the surviving characters from the first movie were actually DOING (okay I guess I’m mostly talking about Raleigh here).

Teija: I was entertained, don’t get me wrong! I just didn’t come out of there feeling like it was a worthy successor to the first one, which I LOVE TO PIECES. Raleigh was underserved.

Sarah: I did read an article that said the first draft of the movie had Raleigh, but Charlie Hunnam had another movie to film and couldn’t do this one.

Lauren: They kind of let us know what Mako (Rinko Kikuchi) has been doing, but Raleigh is name-dropped a couple times with no context for where he is (or if he’s even still alive) at all.

Teija: They should have written it in. I think their mistake was name-dropping him in passing but not explaining for real where he was.

Lauren: Exactly.

Sarah: And while they say they left it open for him to come back for a third, that still doesn’t explain why they didn’t give us anything about his whereabouts.

Teija: And I don’t want to say what’s in the book, but if they want that to be canon, they should still have used their opportunities (which they had plenty of) to have it in the movie.

Sarah: Absolutely. You should never have to read a book to get full understanding of a movie

Lauren: Which – without getting into spoilers – a big chunk of the film’s plot relies on them not having enough jaeger pilots, so it would’ve been good to at least MENTION where their most experienced and most famous jaeger pilot is.

Teija: Especially since they DID have Mako, who presumably would be good pals with him on account of all the things they went through together.

Lauren: Which brings me to my next question: Mako IS in the movie for a small portion, but for the most part, the only major carryovers are Newt (Charlie Day) and Gottleib (Burn Gorman). How do we feel about that?

Teija: I actually thought Newt being the carryover and his particular role in this film was a good choice. It felt like a solid thread from the first movie to this one and I understood where it came from. It all made sense to me.

Sarah: I agree with that completely.

Teija: Gottlieb just is a delight.

Lauren: Totally agreed. I kind of loved the way Uprising used those two characters. It was unexpected, but it felt earned. And it evolved their dynamic from the first movie, elevating them from mostly comic relief to actually important to the conflict of the movie.

Teija: Like that may actually be the strongest tie to the first movie, the way they used the two of them.

Sarah: I think given that they are scientists, they don’t have that same “can only fight for so long” piece a jaeger pilot may have. So they would stick around and research and work.

Teija: And you could see what the intervening time and events have done to their relationship as friends and professionals. It was really well done.

Sarah: I thought it was a strange choice from the trailers, but the movie really made it work

Lauren: So I lied when I said Boyega was the only asset, as I do think that Charlie Day and Burn Gorman were assets as well.

Teija: I will also amend my previous statement. It was more than just Boyega.

Lauren: However, let’s talk about the other characters. How do we feel about the decision to mostly shift the focus from highly trained adult pilots in the first movie to teenagers in the sequel? Did it work?

Personally, I love YA stories, but it felt weird to me to follow up the more mature relationships of Pacific Rim with the teenagers in Uprising. It felt like evolving backwards. (Devolving, I guess, is the actual word for that.)

Sarah: I think that it might have made sense to intro the teenagers in this movie but have them play a more minor part and bump up their roles for the third one (if it happens). Seeing them train was interesting and a different look than we’ve had before, but it wasn’t the best choice for them to be such a huge focus.

Teija: Honestly, my biggest issue with that is that they evolved way too quickly in this movie.

Lauren: The relationships were too immature, but then the characters’ abilities evolved too fast.

Teija: Like we were introduced to rough rookies, but then they’re piloting jaegers after one little montage.

Sarah: They shouldn’t have piloted jaegers until a third movie. That would’ve felt earned.

Teija: And for the most part they were doing it well. Without getting into what happens in the battles, these kids go from test piloting in some kind of a faux jaeger environment in which they keep failing (which is shown) to actually piloting… and managing it pretty freaking well.

Sarah: They were cadets. They were just starting out on their training and they got too good, too fast. It didn’t make any sense.

Teija: They didn’t really say how long that montage WAS, but it wasn’t THAT long, considering the kaiju threat wasn’t just gonna hang around.

