The best thing about 2013's Pacific Rim was that it was a completely self-contained adventure that lovingly paid homage to science fiction and Japanese Kaiju movies. I would argue that it's one of the best sci-fi action flicks of the decade, and what's more, it ended without a love story and without a sequel set-up.
This is Hollywood, though, and anything that can possibly be turned into a franchise is going to get sequels and prequels for the rest of time. Enter Pacific Rim: Uprising, a follow-up to Guillermo Del Toro's awesome flick that has at least a handful of things going for it. First and foremost, three of the first film's best characters are back: Rinko Kikuchi's Mako Mori, and Charlie Day & Burn Gorman's wacky doctors. Add in The Force Awakens' John Boyega, and a story credit for GDT and things seem pretty solid. I've also got my fingers crossed for Ron Perlman's return as Hannibal Chau, since the first film's stinger confirmed he's still alive. Then it all kinda goes awry.
Boyega's character's last name is Pentecost, meaning he's likely related to Idris Elba's Stacker Pentecost from the first film. This makes zero sense because the first film established that his only family was Mako, so what's going on there? Seems like they just did that because Boyega's a black dude with a British accent, much like Elba. Scott Eastwood—the cinematic equivalent of a wet sandwich—is taking over for Charlie Hunnam, which seems like a lateral move on the surface, but the younger Eastwood is even more of a charisma vacuum than Hunnam. It's being directed by a guy who hasn't made a feature film before, and to top it off, this new trailer focuses on how cool all the new Jaegers are, rather than telling us anything about why there's still a monster invasion happening. Couple all of this with the fact that it's opening just one week after Black Panther, and things start to look mighty grim.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Pacific Rim and I will definitely be there when this opens, but my expectations for it couldn't be lower. I imagine you should bottom yours out as well, as this seems like the kind of movie that can only benefit from rock bottom expectations. Pacific Rim: Uprising hits theaters on February 23.