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 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.
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.
By extension, Jaegers are clearly designed for hitting hard against the Kaiju, not for anything agile. Crimson Typhoon manages to avert that by flipping over Otachi with grace and ease.
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?
Just the fight with Leatherback can be seen as what the Jaegers were capable of in their heyday - when they were seen as unstoppable Kaiju killers. In the whole fight, Leatherback only got a single proper hit in and that was just throwing Gipsy Danger onto the docks.
It's revealed that the Kaidonovskies held the coastline for six years in Vladivostok, Russia, destroying over a half-dozen Kaiju that attempted to break through the Siberian Wall. And they did it in a Mark-1 Jaeger at that.
They also hold the record as the Jaeger team with the longest and most stable neural handshake in the Corps, lasting up to eighteen hours.
After funding to the Jaeger Program was officially cut off by the UN, it was Sasha and Aleksis who used their own personal connections to procure any weapon that Pentecost needed in his assault against the Breach and the continued defense of Hong Kong. All weapons that were added to the Jaegers after they arrived at the Hong Kong Shatterdome were supplied by the Kaidonovskies, not any of the world governments or even the PPDC itself.
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.
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.
Especially noteworthy because Brawler Yukon was never built to see combat. It was just supposed to be a proof of concept, but was pressed into service when the next Kaiju arrived weeks before the Mark-1 Jaegers were ready.
And before that Raiju got the drop on Gipsy and bit off its right arm. Scunner follows up by mangling Gipsy's knee, forcing her to limp. So the above happens, Raleigh and Mako start off the fight with one arm, a dodgy leg, 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 (Vulcan Specter and Echo Saber) on her way to the fight. Striker Eureka STILL demolishes her.
Raleigh observes in the novelization that Striker could break Gipsy over its knee if it wanted to.
Striker Eureka's second big moment is socking Otachi, the Kaiju that killed the Crimson Typhoon pilots and disabled 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.
Also of note is Striker lifting Otachi (who weighs 2,690 tons) above its head. Proves that Striker Eureka is second to none in terms of combat ability.
It should be noted that at the end of the film, Striker Eureka still has more kills than any other Jaeger (eleven, counting Scunner), even when Gipsy kills five (Knifehead, Leatherback, Otachi, Raiju, and Slattern) during the course of the film, bringing its total to nine.
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 hard vacuum.
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, Gipsy Danger's arm having been torn off, and the Jaeger falling apart around him, 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 have only Drifted once.
** The fight also calls back to Chuck's earlier comment that the Jaeger Program was brought down by incompetent pilots. Chuck made no attempts to hide the fact that he thought Raleigh was an inferior pilot and fighter. Raleigh proved him wrong.
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 literally and figuratively 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.
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!" What makes this moment so awesome is that Newt is obviously terrified of Chau and his goons (he did just survive a close encounter with a Kaiju, but they also did put a bunch of guns to his head, and a knife up his nostril just before). And yet, he calls Chau out on his shit — and that is so awesome that it earns him the Villain Respect and in the next shot, Chau is directing his men to get that 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!
Mako's drift flashback was both a Moment of Heartwarming and a silencing of anyone's lingering doubts regarding Pentecost's badassery, standing like a triumphant god over his two-thousand-ton enemy. Truly the crowning moment for Pentecost's story, because for a paternal authority figure like him, nothing is more awesome than being a little girl's hero.
Knifehead vs Gipsy Danger. Between the sheer scale of the Kaiju presented on screen, Knifehead returning from the dead, humanity learning It Can Think when Knifehead plays dead, counters Gipsy's plasma caster, targets Gipsy's con-pod and rips out the pilot, it showed that this movie wouldn't be a repeat of the 1998 Godzilla and the Kaiju were going to be a very real threat. Knifehead would have won if Raleigh hadn't been able to keep his composure and single-handedly pilot Gipsy Danger.
In the novelization, Raleigh wonders if Knifehead is deliberately aiming for the head/cockpit, as if it knew the pilots were there. Yes Raleigh, yes it does. And it's later confirmed that the Kaiju have been observing this weakness for a long while because another Kaiju does the exact same thing to Romeo Blue in Seattle, aiming directly for the cockpit and killing Bruce and Trevin Gage by ripping them out of it.
Otachi arrives and completely hands Crimson Typhoon and Cherno Alpha their asses. Despite the Jaegers getting some good licks in and essentially double-teaming it, Otachi takes everything Crimson and Cherno have got and performs a Barehanded Blade Block on Crimson, oneshots him, and overwhelms the physically strongest Jaeger (barring Striker) in close combat. This showed both how powerful the Cat 4s were and secured Otachi as among the most badass Kaiju in any franchise.