Sarah: Honestly, considering none of the jaeger pilots in this movie had ever been in battle, they were all a little too good, too fast.

Lauren: Which brings me to the issue of drift compatibility, which is kind of the crux of the entire first movie, yet in this one, while the cadets DO have to drift, it seems like way less of an issue than in the first one. Did you guys feel that way?

Teija: The first movie made it very clear that finding a drift partner is DIFFICULT. In this one, John Boyega is drift compatible with at least 2 people if not 3? Finding Raleigh a partner after his brother died involved an entire montage in itself. And also begging Stacker to let Mako try.

Sarah: The drift compatibility issue stuck out to me most when it was the three teens in a jaeger, because none of them came across as drift compatible. I do think that you can be compatible with more than one person, but the better the connection between the two, the stronger the drift.

Teija: I did really like seeing more unique jaeger combos, but they did not spend nearly enough time showing us those kids to make us believe they could do that.

Lauren: Agreed, the three-pilot jaeger was a huge eye-bump for me.

Teija: In the first movie almost all the jaeger combos were deep relationships. The 3-armed one was triplets. Raleigh drifted with his brother. The Russians were a couple.

Sarah: And the Hansens were a father-son combo.

Teija: This feels like they just got people together and slapped them into a jaeger.

Sarah: Here it was all cadets thrown together simply because they had skills or passed a test, but that doesn’t mean they can drift.

Teija: It felt like they didn’t want to deal with the complexities of drift compatibility the way Guillermo del Toro initially envisioned it, so they threw it out the window.

Lauren: It’s not that teenagers wouldn’t have been mature enough to be able to drift, it’s that these specific relationships were shown as being very immature.

Sarah: And superficial.

Lauren: And antagonistic.

Teija: It just doesn’t jive with the “last time it had to be really deep connections.” This is actually bothering me the more we talk about it. I came out of the movie being like, “well they drifted a little too easily, those people who just met,” and now I’m like, BUT IT WAS TRIPLETS AND FAMILIES LAST TIME!! THEY WORKED SO HARD TO FIND THESE COMBOS!!

Sarah: I’m not even sure it had to be a deep connection, just a deep understanding of the other person and how they work. Because Raleigh and Mako didn’t have a deep connection. They’d only just met.

Lauren: They had an inherent compatibility. Which I would’ve bought in this movie too! If ANY of them had been shown to have that instant deeper connection. But they weren’t.

Teija: True, but generally speaking they tended to need to be deeper.

Sarah: I think that improved the drift, but you can be compatible with someone you just met.

Teija: They didn’t say if the Russians became a couple before or after they learned they were drift compatible, either. Maybe it’s like that soulmate fanfiction trope where when you find your partner, you just KNOW.

Lauren: I think they tried to set up that sort of [relationship similar to Raleigh and Mako] with Boyega and the main teenage girl (Cailee Spaeny), but I do not feel like they succeeded.

Sarah: They didn’t do enough character development of the cadets.

Teija: She was the only one they developed, of the teens. And I did like her! I just wish they’d tried even a fraction that hard for the other kids.

Sarah: I think they rushed the kids.

Lauren: Part of me feels like the problem was that they shifted the focus of the movie to almost all teenagers, and part of me thinks it was also that the cast was just plain too big. We had 7 kids plus Boyega and Scott Eastwood all pulling screen time as jaeger pilots.

Sarah: The cast WAS too big. I think the teens should have been a more minor part, and focused instead on the adults.

Teija: They would have needed enough pilots for all the jaegers in the fight. They had four jaegers, one of which had 3 pilots. So they needed 9 people just to pilot jaegers. Which is why I think it was a misstep that they didn’t bring ANYONE back. Like Herc Hansen could have maybe been in one of those Jaegers. Or Mako.

Lauren: The first Pacific Rim did a good job of showing us who all the pilots were without devoting a ton of screen time to them. The Russians got like 2 lines? I don’t think the Chinese triplets got any.

Sarah: We could have had some background pilots.

