The A.V. Club makes the case.

On a somewhat related note–since it’s in the article–I have to confess to not being a big fan of the “Mako Mori test”. Not the test itself, so much as the implicit assumption, i.e. that Pacific Rim‘s Mori passed the very thing that’s named after her, in that she was a woman (of colour) “who gets her own narrative arc that is not in support of a man’s story”. Um… wut?

Sometimes I feel like I watched a different cut of Pacific Rim to 99% of all other people who saw it. I mean, I admit I was distracted by the ethnic and sexual slurs, its director’s historic support of child rapists, and cringing from its completely awful attempts at “Australian” characters (protip: it’s not like Hollywood isn’t full of us, hey). Not to mention gaping at the gall of having a US-made appropriation of a Japanese cultural product laud nuclear genocide as a heroic act. (Making the scenes in the most recent Godzilla wherein a Japanese character gives the side-eye to a US general espousing the same tactic feel like a direct Take That.)

So… yeah. I get that audiences are hungry for leads of colour in general and female leads of colour in general. I guess I just feel like its a sad testament to how thin the field really is that Pacific Rim is the film that gets lauded as the “good” example thereof…