|Pacific Rim is a 2013 American science fiction film directed by Guillermo del Toro, written by del Toro and Travis Beacham, and starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Robert Kazinsky, Max Martini, and Ron Perlman. The film is set in the 2020s, when Earth is under attack by Kaijus, colossal monsters which have emerged from a portal on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. To combat the monsters, humanity unites to create the Jaegers: gigantic humanoid mecha, each controlled by two pilots whose minds are joined by a neural bridge. Focusing on the war’s later days, the story follows Raleigh Becket, a washed-up Jaeger pilot called out of retirement and teamed with rookie pilot Mako Mori in a last-ditch effort to defeat the Kaijus.
Del Toro envisioned Pacific Rim as an earnest, colorful adventure story, with an “incredibly airy and light feel”, in contrast to the “super-brooding, super-dark, cynical summer movie”. The director focused on “big, beautiful, sophisticated visuals” and action that would satisfy an adult audience, but has stated his “real hope” is to introduce the kaiju and mecha genres to a generation of children. While the film draws heavily on these genres, it avoids direct references to previous works. Del Toro intended to create something original but “madly in love” with its influences, instilled with “epic beauty” and “operatic grandeur”. The final credit dedicates the film to Ray Harryhausen and Ishirō Honda.
The film is produced by Legendary Pictures and distributed by Warner Bros. It was released to generally positive reviews on July 12, 2013 including releases in 3-D and IMAX 3D.
In the near future, humanity is under assault by the Kaijus: colossal alien beasts who rise from a portal on the Pacific floor to devastate human cities. To combat them, humanity builds the Jaegers: equally colossal humanoid war machines, each manned by two pilots whose brains are linked to share the overwhelming mental load of piloting the sophisticated machines. Though the Jaegers are effective, the Kaiju attacks grow more frequent and powerful. Humanity’s governments discontinue the Jaeger project and resort to building massive coastal walls to protect humanity from the Kaijus. The four remaining Jaegers are redeployed to Hong Kong to defend the unfortified coastline until the wall is completed. Stacker Pentecost (Elba), commander of the Jaeger forces, devises a plan to end the war by using a nuclear warhead to destroy the portal.
Pentecost approaches retired pilot Raleigh Becket (Hunnam) and convinces him to return and pilot Gipsy Danger, the Jaeger he and his brother Yancy once piloted. During a mission, Yancy was killed by a Kaiju while connected to his brother, traumatizing Raleigh. Arriving at Hong Kong, Raleigh tests with potential co-pilots to find one with a strong connection, as the stronger the connection, the better their performance in battle. Sensing a strong connection, Raleigh demands to be partnered with Mako Mori (Kikuchi). Pentecost opposes, as Mako is his adoptive daughter, but he eventually relents. The duo’s initial test run nearly ends in disaster when Mako gets caught up in a childhood memory of a Kaiju attack; she inadvertently activates and nearly discharges Gipsy Danger’s weapons while in the hangar. The duo are withdrawn from the field as the remaining Jaegers are tasked with fending off a double Kaiju attack in Hong Kong. The defense goes badly, with the Kaijus destroying two Jaegers. Pentecost sends Raleigh and Mako to mount a last stand with Gipsy Danger, and the duo drive off the assault.
Meanwhile, Dr. Newton Geiszler (Day)—a scientist studying the Kaijus—assembles a machine allowing him to establish a mental link with a Kaiju brain fragment. The experience nearly kills him, but he discovers the Kaijus are not wild beasts, but engineered weapons fighting at the behest of a race of alien conquerors. With Pentecost’s approval, he seeks out Hannibal Chau (Perlman), a major figure in the trafficking of Kaiju parts, in an attempt to procure an intact Kaiju brain to repeat the experiment. Chau deduces that the Kaijus are searching Hong Kong for Geiszler, whose actions have attracted their attention. After Gipsy Danger kills both Kaijus, Chau and his team move in to harvest parts. Geiszler realizes one of the Kaijus is pregnant. The newborn bursts from its mother and swallows Chau before dying. Geiszler merges with the baby Kaiju’s intact brain and learns the portal will only open for a Kaiju.
The two remaining Jaegers assemble to execute their plan to destroy the portal with a warhead. Pentecost co-pilots the Jaeger carrying the warhead, but is forced to detonate it early, sacrificing himself to destroy two powerful Kaijus guarding the portal. Raleigh and Mako seize another Kaiju with Gipsy Danger and use it to enter the portal. Running out of oxygen, Raleigh ejects Mako, initiates the self-destruct sequence, then ejects himself. Gipsy Danger’s nuclear core detonates, laying waste to the alien conquerors and destroying the portal. Mako and Raleigh’s escape pods surface safely in the Pacific, and the duo embrace as rescue arrives.
In a post-credits scene, Chau—revealed to have survived—cuts his way out of the newborn Kaiju’s stomach.