We liked Pacific Rim. We really did. But that doesn't mean we walked away feeling like every little aspect of the movie was delivered in a nice, tidy package with a bow on top. We have a few questions about the monster-crushing world that Guillermo del Toro and writer Travis Beacham crafted together.
As with our past Unanswered Questions features, these aren't meant to be taken as plot holes in the movie. They're just us wondering why certain things happened the way they did or why certain things were designed the way they were. And yes, the answer more often than not is simply "Because that made the movie more fun," but that's not going to stop us from debating them.
Also, we realize that Pacific Rim has a tie-in comic and novelization. Maybe these questions are answered there. If so, please share those answers below, because we're going off only what was up on the big screen.
Why abandon the Jaeger program in favor of building a wall?
Okay, so Gipsy Danger gets badly damaged fighting a Kaiju (but still kills it), which is only the beginning of a string of similar ineffective incidents around the world. That's a bummer for mankind, yes, but why would the governments of the world then shut down the Jaeger program in exchange for a program for building a big wall instead? Having the government make this decision serves no purpose other than creating some fake drama in the movie. Is the annihilation of all mankind not high enough stakes on its own? Why must we also have the Jaegers proving their worth as a mankind-defending program? It's like a plot point out of a Step Up movie. The underdogs have to pull off one last dance in order to save the rec center. It's silly.
Do Kaiju movies exist in Pacific Rim?
This one is self-explanatory and just a fun one to wonder about. Is this a world where Godzilla, the movie, exists?
Why not use the sword all the time?
There are multiple fights throughout the movie where Gipsy Danger kills a Kaiju by busting out its sword and doing some serious damage after discovering (apparently repeatedly) that their robofists aren't super effective. Now, you may be ready to say that it's a matter of conserving resources, of not risking damage to the sword. Keep in mind when Raleigh and Mako spar to prove drift compatibility, it's done with wooden bows to stand in for swords. Clearly they're trained sword fighters, so why not let them do it? It'd be like if Crimson Typhoon (the three-armed Chinese Jaeger) never used its third arm out of fear it'd get damaged -- It's part of the design, use it!
Why is a rocket punch more effective than an actual rocket?
Another one of the tricks up Gipsy Danger's sleeves is the ability to engage a bunch of thrusters hidden in its elbow, thus turning a normal punch into a rocket-powered punch. That's cool, but why involve the giant robot in that equation at all? If a couple of thrusters pushing a giant hunk of metal can do damage, imagine what several actual rockets would do. Surely a few bunker busters pack more force than a rocket-powered fist. We didn't invent a class of munitions called Earthquake Bombs and give them names like the Grand Slam or the T-12 Cloudmaker because they're gentle.
Why does the Kaiju's unborn fetus have memories of the outside world?
After one of the Kaiju attacking Hong Kong is finally downed, Hannibal Chau's team go all Fantastic Voyage on its insides in search of a usable brain, only to be surprised to learn that the Kaiju was actually pregnant. Maybe the aliens designed all of the Kaiju to be pregnant so they can populate the Earth in order to destroy it faster, only none live long enough to give birth. We're cool with that. But why does this fetus have memories of the alien race's master plan? It's never been outside this Kaiju's belly before. How does it know how the tunnel operates?
Why did the aliens send dinosaurs to Earth?
Of all the world building in this movie, this is the one aspect that really boggles the mind. After drifting with the Kaiju brain, Newton learns of the aliens' master plan. They're going to colonize Earth and they're using the Kaiju to eradicate us pesky humans that are in the way. And not only that, but they tried it once before with dinosaurs, only the planet wasn't as hospitable to their race millions of years ago. This dino bit is treated as the kind of moment that's supposed to pop like a little mind-blowing sound byte (Dinosaurs... Kaiju... they're all connected, man!) before being pushed aside. But it makes zero sense.
Though it may be shocking news to some, the Flinstones is not historically accurate. At no point in Earth's history did dinosaurs and mankind live together. It simply never happened. So why would the aliens send dinosaurs over? What exactly were they supposed to be killing? Does evolution not exist in the world of Pacific Rim?