Lauren: I don’t actually have a huge problem with Mako only being given a small role in this movie and trying to shift the focus to new characters (to varying degrees of success), but I think the WAY they used Mako in this movie left a lot to be desired.

Teija: I agree 100%. She was underutilized to what I would call a criminal degree.

Lauren: If you only can use Mako Mori in a small percentage of your movie, make her role count.

Sarah: I do think giving her a smaller role worked, especially because they elevated her to a position of power which felt fitting and I liked that part. But yes, she was incredibly underutilized.

Teija: I will say that elevating her to a position of power was the right call. It felt right to see her calling the shots.

Sarah: Mako would not have just walked away. She would have stayed and worked to see that things continued to get better, and I like that she did just that. But they could have done a lot more with her character in that position.

Lauren: I liked her positioning in the world a lot, but the way the actual plot utilized her character felt like they left a lot of potential on the table.

Teija: Potential not only for her character, but for the emotional payoff that carrying a character like her over from a previous installment of a franchise could have involved. It felt hollow where it could have felt whole.

Lauren: It wouldn’t necessarily have involved more screen time, just more emotional weight.

Teija: Especially without Raleigh there, she was a huge potential that they completely squandered.

Lauren: Okay, moving on to another topic I feel like we will all have strong feelings about: Let’s talk about the score.


Lauren: The main theme was only used ONCE. And it wasn’t even in a FIGHT SCENE.



Lauren: Stupid repair montage (in which no one is even… actually… repairing anything. They’re all standing around NEXT to jaegers and not doing anything.)

Sarah: The score from the first movie is one of my favorite scores and it has so much feeling to it. And I did go in expecting it to not be as great because they changed composers, but this was even worse than what I expected.

Teija: Seriously! Sarah and I were sitting there in the theater afterward like, “I was waiting and it only happened one time and then it never happened again!” I’m just like… when someone hands you a freaking amazing theme ON A PLATE, it’s already MADE FOR YOU, why aren’t you USING IT.

Lauren: If you’re only going to use the theme once in the movie, at LEAST use it during an action scene.

Teija: I feel like this was probably what Danny Elfman felt when Hans Zimmer made up a new Batman theme. “But I MADE THIS ONE,” so much so that he put his original back in Justice League.

Sarah: You have to MAKE IT COUNT.

Lauren: They should have used it during that four-jaeger Tokyo pan that was in all the trailers.

Sarah: …I was just about to say that.

Teija: Or use it when the first jaeger to do a superhero landing does the superhero landing. There were like 6 of those. A theme is for calling to mind the thing that it represents, so when that thing is on screen doing something impressive or being introduced, FREAKING USE IT.

Lauren: I wouldn’t have minded as much if new memorable themes had been layered in, like what John Williams does with Star Wars. But the new scoring was SO generic. They played the main theme over the end credits, like maybe if it’s playing when we’re walking out of the theater, we won’t notice that they didn’t use it in the movie itself.

Teija: The kid’s mini-jaeger “Scrapper” could have had its own theme. But they just… didn’t bother. It’s like when they played classic Spiderman’s theme over the “Marvel Studios” thing and then never again for the entirety of Homecoming.

Lauren: Okay, sidebar: I loved Scrapper. It is HIGHLY IMPLAUSIBLE that this homeless teenage girl could make an entire jaeger by herself without anyone noticing, but I really just liked the tiny jaeger.

Sarah: I also loved Scrapper.

Teija: Scrapper was cute!

Lauren: I laughed every time Scrapper ran somewhere.

[At this point we digressed into spoilers for a while, and when we returned to our on-the-record discussion, we were talking about the new characters again.]

Lauren: I thought Shao (Tian Jing) was a really fascinating and well-developed character. And I love that it’s clearly a priority of this franchise to center Asian women and let them each be their own nuanced and complicated person.

Sarah: I think that is a great way to put it.

Lauren: Shao was COMPLETELY different than Mako, but they both felt really beautifully imagined.

