Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Expectations for "Godzilla"

I'm a bit of a fanboy of Godzilla. Even though he's technically little more than a rampaging monster, he's arguably my favorite movie character of all time. And now he's getting the big screen treatment again for the first time in 10 years ("Final Wars" came out in 2004). As of a few minutes ago of the time of writing, they dropped the second trailer for the upcoming movie. They dropped the first one back in December. Even compared to the first trailer, this one really ups the stakes. Trailer #1 was more of a teaser. This one gave us more glimpses of the titular monster and even more scenes of destruction without giving away too much. Thus far I am very very impressed. The fact that this and "X-Men: Days of Future Past" drop within a week of each other really is making me a happy camper.

Enough of the digression. Here's what it looks like this movie is going to bring to the table.

First of all, it's dark. I mean, during the 1998 movie it was raining the whole time. But that one was somewhat more lighthearted and more of a "summer blockbuster" because it was from the same guys that brought us "Independence Day." The new movie definitely wins in the scenery department because it has more varied locales, but that doesn't mean it's going to be lighthearted. The trailers have shown us that the mood for this movie is very, very dark. As in, the world is actually coming to an end, and there's nothing we can do about it kind of dark. If the opening narrative by Bryan Cranston in the new trailer is any indication, "Godzilla" will have a very lingering sense of helplessness and dread.

Like I said before, this time, the humans don't have the situation under control. In the 1998 film, the monster was killed with a few missiles launched from fighter jets. That in itself is an insult to Godzilla, seeing as the true King of the Monsters would look at fighter jets the same way we look at mosquitoes. The new trailer had shots of fighter jets actually falling from the sky and a monologue by Ken Watanabe talking about how man always feels like it's in charge of nature and not the other way around. Then there's the scenes of destruction that are clearly not limited to one city. Godzilla is a monster who destroys whatever he wants, whenever he wants, wherever he wants this time. That kind of sets the tone.

The acting should also be top notch. It's got Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") and Ken Watanabe ("The Last Samurai," "Inception") in it. That should say enough.

The story also seems to have some kind of continuity with previous films. In the new trailer, Ken Watanabe's character mentioned that a creature was awoken in 1954 with nuclear bomb testing. Reference to the original movie? You don't say!

Finally, Godzilla is returning to his former glory. This will wipe out the bad taste that the 1998 movie brought. It's even a far cry from the campy Showa-era films that made him a protector who was willing to do battle with other monsters. In other words, the spirit of the original film is back. And that's how it should be. Godzilla is an unstoppable force of nature who treats the combined military might of the world with the contempt that humans show to insects. He's angry with us, he wants to destroy us, and there's not a damn thing we can do about it.

May 16 can't come fast enough.

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