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YMMV / Pacific Rim

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    The 2013 film 
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The thoughts and motives of the kaiju are open to endless speculation. Are the kaiju knowingly malevolent, sadistic beings that enjoy slaughtering humans? Are they animalistic, merely acting on instinct without understanding the suffering they cause? Are they tragic victims of the precursors, tortured and brainwashed into fighting to the death against their will? And how does the kaiju hivemind work? Do kaiju share experiences and memories while retaining individual personalities, or is the hivemind a wholly undifferentiated consciousness for whom kaiju bodies are interchangeable vehicles?
  • Americans Hate Tingle: With the domestic NA box office not being especially high, the studio was counting on overseas markets to make the profit. While the movie was highly successful in China and did well in South Korea and Russia, it underperformed in Europe and Japan. Most European moviegoers didn't care about Japanese cinema and Hollywood blockbusters outside of the Superhero and Sci-Fi genre. In Japan, the film suffered from many circumstances such as its release dates coinciding with one of the most popular conventions, the niche-appeal of movie genres in Japan (TV serials are more popular given how movie tickets are very expensive), and a tepid reaction to Rinko Kikuchi.
  • Award Snub: Wasn't nominated for Best Visual Effects at the 86th Academy Awards.
  • Broken Base:
    • While few will question the entertainment value of the action set pieces, opinion is sharply divided on whether the writing and story are good, or whether the homage nature of the film fully justified its adherence to clichés at several points.
    • Fans have debated whether the Pacific Rim universe should have a crossover with the MonsterVerse (Legendary's shared universe centered around Godzilla and King Kong). Those in favor of it claim that the crossover would draw more fans and attention to the Pacific Rim brand and if anything else would be really, really cool. Those against it are worried that a crossover could lead to the Monster Verse's characters and Kaiju overshadowing those of Pacific Rim and that the two franchises are stylistically incompatible with each other.
  • Cliché Storm: Part of the above, almost anyone who has seen a Kaiju movie (or a Super Robot anime) can see everything coming from a mile away. Therein lies most of the Broken Base: either this works because it's an homage to said material, or doesn't because it's utterly generic. You don't have to be a fan of Japanese media to see the movie's progression: if you've ever seen a Hollywood blockbuster then its unlikely that anything in the movie will surprise you.
  • Ear Worm: The theme music will never leave your head.
  • Ending Fatigue: Some have said that the entire Hong Kong fight was so intense and amazing that the climax was unable to top it, feeling like it was just resolving the plot rather than being its own well-developed sequence.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Cherno Alpha, the Russian Jaeger: Despite it and its pilots not getting a lot of focus in the film and getting killed off, has become a favorite across the fandom. Could be its unique head and that it apparently has Tesla-infused fists. Or because the Russian-designed Jaegers operate under the simple rule that either the Kaiju goes down or they do, preferably whilst taking the Kaiju down with them. As such, they don't come equipped with escape hatches. Cherno's pilots Aleksis and Sasha Husky Russkie have been the subject of much fanart. And it seems like del Toro himself agrees with the Cherno love.
    • Tacit Ronin, despite it being a One-Scene Wonder Cameo during the "Jaegers killing the Kaiju" sequence, appears to be very popular with fans on the internet. Especially the Japanese ones. It might have something to do with it's design being very memorable.
    • Among the human characters is Tendo Choi, the Adorkable Mission Control engineer behind the Shatterdome operation who looks like the secret love child of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Buckaroo Banzai, and The Eleventh Doctor. Oldschool mecha anime fans like Tendo because he looks like a Go Nagai character.
    • And, of course, there's Hannibal Chau, courtesy of Ron Perlman.
    • Marshall Stacker Pentecost and Herc Hansen are popular with those who like their eye candy a little older and more rugged.
    • Both Newt (for the levity he brings to the film and his J. J. Abrams look) and Gottlieb (for his quirky awkwardness and Deadpan Snarker tendencies) were liked individually and for their dynamic with eachother, so much so that both of them were brought back for the sequel film.
    • And Max, of course.