Sarah: I love that this movie lets women carry all kinds of different roles and they are never relegated to the sidelines. They are not simply a love interest or a sidekick; they are fully developed and kick ass and take names in their own way.

Lauren: Also neither Mako nor Shao fits into the stereotypical boxes typically reserved for Asian women in action movies.

Sarah: The thing I love about the jaeger tech is you don’t have to be physically strong to do it. So it doesn’t discriminate by size or gender.

Teija: Hell, I bet you don’t even need to be able-bodied. They show the pilots using their whole bodies, but it’s tech. You can mod it.

Sarah: That’s where both movies really go above and beyond what we see in typical action movies. Their treatment and characterization of women is amazing.

Teija: Both of them are more diverse than typical action films, too. This one even delegated the beefy dirty-blonde action figure man to a supporting role.

Lauren: I did love that both films decided to put a platonic male-female relationship at the center.

Sarah: There was a bit more “romance” in this one than in others, but I like that the platonic friendships were still front and center.

Teija: Casting John Boyega as the put-upon one-gen-older-than-the-recruits guy was smart, if you’re gonna focus on rookies like that.

Lauren: I think the first movie’s central platonic relationship was more successful, and Boyega and the kid were more a mentor-mentee relationship than a peer relationship, but still, not a lot of action franchises do that.

Sarah: I do like that neither movie made it a point to feel like it needed a romance in order to succeed.

I did want to see more of Mako’s and Jake’s relationship, but I appreciated that when someone questioned their relationship, he straight-up said, “she’s my sister.” It didn’t matter that she’s adopted.

Teija: YES! I liked that, too.

Sarah: Because I really dislike when adopted siblings are made to feel lesser than biological siblings, and it was so important to me that there wasn’t even a hesitation from Jake when it came to Mako.

Lauren: One of my biggest beefs with the Marvel Cinematic Universe is how heavily they lean on “he’s adopted” jokes every time Loki does something wrong. Or “your adopted brother Loki.” Just say “brother,” stop qualifying it.

Sarah: Yuuuuuuuup.

Lauren: Okay moving on: Unlike the first film, which had some scenes of city destruction but at least ATTEMPTED to keep collateral damage to a minimum, pretty much all of the action in Uprising is unapologetically set in cities. Additionally, while most of the action in the first film was intentionally under-lit, the bulk of it in this movie takes place in broad daylight. How did we feel about that?

Teija: I, for one, am glad we got more visibility on that, honestly. BUT they were like… Man of Steel reckless with Tokyo. They showed one of the old kaiju attack bunkers being filled with people as the jaegers came in, but there is no way that covered all of Tokyo. And they were using buildings as battering rams.

Sarah: They went above and beyond the first movie in how reckless they were with the city. In the first movie they tried to draw the kaiju away from populated areas to fight, but here they just let lose wherever.

Teija: When your “good guys” start toppling skyscrapers to take down a monster, it… isn’t a good look.

Lauren: The first movie definitely was trying to minimize collateral damage. This one had a freaking gravity sling pulling down buildings on PURPOSE.

Sarah: That was absolutely unnecessary.

Teija: That jaeger was designed to do that. They used it as a battle tactic. You can maybe argue that the sling itself wasn’t designed for that and the teenagers in the drivers’ seat got reckless with the tech, but the fact remains that it was way too easy for them to even go there.

Lauren: I could’ve seen the teenagers getting swept up in the excitement of the battle and pulling a building down. But then one of the adults should’ve been like, “NO. THAT IS NOT WHAT YOUR GRAVITY SLING IS FOR.”

Teija: At least throw in a line of dialogue disapproving of the building toppling or something! “GUYS, SERIOUSLY?” Boyega could have sold it.

Lauren: Even with the line about “oh, the city is evacuated now” (which I do not buy since we saw people failing to get out on time RIGHT BEFORE they said it was evacuated), those are still people’s homes and places of employment. It should’ve been a priority for the jaeger pilots to try to draw the kaiju out of the city.

Sarah: It absolutely should have.