Leatherback leaping up from behind Cherno Alpha and ripping him apart while tag-teaming him with Otachi. It is a great moment and given Otachi's and Leatherback's similarities to Crimson and Cherno respectively, showed just how much better the Kaiju were at teamwork than the Jaegers.
When Crimson needed help, Cherno was unable to save their asses in time. Similarly, when Cherno was getting torn apart, Striker couldn't stop Leatherback from killing the Kadainovskys. On the other hand, when Cherno starts getting back in the fight, Leatherback immediately ensures that victory would be the Kaijus', and when Striker had Otachi dead for rights, he again manages to both save her and defeat Striker. The two were essentially unbeatable until they made the mistake of splitting up.
Leatherback oneshotting Striker Eureka with EMP. It doesn't just shut down Striker — it shuts down most of Hong Kong and the Shatterdome. It showed that the Kaiju could even defeat mankind's very best, and more importantly, that Striker, Cherno and Crimson never had a chance from the start.
The rise of Slattern is an awesome moment, with cinematography, the hype of the first Cat 5, 5,730 Tons of Awesome and the sheer damn size of Slattern (he makes even Scunner and Otachi look small) making it one hell of an introduction.
Slattern being the first Kaiju to hold his own against, even dominate for a while, Striker Eureka. Eureka had previously completely handed Mutavore and Otachi their asses with ease (Otachi and novel Mutavore had both shown the capability to dominate two Jaegers at once), and Slattern not only manages to throw him all over the place and seriously damage him, but shrug off the Stinger Blades.
Can't forget the 'Slattern survives a nuke' scene, of course. Especially since the bomb was Sixty times more powerful than the one that hit Hiroshima.
Slattern's battle with Striker was also a CMOA for Striker. Slattern is the biggest, baddest and most powerful Kaiju seen yet. Yet Striker was capable of turning the tide of the battle despite his devastating injuries and gives it such a brutal beatdown that Slattern had to call for the other Kaiju for help.
Any showing of the Kaiju's intelligence is great, given Hollywood's tendency to portray monsters as simple giant animals.
Knifehead's aforementioned exploitation of a Jaegers' weaknesses.
Leatherback and Otachi's use of cover, teamwork, and sneak attacks.
Otachi specifically countering the strengths of Cherno (armor) and Crimson (three arms) with her multitude of abilities and cunning.
Leatherback choosing to take down Striker at his most vulnerable moment by unleashing his EMP while Striker is prepping his K-stunners.
Scunner, Slattern, and Raiju splitting up the tackle Gipsy and Striker and swapping opponents when necessary, hence showing their capacity for tactics and complex ambush strategies.
Leatherback gets some awesome moments in his and Gipsy's battle.
Leatherback bodylocking Gipsy, then throwing him over the distance of several miles.
Gipsy gets one from more or less landing on her feet from that.
Leatherback using a crane like a club to hammer Gipsy silly, another indication of the Kaijus' intelligence and resourcefulness.
Leatherback manages to overpower Gipsy at the end of the fight, driving him across the port, all while Gipsy was loading plasma casters point-blank into his chest. He continues his charge even after Gipsy blows his arm off and takes nearly a dozen blasts to defeat.
Snatching the famous boatsword from Gipsy and hammering her flat on her ass.
Even after getting her tail and acid disabled, Otachi still has one more trick up her sleeve — flight. She damn near beats Gipsy and would have if not for the Chainsword.
Slattern, even after getting his throat slit, arms nearly amputated, hit point-blank by a damn nuke and getting a hole punched right through his torso with the sheer heat emitted from Gipsy's turbine, continues to put up one hell of a fight till the end and nearly destroys Gipsy.
Even when Gipsy hits him with the nuclear turbine, Slattern refuses to let go of Gipsy until he finally dies.
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.
And if you look reeeeeeeally closely during the Gipsy vs Leatherback fight, you can see the Aperture Science logo on a shipping container!
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.
Sadly it seems the sequel might not have been as greenlight as once thought. On the plus side Del Toro is still writing the sequel, lack of studio be dammned, and promises it is full of crazy ideas.
Considering the head of Legendary said that the sequel was unlikely, and is now pulling a 180 with Godzilla's success, it's safe to say that Godzilla is a Kaiju worth being friends and co-workers with.
Since we're on the subject of a studio that owns the rights to both the King of Monsters and Jaegers... Gipsy Danger vs. Godzilla, anyone?
Or, even better, Gipsy Danger AND Godzilla beating the daylights out of Ghidora.