    • Knifehead, what with the whole 'Knifehead-kun' craze in Japan. All the major Kaiju are Darkhorses to varying degrees, with Raiju in particular falling into more or less the same boat as Cherno Alpha. Otachi is also popular due to its fight scene with Gipsy Danger being considered one of the best action scenes in the movie and its wings and pregnancy both serving as Game Changers to the established Kaiju threat.
  • Epic Riff: The signature riffnote , 23 seconds into the title track that also turns up as a Leitmotif in other pieces on the soundtrack.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Some with Grown Ups 2, given that they both premiered around the same time and while Pacific Rim has been critically acclaimed and made a killing in international markets, Grown Ups 2 made more money domestically.
    • Sadly, some (but not all) fans of either Pacific Rim or Godzilla would rather antagonize each other over the very different takes and tones on the giant monster movie. This rivalry turned sour given how Godzilla proved to be more financially successful and got its own cinematic universe while the sequel to Pacific Rim was repeatedly delayed until 2018.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Mako and Raleigh's relationship may be still be up in the air in terms of whether it's romantic or platonic in the film, but you'd never know that from the fandom. Apparently, not writing them as explicit love interests actually made fans more enthusiastic about the pairing.
    • Newt and Gottlieb are a far more popular ship than any alternate couples involving either character, to the point that even Charlie Day has said that he thinks their relationship is more interesting if it's read romantically.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • With the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia fandom, mostly because of mutual Charlie Day presences.
    • The same applies to Sons of Anarchy, which shares Charlie Hunnam and Ron Perlman.
    • The Attack on Titan fandom is also friendly with this fandom, mostly for the whole "Jaeger" connection. Plus, it also allowed this amazing video to be created.
    • Fans of Pacific Rim are often friendly with fans of Elementary and Sleepy Hollow, due to all three containing a strong non-white Woman character and her white male companion.
    • If one or both are not trying to rip into each other for the different takes on giant monster movies, then fans of Pacific Rim and the new Godzilla have united together for more monster movies.
  • Genius Bonus: To understand all the entries on the web page for the Jaeger blueprints you need to be able to understand English, French, Latin American Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Japanese. The last three use their native writing systems.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Domestically beaten during its opening week, having been beaten by the Despicable Me and, yeah, Grown Ups sequels, to the point it's often referred to as a flop. Was met with greater success internationally. Especially in China where it made more money than in the United States, something still very rare for a Hollywood production. In general, the film did best in countries that had Jaegers to represent them.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Four months after this film's release, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) struck through the central islands of the Philippines, becoming the strongest and deadliest storm in the country's history and probably the most globally famous typhoon of all time; this happened to be one of the countries hit by the Kaiju in the film. It coincidentally is the very first Category 5 Storm ever to make landfall in the actual Pacific Rim. Some Filipino editorials even alluded this to the film.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Plenty of comics have been made retconning the Kaidanovskys' death. Likewise there are many fanfics detailing how Chuck survived.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The film shares several parallels and similarities with Attack on Titan.
      • The giant bots share the name "Jaeger" with the main protagonist of Attack on Titan who fights a different kind of giant.
      • Both works contain a plan to contain the threat with giant walls, which fail miserably.
      • Eren actually "pilots" one of those "Giants" to battle, as Titans are revealed to essentially be organic mecha that grows around the user.
      • The similarities between Newt and Hange Zoë, the perky, Titan-obsessed mad scientist of that series, are not lost on fandom, either.
      • In Hong Kong, Kaiju bones are used as part of a building, while Colossal Titans line the inside the Walls in Attack on Titan.
    • The Jaegers also share a name with a BattleTech 'Mech. Battletech also features the rare Dual Cockpit upgrade that allows a pair of pilots to control one machine for great combat efficiency.
    • Voice-acting wise:
      • Raleigh's Mexican voice actor and Stacker's Japanese one have one thing on common: Both voiced Kurama in their respective languages. Except this time, Kurama is now trying to stop an apocalypse, rather than being the one who cause it at first. Extra hilarity, at least in the Mexican Spanish dub, Mako's voice actress voiced Sakura Haruno.