Lauren: Even if they didn’t SUCCEED, they could’ve tried. Despite all my problems with Avengers: Age of Ultron, there’s at LEAST the line about Tony buying a building before he demolishes it. And then trying to contain the damage to just that one building.

Sarah: I love that part.

Lauren: I think I’m going to be the lone voice of dissent on the lighting. I think the dark lighting of the battles in the first one really helps sell the gravity of the situation. Like it makes it feel more like a monster movie than an action movie (which is not surprising, because it’s del Toro).

Teija: I do think that the storms and darkness in the first one added a lot of atmosphere and mood to those fights, but I’m also old and am the person who will turn on lights as soon as it starts dimming outside by a little bit.

Lauren: Uprising lost all of that ambiance by setting their fights in the middle of sunny days. It felt like Michael Bay’s Pacific Rim.

Sarah: I am torn on the lighting? On the one hand, the darker atmosphere really did feel more like a monster movie. It felt like a world that had been beaten down by these attacks. Whereas the lighter, bright setting felt like a world that was moving on and out of the shadows of the terribleness.

Lauren: There just wasn’t any TEXTURE to the shots.

Teija: I would love to hear what del Toro thinks of Uprising. Like his unfiltered “nobody will print this in a newspaper” thoughts on it.

Lauren: I feel like del Toro is too classy to speak ill of it even if he doesn’t like it.

Teija: I don’t expect he will. I’d just like to maybe somehow be a fly on the wall when he watches it.

Sarah: I know that he collaborated heavily on it, so maybe he does like it. (But who knows how much of his insight they used.)

Lauren: I suppose the brighter lighting could definitely indicate a thematic shift in the overall disposition of the world. But for me to buy that it’s brighter because THEME, I think I’d have to have more confidence in Uprising’s ability to deliver on a theme at all.

Lauren: SPEAKING OF WHICH, let’s talk themes. I think we’d all agree that the first movie had some really powerful things to say about human nature and diversity, but I’d be curious to hear each of us articulate what we felt the strongest themes from the first movie were, and how we feel the sequel delivered on those same themes?

Teija: I think the first movie had a very strong theme of community and togetherness. Even the act of piloting a jaeger requires you to work with someone else. You physically can’t do it alone unless you’re some kind of superhuman.

Sarah: There was a lot of focus on connection and humanity and how, working together, we were stronger than we were apart.

Teija: Which is another part of why a lot of the best jaeger sets were familial or deeply connected.

Sarah: That was evident in the drift, as well as seeing all the countries put aside differences to work together to create the jaeger program.

Teija: People realized the kaiju were the bigger threat and worked together to try and fight them. And in Uprising I do not feel like you got any of this. People were thrown into jaegers together without REALLY needing to find a drift compatibility. This felt way more like, “this one shatterdome vs. the threat,” and not a collaboration.

Lauren: It is not coincidental that the first one has the U.S., Russia, and China working together. It’s definitely a “see what can happen if we put aside our differences and work together” sort of message.

Sarah: Even though it may not have been the main focus, there was a thread of “family” that ran through the entire first movie. Whether it was biological or found family, it was important.

Lauren: That human connection was presented as the one thing that makes us stronger than the kaiju. It’s pretty clear in the first one that it’s not jaegers that save humanity, it’s PEOPLE putting aside their differences to embrace being their best selves

Sarah: And none of the jaeger pilots we saw in Uprising had a connection, either siblings, or parents, or romantic.

Teija: The little girl who built Scrapper was dragged to the shatterdome as a punishment; she wasn’t recruited. Her motivation was more about learning the jaegers than being with other people.

Lauren: It’s funny, the sequel pulled in characters from the same countries as the first one, like they thought THAT was the point, but never had them really rely on each other personally. None of those kids was ever vulnerable with any of the others.

Teija: I don’t think she cared one bit if she was gonna be drift compatible with people. She built a solo mini-jaeger.

Sarah: They focused on the superficial. “Stronger together” was thrown out the window until Jake needed to make a speech.

Teija: I would even argue that this movie (whether intentionally or not) framed itself as the “nah you can actually do things alone” version of Pacific Rim.

