A quick refresher: The first installment, directed by Del Toro, introduced viewers to the world of kaiju (Godzilla-like monsters) and jaegers (Gundam-like robots). An interdimensional portal at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, dubbed "the breach," was letting these kaiju mercilessly terrorize coastal cities, and so Idris Elba, starring as General Stacker Pentecost, led a team of pilots to victory in an epic underwater showdown that became known, fittingly, as the Battle of the Breach.
Uprising, directed by DeKnight and co-written with Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder, and T.S. Nowlin, picks up 10 years after that battle, with the world enjoying some semblance of peace. John Boyega gives a tremendous turn as Jake Pentecost, Stacker's son, who, in the absence of his late war-hero father, lives like a fusion of Rey and BoJack Horseman, a hard-partying rebel scavenging junk jaeger parts for profit. It's not long before he finds trouble alongside Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny), a jaeger fangirl who's toyed with building her own bot, getting arrested and shipped off to the Pan-Pacific Defense Corps to instruct new recruits alongside his old co-pilot Nate Lambert (Scott Eastwood). It's there that Jake learns of a new jaeger program, one that combines cloned kaiju cells leftover from the war with the mecha-tech to create massive remote-controlled drones.