      • Another hilarious outtake from the Mexican Spanish dub: Raleigh and Newt's voice actors (Irwin Daayán and Victor Ugarte, respectively) voiced respectively Kensuke Aida and Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Kensuke being the nerdy fan of the protagonist robots and Shinji the one who pilots them. In this film, Kensuke is the one who pilots them this time, while Shinji is now the nerdy fan.
      • In the European Spanish film, Pentecost is voiced by Juan Carlos Gustems, who voiced his direct counterpart Gendo Ikari in Evangelion.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Raleigh and Chuck. It doesn't help that their relationship is often compared to Maverick/Iceman.
    • Newt and Hermann. Apparently the novelization even describes them as "bickering like an old married couple."
    • Herc and Stacker spend most of the movie waging a war on each other's personal space and exchanging meaningful looks. "Team Hot Dads" indeed.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: To the point where the action scenes from all three of the Transformers films look tame.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • Almost literally; people will watch it just for giant robots fighting kaiju (though there are a surprising number of critics who do think there is value in the between-battle drama scenes, in a twist on this trope). Other critics have praised the film for its shameless embrace of this trope. It's a movie about Humongous Mecha fighting sea monsters, and it's not even pretending to be anything else.
    • Legendary Pictures is also heading up the Godzilla remake, which is coming after this film, thus Pacific Rim is almost like a giant appetizer for Kaiju fans eagerly awaiting the Big G's return. Legendary has teased a crossover at some point.
    • Some Portal fans came just to hear the voice of GLaDOS.
  • Memetic Badass: The Kaidanovskys seem to be approaching this status. It may be deserved — they apparently held the line in Siberia for six straight years on their own with a heavily outdated Jaeger that (as far as Jaegers go) was essentially a Badass Normal.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Once Ellen McLain's voice appeared as the robots' AI system, plenty of jokes were made about her controlling the robots. And it's not just nerds flexing their voice actor knowledge, the AI sounds almost exactly like GLaDOS. The fact that the Kaiju come from a "portal" didn't exactly stem the tide of jokes either.
    • Some fans started jokingly calling Cherno Alpha "Cherno Bill" in honor of William Chekhov.
    • Someone has thought of remaking the trailer with EVA footage. Or putting the Power Rangers theme over the video. And then there's the Megas XLR theme. And here we have the aforementioned Hilarious in Hindsight being capitalized on.
    • Plenty of jokes have been made about the movie being mistaken for a porno. Just look at the title.
    • Boat Swordnote 
    • After Rinko and Mana both commented on how sweet Guillermo was on set (and how he would tell them to call him Totoro), fan art ensued of Guillermo Totoro
    • 'SIND SIE DAS ESSEN? NEIN, WIR SIND DIE JAEGER!, another one of the many comparisons to Attack on Titan described above. The line comes form the first opening, and translates into "Are they the food? No, we are the hunters!" There's also mountains of crossover fan art featuring Jaegers trouncing many of the more powerful Titans, and characters from Attack on Titan piloting Jaegers, or the series' resident Monster Fangirls Hange and Newt hanging out.
    • "Where is my goddamn shoe?!" from The Stinger.
    • "Fat Otaku Heaven," a quote from Del Toro. For the Japanese release of the film, he was brought onto a Japanese talk show, where he talked about how much Japanese mecha anime influenced the film and was brought to Gundam World in order to see the life-sized Gundam.
    • The movie has its own meme-generator. The Pacific Rim website has its own Jaeger Builder, in which fans can design and name their own Jaegers and create posters for them, with amusing results.
    • Team Hot Dad, composed of Stacker Pentecost and Herc Hansen, a wish to see these two single fathers pilot a Jaeger.
    • A group of fans who had grown dissatisfied with the Bechdel Test's ability to properly gauge a story's use of female characters suggested that we should instead use the Mako Mori Test: A female character has her own narrative arc that is not at all about propping up a male character.
  • Money-Making Shot: Any extended sequence involving the Jaegers, or the Kaiju for that matter.
