Marshal Pentecost's Rousing Speech, as quoted on the main page. "Today we are cancellin' the apocalypse!"
The man was a walking Rousing Speech. I particularly loved his talk with Chuck Hansen. "I carry nothing into the drift. No memories, no fear, no rank. And as for you, you're easy. You're an egotistical jerk with daddy issues, a simple puzzle I solved on day one."
The Jaegers are summed up perfectly in the second trailer with the quote "Two-Thousand Five Hundred Tons of Awesome." Which, funnily enough, was directed at the Kaiju in the movie itself.
In both trailers, a Kaiju called Knifehead lunges at Gipsy Danger, before the latter responds by sucker punching it.
The ENTIRE battle with Leatherback and Otachi. It was like every kaiju battle in history came together to chip in for it.
Poor Crimson Typhoon gets a nice moment to shine, when it gets seized and lifted by Otachi the mecha merely rotates its body so it can replant its feet and throw Otachi aside.
Cherno as well, getting the drop on Otachi with an elbow drop, followed by a headlock, where it could pound the thing's skull in at its leisure. Were it not for Leatherback's interruption Otachi would have taken quite a beating.
Gipsy Danger slamming its fists into Leatherback's face, which disorients it at first before it roars at the screen.
Gipsy Danger clubbing Otachi upside the head with an oil tanker!
Before Gipsy shows up, Otachi has cracked open the shelter that Newt is hiding in and was about to eat him. Then Gipsy comes down the street dragging the boat, main theme blasting in the background, and a complete air of "you came to the wrong neighborhood."
Gipsy Danger is seen in the main trailer recovering effortlessly from being tossed around like a ragdoll, then sprinting in the direction of the Kaiju (Leatherback) that sent it flying and gracefully leaping into the air so it can slam its fist down on the Kaiju's face.
That breathless shot showing Gipsy Danger slicing through Otachi, while up in the air and then free-falling.
For many a mecha fan, deploying the sword as The Reveal after all the battles to that point.
Gipsy Danger's Three-Point Landing... from orbit. Well, alright, technically it's from fifty thousand feet, which is extremely high (it's in the stratosphere) but not quite orbit, but who's counting?
The moment when Otachi spreads her wings. Oh Crap indeed.
Otachi herself shines above all Kaiju: she engages two of the most powerful Jaegers by herself, manages to destroy Crimson Typhoon and still keep her own against Cherno Alpha. She would have probably succumbed if Leatherback didn't pull a Big Damn Heroes, but it's the first time we see a Kaiju forcing Jaegers to bite the dust.
A meta-example: the only actor who didn't come out of the four-story tall "torture machine" Jaeger sets completely beaten down and exhausted? The tiny Rinko Kikuchi.
From the prequel comic: a formerly shy scientist and her co-pilot take down their first kaiju with just the prototype Jaeger Brawler Yukon.
I don't know what goes through a Kaiju's head. I'd like to think we surprised it. It had come expecting these helpless, frail, little apes, and it found that we had done something big. I'd like to think it wondered where we had found the nerve. And when it bled, I'd like to think it was scared. I'd like to think its raw animal instincts told it to run away and crawl back into its hole. I know one thing for sure...it felt pain. And half of what hurt it—maybe more—was that mouse of a girl from Pittsburgh. The message was clear — we are far bigger than we look and when the dust cleared, the whole world knew it.
And then Brawler Yukon standing over Karloff's corpse.
And before that Raiju got the drop on Gipsy and bit off its right arm. So the above happens, Raleigh and Mako start off the fight with one arm and make it work.
Striker Eureka's introduction scene: five years after Kaiju turn deadlier, the Hansens pummel Mutavore. She never gets a hit in and they finish her with missiles in less than a minute. It's even more striking that we just saw Gipsy fight, and Striker is unbelievably nimble in comparison.
According to the novelization, said Kaiju destroyed two Jaegers on her way to the fight. Striker Eureka STILL demolishes her.
Striker Eureka's second big moment is socking Otachi, the Kaiju that killed the Crimson Typhoon pilots and crippled Cherno Alpha, as she leaps out of the sea mid-flight and receives a much needed beat down. The Hansens had her dead to rights if not for Leatherback having that little trick on his back.
Striker's Heroic Sacrifice creates a blast so intense that the ocean retreats under water.
What makes it better is that it's Truth in Television. Considering that they detonated a nuclear payload underwater, the shockwave from the blast is so huge and has so much force, it creates a temporary pocket of air.
Mako going toe-to-toe with Raleigh and how evenly matched they are provides for a visually impressive duel.
The very first kaiju battle at the beginning of the film between Knifehead and Gipsy Danger.
The fact that despite the trauma of losing his brother while Drifting with him, his cockpit being torn open, and Gipsy Danger's arm having been torn off, Raleigh manages to control the Jaeger by himself to keep fighting and ultimately kills Knifehead. Then making it back to shore, also on his own. Keep in mind only one other person in history has been able to pilot a Jaeger on their own period, and that was Stacker Pentecost in Coyote Tango against Onibaba in Tokyo.
After Striker Eureka is disabled by Leatherback's EMP wave.
