45. The Godzilla Remake

OBLIGATORY OPENING STATEMENT REMINDING THE READER THAT THIS POST CONTAINS MAJOR REVELATIONS REGARDING THE PLOT OF GODZILLA 2014. ESPECIALLY REGARDING THE FACT THAT IT BLOWS.

Godzilla movies have always held a special place in my heart. The first Godzilla movie I ever saw was Godzilla vs. Monster Zero when I was 7  and it was love at first sight. Something about seeing giant rubber monsters wantonly destroying various cities and models (AND THE MOON HOLY SHIT said 7 year old me) awakened the primal masculine love of needless destruction in my young mind. There was a period of my childhood where I made it my quest to watch every Godzilla movie I could. This was around the time that I should have been developing other hobbies like learning the piano or karate.  When I was in elementary school I watched the fuck out of every movie I could dig out of our local Blockbuster or Hollywood Video’s woeful supply of Godzilla VHS tapes. Suffice to say, by the time I was in middle school I could probably out-Godzilla anyone at my school. It was also around this time that it first occurred to me that I possibly squandered my childhood. That’s another entry though.

Suffice it to say, I hold Godzilla in a high esteem in my life. Higher than I would certain religious figures. So when I found out that there was a Godzilla remake being made last year I felt the first twinge of optimism for a Hollywood blockbuster that didn’t involve superheroes in years. When I found out that Bryan Cranston was going to be playing the Important Human in the story I was even more excited. When I saw the trailer a few months ago, my fanboy boner began reaching critical mass and started taking down nearby aircraft and helicopters.

Then I actually saw the movie.

To say that I hated it is inaccurate. To say that it disappointed me more than every high school dance put together is much more apt. It’s not the worst Godzilla movie I’ve ever seen. That title still belongs to Godzilla’s Revenge.

This bitch.

First of all, let’s begin with obvious misleading P.T. Barnum bullshit regarding the trailer. A new Oscar category should be created just so the person that created Godzilla’s trailer gets the recognition he or she deserves. The trailer gave me (and I imagine an amount of other people) a few false impressions regarding the film, for example:

-Bryan Cranston would be prominently featured emoting and Bryan Cranstoning all over the place and would have to create some ingenious Walter White ninja science-style scheme to save the day.

-Godzilla was gonna fuck the world up harder than a drunk in an antique store and it was gonna be Big Serious Business.

-The movie would be good.

Those of you who have seen the film can understand how I felt misled around the 20 minute mark when Bryan Cranston gets zipped into a body bag and there was no fucking Godzilla in sight. I spent the following ten minutes trying to convince myself that this was just some pre-twist-plot-twist as I realized with dawning horror that I was supposed to give a shit about Kick-Ass and his Amazingly Generic Hollywood Family. I thought for a while that the movie would cut away to a cemetery in the midst of a lightning storm, lightning would strike Bryan Cranston’s plot, and he would rise from the grave and I was going to see Zombie Walter White Versus Godzilla in what would surely be the greatest movie of all time.

After the initial disappointment wore off, I began to see the movie for what it was: just another paint-by-numbers Godzilla/disaster film. Not a single new or interesting idea to be found in the entire snoozefest. It followed the age-old form that Godzilla movies have developed since they started being mass produced back in the 50’s and 60’s:

1. Weird shit is happening, scientists concerned.

2. Weird shit turns out to be giant fucking monster. Devastation ensues.

3. Someone mentions Godzilla. Ominously.

4. Other people mention Godzilla.

5. Godzilla finally shows up. Possibly hungover from the last movie.

6. Godzilla breaks shit to remind people that he’s motherfucking Godzilla.

7. Godzilla and Other Monster fight. It is indecisive.

8. Military attempt to do something but fail miserably.

9. Blah blah blah, people, blah blah blah, no on cares.

10. Godzilla fights Other Monster again. Godzilla nearly dies but ends up murdering Other Monster in badass fashion because he’s motherfucking Godzilla.

11. Godzilla goes back to sleep until another Hollywood producer/Japanese executive wants a big paycheck. Meanwhile humanity repairs the millions of dollars in damage and mourn the thousands left dead in his heroic wake.

So, we can reasonably establish that the Godzilla remake fits the mold left by its dozens of predecessors. Godzilla is no longer Big Scary Nuclear Force of Nature and is instead Humanity’s Greatest Defender. Oh well. At least there’s nothing going on in the world that could have any kind of correlation to nuclear devastation that maybe just possibly the movie could relate to in a contemporary audience’s mind.

Right?

And as any Godzilla fan will tell you, any Godzilla movie that doesn’t feature Godzilla as The Big Bad is only as good as the Other Monster. This, however, relied on Hollywood having a cool, new, non-market tested idea. This was yet another disappointment as we got to watch two different variations of the Cloverfield Monster (Extra Jumbo Version and Flying Version) go head to head with Godzilla and cause their own version of generic destruction. Say what you will about J.J. Abrams, but at least he had the stones to actually design a new movie monster and now because of Hollywood’s pathological need to copy anything that turns a profit, we are probably doomed to another decade of Generic Giant SpiderAlligatorVaginaMouth Monsters, or as I call it, The Abramonster. See also: Super 8.

Some other observations:

-Can we talk about how Kick-Ass has either been hitting the HGH like a high school football player or is halfway through his Polyjuice Potion transformation into Channing Tatum?

-Ken Watanabe reprising his recurring role in other films and TV shows as The Japanese Man who gives us our Half-Assed Hollywood Philosophical Observation of the Film by remarking that Godzilla is “the ultimate predator”. This is an idea that is revisited zero times for the rest of the film.

-It bears repeating, but you should never be related to Bryan Cranston in a film or TV show.

-The international community is surprisingly chill with the Japanese government just sitting on two gigantic nuclear monsters.

-Never see movies in 3D. They make your eyes hurt.

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