WarningMight contain spoilers.

Now this… this is as rousing, stirring, and exciting as ever. I’ll admit the thrills aren’t exactly the same as when I watched in the theatre with a group of equally excited friends, but it’s still a great film with excellent music. I think it’s fair to say the opening isn’t a strong one, thanks to all the exposition and all the history to cover. I watched the first 20 minutes in one sitting, then came back to it months later. The recurring images of figures silhouetted against the light—Stacker Pentecost emerging from his Jaeger in Mako’s memory and Gypsy Danger against the searchflights from the helicopters after being flown in to help others—are well used.

Charlie Hunnam was not right for the lead. Not then, not now. Idris Elba was perfect for his part. Everyone knows the best bit—Today, we are canceling the apocalypse!—but I was very impressed by the short scene of his nose bleeding in the lift. Instead of a typical medium shot, the film presents an uncomfortable closeup from slightly below accompanied by near silence, immediately telling us something is wrong.

The visuals effects aren’t quite as impressive 10 years later, but they’re still effective and sharp. What helps: the weight behind every movement and the constant reminders of the enormous scale of the creatures and robots; the distinction between the slow, mechanical movements of the Jaegers and the fluid, organic movements of the kaiju; the mostly-analogue æsthetic of the film, showing us as much as it can through the mechanics of the Jaegers; and the decision to stage many important fights at night or in poor lighting. Today’s films could learn much from it.

I remember being disappointed by Pacific Rim: Uprising , and I can’t even begin to understand how Pacific Rim: The Black was born from this universe.