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Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 sci-fi masterpiece Pacific Rim did more than give us the gift of injecting the phrase "drift compatible" into our everyday lexicon, it gave us a truly perfectly balanced pair of characters in Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi).
Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the scene where Raleigh is training with potential partners for a co-pilot while Mako takes notes next to her surrogate father and Becket’s boss, Marshal Pentecost.
“OK what?” Becket says, coming off the end of a session with a possible new partner, “You don’t like him?”
“Excuse me?” Mako replies.
THE TENSION. ALREADY IT SPEAKS TO ME.
“Every time a match ends you make this little—” note that here Hunnum scrunches his face up, “gesture. Like you’re critical of that performance.”
“It’s not their performance, it’s yours.”
“How about we give her a shot.” Becket points his stick-thing — wait, I mean, no. That’s too obvious. Becket points his training weapon at Mako.
Then they flirt — excuse me, train.
There are no words. But I will find the words because this is a website that you are reading.
Y’all they are ready to go. Look at that eye contact. Look at those strong shoulders. Look at all of it and bask.
“It’s a dialogue, not a fight. But, I’m not gonna dial down my moves.”
“OK. Then neither will I.”
Then there is a full minute of fighting-I-mean-talking and is this heaven? They trade barbs back and forth, counting to see who gets four-hits first, when the match ends and man. It ends on a banger.
Anyway, if you need me, I’ll be watching this fight on repeat and trying to recapture the 2013 magic of not being in constant terror.