Hercules: You and me are the only things standing between that ugly bastard and a city of ten million people. So we either sit here and wait, or we take these flare guns and do something really stupid.
They proceed to get out of their Jaeger, stand on its shoulders and shoot at the circling Leatherback with their piddling little flare guns (torching one of his eyes) just to buy some time for the city of Hong Kong.
Raleigh's epic beatdown of Chuck after Chuck insults Mako.
Making it cooler: Grand, formal duels between master warriors are a dime a dozen. Corridor fistfights between martial arts masters are less common.
It's so much cooler than that. Watch Raleigh's fighting style; the neck chop, dropping down on one hand to use Chuck's weight against him. That's simply not the fighting style of a big, powerful guy. When you're big and muscular and brawny you train to use that to your advantage. That's not Raleigh's style. That's a combination of Raleigh and Mako. And they haven't even Drifted yet.
It gets even better - Chuck only manages to hold his own against Raleigh twice, and even then it's only for a second, because each time Chuck adapts to Raleigh's moves, he switches fighting styles, from straight brawling-style punches to hitting Chuck's joints to redirecting Chuck's attacks and using his own weight against him.
A badly damaged Gipsy Danger spears Scunner through the neck and drags him to an underwater volcano and burns off half his face, Scunner has his own when he shrugs off the burns.
A badly damaged Gipsy Danger is making it towards the rift so it can be self destructed to seal it when Slattern lands directly in front of it after surviving Striker Eureka's Heroic Sacrifice, blocking the path. What do Raleigh and Mako do? Have Gipsy Danger tackle Slattern into the rift, engaging in a Free-Fall Fight with him as they plunge. They end said fight by blasting Slattern with Gipsy Danger's Chest Blaster at point blank range until the beam almost comes out his back.
There is nothing more satisfying than seeing Gipsy nuking the alien bastards who ruined so many lives, ensuring that they would never be able to hurt an innocent life form every again. Not to mention how Raleigh had to go to hell and back to turn GD into a functioning nuke and get out of there. ALIVE.
Furthermore the fact that in those final moments you can see fear on those alien bastards faces before they were nuked to hell.
Chau is the only person onscreen to survive getting eaten by a Kaiju. And he wants his goddamned shoe back.
Partially a meta-example: The AI whose voice is heard during parts of the facility scenes and announcing the status when the human characters are in the mechs to fight the kaiju? It's GLaDOS from Portal! The director and his family are huge Valve fans, so Valve gave them permission to have Ellen McLain use her GLaDOS voice. Portal fans exploded.
In the novelization Raleigh's answer to the call is a little different. The Wall foreman with the 'good news and bad news' is a total jerk to everyone. After Raleigh turns down Pentecost's offer, the foreman insults Raleigh losing Yancy. Raleigh then hits the foreman and runs back for the helicopter. "Lost my job," he explains.
He doesn't just hit him - he slams him face-first into the can of beer he was about to drink, after one too many cracks about his time as a Jaeger pilot.
The first portion of the credits plays the Pacific Rim theme and just before it ends it shows black silhouettes of Gipsy Danger slicing Otachi, scrolls down to Gipsy Danger struggling with Slattern, then scrolls down further giving a Kaiju roll-call to all the monsters that appears and ends with Gipsy Danger at front and center with Striker Eureka and Crimson Typhoon flanking her.
The movie's music score, epecially Track 01 "Pacific Rim", which is played during the opening suit-up sequence and whenever the Jaegers started to fight against the Kaijus. The score is so damn AWESOME.
Everything that Newton and Hermann do in the movie should count as a Crowning Moment of Awesome in some way. They're both geniuses, and very young, considering what they manage to accomplish: they're both only in their mid-thirties but Newton has several doctorates and taught at MIT, and Hermann worked on the early jaegers. Hermann creates complex algorithms that accurately predict the patterns of when kaiju will appear and probably knows more about the Breach than any other human being, and Newton understands the physiology of kaiju better than anyone else. Newton survived direct attacks from two individual kaiju, and still managed to stumble back to the powerful crime lord and demand to get the kaiju brain he was promised. And both did something incredibly scary and painful that neither of them were trained for: they Drifted. With a kaiju. They're as much heroes as the jaeger pilots.
"Guess who's back, you one-eyed bitch? You owe me a kaiju brain!"
"Stop the clock!" Over a decade of war against monsters right out of nightmares, and humanity came out on top with a gigantic "FUCK YOU!" to the other side.
The writer is very active online and has an extensive canon for things that didn't show up in the movie. Recently he released this about the pilots of Nova Hyperion.
The first kaiju Yuna has ever seen in her life is rising up from the water ahead like a mountain, and she’s running towards it, if you can believe that, running towards it and the almost empty arena in its path — to save a girl who twenty minutes ago she would’ve sworn to you she hated. Sometimes the best part of you just kinda wakes up like that.
"There are things you can't fight; acts of god. You see a hurricane coming you have to get out of the way. But when you're in a Jaeger, suddenly you can fight the hurricane. You can win."
Gipsy Danger limps along with one leg, one arm and dragging half of Raiju's corpse behind it towards the Rift.
Raleigh: You better be right about this! Because one way or another we're getting this done!