Idris Elba’s Best Sci-Fi Film Is Climbing The Streaming Charts

Pacific Rim is #9 on HBO Max's list of Top 10 streamed movies.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

idris elba
Idris Elba in Pacific Rim (2013)

Idris Elba is no stranger to the sci-fi genre, but his best sci-fi film definitely has to be Pacific Rim. HBO Max subscribers seem to agree, as the film is steadily climbing up the streaming charts and is currently sitting at number nine, according to FlixPatrol. If you missed out on this mecha vs. monsters movie or haven’t seen it in a while, this would be the perfect blockbuster to check out this weekend.

Imagine if someone told you Guillermo del Toro was going to make a big-budget original movie that sees mechas battling kaiju, with anime influences aplenty. You don’t have to imagine because that’s exactly what Del Toro delivered with Pacific Rim in 2013. On top of being a great idea for a movie, the film had a top-notch cast that includes the aforementioned Idris Elba along with Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Robert Kazinsky, Max Martini, and Ron Perlman.

Pacific Rim follows Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), the reluctant co-pilots of giant mecha, aka Jaeger, known as Gipsy Danger. The two have to get over their differences and work together to help take down the giant kaiju invasion that threatens mankind. Idris Elba plays their commanding officer Stacker Pentecost, Charlie Day plays a scientist studying the kaiju, and frequent del Toro collaborator Ron Perlman plays a black market kaiju parts dealer.

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Robert Kazinsky and Idris Elba in Pacific Rim (2013)

There were a few things that made Pacific Rim such a great film, and Guillermo del Toro’s strong vision definitely played a part, along with the great performances from Idris Elba, Hunnum, and Kikuchi. Guillermo del Toro’s signature influence can be felt throughout the film, as it’s a fantastical and colorful endeavor. It also makes the important decision to give the kaiju and Jaegers a massive sense of scale, making their movements slower and often shooting from almost ground-level perspectives.

Unfortunately, the magic of Pacific Rim never ended up carrying over to the sequel Pacific Rim: Uprising. While not having stars like Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnam return for a sequel isn’t necessarily a recipe for failure, having Guillermo del Toro step back from the director’s chair is. The follow-up film made the Jaegers and kaiju much faster and it felt more like Transformers battles than the weighty, anime-inspired battles of the original Pacific Rim.

While we eventually got the Netflix anime series Pacific Rim: The Black, the negative reception of the sequel film pretty much left the franchise dead in the water. While there’s a slim chance that Legendary could decide to bring back Pacific Rim in some capacity, especially with the success of their King Kong and Godzilla films, it’s probably best not to get our hopes up. As cool as a prequel film starring Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost would be, it seems like a bit of a pipe dream at this point.

For now, you can revisit the beauty of Pacific Rim this weekend on HBO Max and lament what could have been. You can also see Idris Elba in a very different sci-fi setting when he appears in the upcoming DLC for Cyberpunk 2077. That DLC is set to release later this year.