Pacific Rim, 2013
One of the greatest things about this quote (and this movie) is that it had all the potential in the world to spread the dark and terrible (and often truthful) idea that in order to fight the darkness, one must absorb some of that darkness. It was very prominent in The Dark Knight trilogy, especially as articulated by Harvey Dent: “You die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
Pacific Rim doesn’t do this. Mankind bands together for a true world war. There are already enough monsters coming for them; they do not need to become monstrous themselves. The monsters they create are not beasts but guards and armor to protect, not universally destroy. The jaegers rarely deliberately destroy massive structures (remember Lady Danger carefully stepping over a large walkway and nimbly navigating between buildings during the fight in Hong Kong). The pilots in the jaegers are very human and imperfect but are still heroes. They may have created monsters, but they did not become them.
Everyone and their mother has lauded this, but it bears repeating: in Pacific Rim, mankind’s power is not in its capacity for destruction or power or control or harnessing its deepest instincts but instead in its humanity—its ability to rebuild, to persevere, to empathize and to understand.