Lauren: Even when they did “come together” to pilot the jaegers, the focus was entirely on combat and winning. They completely missed the selfless, sacrificial element of the first one.

Teija: Jake’s very much a reluctant participant, though he does what he needs to. The girl built a solo mini-Jaeger and only participated ’cause she needed to. They split up Mako and Jake. They split up Newt and Gottlieb. Shao’s entire tech project takes out the need for dual pilots and drift compatibility altogether. It gutted all the things about the first one that were about having to work together and make connections.

Lauren: No one really does anything in this movie out of selfless motivations or a deep belief in the greater good. They all seem to have a personal agenda.

Teija: The bigger picture is gone, which I would argue is the heart of the first movie. Which is why this one fell so flat, honestly. It lacked that very important thing that the first movie built itself around.

Lauren: Saving humanity is still ostensibly the goal, but the first one focused a lot on WHY are we fighting for humanity, what is the POINT of humanity, and this one just sort of assumed “well of course we’re saving humans, we’re the best.”

Sarah: It had all the bits and pieces but didn’t have the glue that pulled them together.

Teija: This one also had to keep pulling tricks out of its sleeves to make its story work. They didn’t take the time to actually build out a story that worked on its own. A lot of “it’s alien tech, trust it;” “that’s just how alien stuff works.”

Lauren: We haven’t even gotten into all my minor plot nitpicks because of spoilers, but there are a LOT. None of those threads hold together if you pull them.

Sarah: They did a lot of handwaving and action to distract you.

Teija: Broadly speaking, there are at least three times where you have to just completely suspend disbelief and accept “alien tech.” Three major times. Where someone like me just cannot suspend disbelief that hard. I don’t have it in me to not be like “BUT WHY AND HOW.”

Sarah: They play around with a lot of alien tech and kaiju parts in ways that aren’t fully explained and don’t make a whole lot of sense given the information we were given in the first movie.

Teija: I mean we could always recommend our readers don’t just suspend their disbelief, but they make a Jell-O mold with their disbelief suspended inside of it, leave it in a drawer in their refrigerator at home, and then eat it to get their disbelief back when they come back home. You need to 100% divorce yourself from your disbelief and not even have it on your person. Put it somewhere safe. Give it to Frodo. Come back for it after an age.

Lauren: This is not a THINKING movie.

Sarah: The first one gave you a lot to think about. This one is better if you don’t think and just eat your popcorn. Or ice cream sundae.

Lauren: Any additional closing thoughts? Anything you want to talk about that we didn’t mention yet?

Teija: Go in expecting a Transformers sequel. That’s what you’re getting. This is Pacific Rim in that the movie’s action takes place on the literal Pacific Rim and some named characters from the first one carry over, but none of the heart comes with them. It has its high points and is enjoyable, if you know what you’re going in for! John Boyega alone is worth at least the matinee price.

Lauren: Honestly, if you want to watch a smart action movie with heart where John Boyega fights aliens, watch Attack the Block. That’s the movie that this movie made me want to go watch.

Sarah: I left Uprising wanting to come home and watch Attack the Block soooooo.

Teija: I maybe wouldn’t spend Cinebistro money on this though.

Lauren: I would say that if you have Movie Pass or just REALLY like giant action sequences regardless of context, then it’s worth seeing in the theater. If you want good STORY or are reluctant to pay money for mediocre movies, skip it.

Teija: I’d recommend matinee tickets or waiting ’til home viewing is an option.

Lauren: I would’ve been irked if I’d paid money for that.

Sarah: It is definitely worth the Movie Pass use.

Teija: But it doesn’t stand up to the first movie, nor does it inspire the desire to rewatch.

Lauren: Entertaining on a moment-to-moment basis, just not much beyond that and doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.

Teija: You cannot scrutinize this even a little bit. It crumbles like the Gilmore Girls revival. Like it’s a souffle and criticism deflates it.

Lauren: That said, if they ever convince Charlie Hunnam to come back for a third one, I’ll still see it.

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