The Mako Mori Test: 'Pacific Rim' inspires a Bechdel Test alternative
The Bechdel Test has long been the barometer of women-friendly films, but Pacific Rim fans say it doesn’t give the movie’s female lead enough credit.
It’s no secret that Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro’s $200 million love song to Japanese pop culture, was a risky venture from the start. With a multicultural cast, Hong Kong used as the main setting instead of New York or L.A., the only real star being a Black Brit many Americans had never heard of, and a storyline full of borrowed tropes that many anime fans felt were ripoffs rather than homages, the sci-fi action flick has fought an uphill battle to draw attention.
But despite what seems to be an infatuated, deeply loyal fanbase—last weekend saw an entire online fan convention, JaegerCon, complete with an appearance from del Toro himself—Pacific Rim has encountered trouble from an unexpected source: the Bechdel Test. ….
In the process of running down numerous arguments for why the Bechdel Test can’t and shouldn’t be the only measurement by which feminist films are judged, Tumblr user chaila has proposed the Mako Mori Test, “to live alongside the Bechdel Test”:The Mako Mori test is passed if the movie has: a) at least one female character; b) who gets her own narrative arc; c) that is not about supporting a man’s story.