  • Narm:
    • Just the fact that Jaegers from English-speaking countries have relatively anodine and conventional designs, while the ones from Russia and China sport shapes and adornments that make reference to national stereotypes. In particular, Cherno Alpha's head resembles a nuclear cooling tower while the name is one that westerners would associate with the Chernobyl disaster. (Though the head shape was intentional, "cherno" is the Slavic word for "black," and in this case was supposed to be an abbreviation of "Chernobog.")
    • Ron Perlman doing an incredibly naff black market dealer impression is a funny touch (albeit one rather narmy by itself), but for a Spaniard, seeing a vulgar comedic actor like Santiago Segura trying to act as his creepy but otherwise professional henchman might be just too much. Even worse, given that Segura's collaborations with Guillermo del Toro are actually not very known to Spanish audiences, his sole appearance in Pacific Rim may be shocking and hilarious enough to distract from all the surrounding scenes, which are precisely very necessary to understand the rest of the plot.
    • Leatherback is a genuinely imposing Kaiju due to how burly and fast for his size he is, but his jiggling hanging belly is easy to notice every time he's charging towards the camera, which can deflate the scene quite badly.
    • Mako's flashback, in which she appears as a little girl being stalked by Onibaba, is Adult Fear and Nightmare Fuel incarnated. However, the fact that she is casually holding one of her shoes in her hands while strolling astray (that is, she neither lost the shoe nor was running too fast to put it back on) adds an unintentional silly element to the scene, even if it is presumably meant to convey her recent trauma.
  • Narm Charm:
    • "TODAY WE ARE CANCELLING THE APOCALYPSE!" One of the most cliche-ridden, trope-tastic movies in recent history, but the giant-robots-fighting-giant-monsters parts are just so awesome you can't help but love it.
    • Raleigh's 'c'mon let's do this together!' just because leaping and punching Leatherback in the head should be typical forced aesop on teamwork. But, after the Kaiju calling almost all the shots during the Hong Kong battle it's rather inspiring.
    • "Stacker Pentecost" is absolutely nonsensical as a person's name, but at the same time it sounds so incredibly bombastically manly that you can't help but want to bellow it in the hammiest, most dramatic fashion possible.
  • Older Than They Think: Many fans think Pacific Rim is based off Neon Genesis Evangelion, while Del Toro has explicitly stated that he had never seen the series and was basing the film off older super robot shows he had seen in his youth. His co-writer Travis Beacham might have been familiar with EVA and included some references, but the point that it's a more general genre homage still stands.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Onibaba is rather popular even though it only appears once and its fight is off-screen, mostly remembered for its non-alien/dinosaur design.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: The movie can be described as 2500 tons of awesome. As for the game based on the movie, opinions might be mixed, especially considering the name it has to live up to.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Defied. Guillermo del Toro stated in numerous interviews that he dislikes how movies — particularly big-budget action movies — tend to shoehorn a romance in simply because one lead is male and the other is female. Despite a few Ship Tease moments, Raleigh and Mako end up close friends and partners, but not romantically involved.
    Guillermo del Toro: I wanted to show that men and women can be friends without having a relationship.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Newer viewers may wonder what all the fuss was about when it comes to Mako. Take a look at when the film was released - 2013, when there were no notable female action heroes in Hollywood. The Marvel Cinematic Universe had been around long enough for fans to notice that Black Widow didn't have her own movie. The Hunger Games had only just come out and people could be forgiven for thinking it breaking out of the Girl-Show Ghetto was just a fluke. In the years since then The Hunger Games became a massive franchise, Divergent followed suit (also featuring many Action Girls in the cast), Agent Carter, Supergirl (2015) and Jessica Jones were hits on TV, The Force Awakens made its protagonist a woman, Mad Max: Fury Road was a feminist sensation, and of course Wonder Woman was finally released (with Captain Marvel following closely). So it might be lost on some that Mako was seen as a huge step in the right direction at the time, even though today it's more noticeable that she's still the only woman to have a major role and her arc is still somewhat related to the men around her.
