Tay’s review published on Letterboxd:
this was silly, and i mean that with both affection and disappointment.
i can’t tell you why i love Pacific Rim so much. i’m not sure what to pinpoint my affinity on—how much Mako Mori means to me, how wildly fun i think it is, or how much my dad (for equally inexplicably reasons) loved it. he was so excited to show it to me for the first time, a few years after it first came out and the hype had long died down. there’s this comic book/antique shop we stop by sometimes before the movies, and every time we go in, he always checks out the Jaeger and Kaiju figurines. there’s something so sincere and nostalgic about his excitement, i’unno, i just... really love when people truly love things, okay? and i will defend Pacific Rim as a genuinely exciting and visually thrilling film, even if it tries to do way too much. it’s too much goodness, i think.
Uprising, on the other hand, feels like a survey course: it skims the surface, allowing a few interesting things to glimmer, only to be hushed up by its blockbuster motivation to cover absolutely everything just as its beginning to introduce it. the characters have potential. the plot (and its twists) have potential. there was a moment of emotion. but all of it undermines itself as visuals and outline compete with each other to be the loudest, instead of genuine spectacle and detail. so like, yeah this is fun, but the hints of its potential—which was so fully realized in the original—are merely hints, or worse, teases of what could’ve been, what should’ve been, with just a bit more patience and thought.
but fuck it i am always in awe of the goddamn Kaiju and Jaegers, even if the latter are glorified Transformers. i’m into it, okay??? i just want it to be better, too