  • Signature Scene: Somewhere between Mako's memory, Trespasser destroying the Golden Gate Bridge and of course the Boat Sword.
  • Spiritual Licensee:
    • Humanity building giant robots to combat an alien threat. While this may be a common plot in the mecha genre of anime, one show probably comes to mind for many, at least younger, anime fans, especially considering the following parallels: 20 Minutes into the Future (as opposed to the more common "far into the future" and "another world entirely" settings) aliens, that are specifically interested in human extinction, come, not from space, but from the depths of the earth itself. These aliens are giant monsters who fight humanity directly, instead of using robots themselves. To combat these humanity creates equally gigantic robots that requires the pilot to mentally synch not only with the robot, but also with a co-pilot (while this is only done literally in Evangelion 3.0, in the original series the "robots" had to have a human soul implanted in them to function and both this soul and the actual pilot had to synch with each-other and the "robot"). The monsters also appear one-by-one instead of organizing in an army. Oh, and let's not forget the yellow fluid, the blue blood of the monster aliens and the journeys into characters' minds.
    • Alternatively, it's a better American Godzilla film than the 1998 Godzilla film.
    • Alternatively alternatively, it's the best Getter Robo movie we're ever gonna get.
    • Go back a bit more, to the beginning. Rocket Punch. Breast Fire. Pilots in the head docking with the body. Hell, the whole driveable robot concept. It's Mazinger Z, all the way. By extension to almost all the spiritual licensee above makes this the closest to a Super Robot Wars film ever.
    • The movie has several (coincidental) similarities to the X-COM franchise as well. Alien threat that forces the nations of the world to band together and form an organisation dedicated to fighting them? Check. Council of nations that threatens to pull their funding because they're not getting results? Check. The alien-fighting organization forced to sell alien components on the black market to make ends meet? Check. Researchers vivisecting alien corpses in order to better understand what they're fighting against? Check. A final assault on the aliens' homeworld? Check. Extra amusingly, the Enemy Within expansion for X-COM includes cybernetic Mini-Mecha pilots complete with rocket fists.
    • There's some minor resemblance to Godannar, which also features giant robots piloted by pairs of pilots from various nations who have strong romantic or familial bonds. And they fight a series of Mix-and-Match Critters that come from the sea.
    • Alternatively, this movie can also be the best screen-adaptation of Muv-Luv Alternative we can ever get, due to the many similarities (especially the nature and origins of the Kaiju).
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Even fans of the movie tend to agree that the pilots of Crimson Typhoon and Cherno Alpha should've, at the very least, had more time to shine before being killed off early into their first action scene.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • There's enough room to do a film or two on those first four attacks and on the Golden Age of Jaeger combat. Of course, given that the Golden Age stock footage resembles scenes from It Came from Beneath the Sea (attacking San Francisco, arguing about toxic blood disposal) you could argue that that movie has already been made.
    • The cult of Kaiju worshipers, who could have made very good secondary villains. Imagine an entire subplot following a different division of the Jaeger program dedicated to stopping terrorist members of the Kaiju cult from attacking Shatterdomes from the inside. It's tangentially addressed, at least — there seem to be a lot of troops around inside the Hong Kong Shatterdome carrying small arms that don't seem to do much on-screen, but considering that there is a definite Kaiju cult around, it's possible that's what they're there for.
  • Too Cool to Live:
    • Aleksis and Sasha Kaidanovsky, the Cherno Alpha pilots. Also, the extremely talented triplets of Crimson Typhoon, and, lastly, Stacker.
    • Subverted with Hannibal Chau, who survived getting Eaten Alive, and he wants his Goddamn shoe back.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • Otachi Jr., which is just undeveloped enough not to be monstrous and just developed enough not to be creepy.
    • The Kaiju parasites (or Skinmites) also look pretty adorable as well.
  • What an Idiot!: Calling Marshal Pentecost's adopted daughter a bitch in front of her Drift compatible co-pilot that's been working heavy construction for five years and one of two people strong enough to single-handedly pilot a Jaeger is not the brightest idea.

    The 2019 series 


Example of: