The original 1954 Japanese Godzilla is an all-time favorite of mine, but when Roland Emmerich brought the monster to the United States in 1998 it was a complete disaster. The Independence Day director turned it into an overlong Jurassic Park ripoff, while the original was a far more intelligent political commentary with effects and sound design that still wow today. So when plans of yet another attempt to bring the big green lizard to America were revealed, it didn’t exactly inspire confidence, but the news of who was being brought in to work on the project managed to excite me. Director Gareth Edward’s debut film Monsters was a wildly impressive alien movie that the filmmaker made for pennies, shooting with a tiny crew and doing effects on his laptop. But he made something that had exactly the kind of scope and scale that would work perfectly for a Godzilla movie, and imagining what the guy could do with some real money was intriguing to say the least. And now with this new full length trailer for the film out, we’re finally getting a good sense of what the guy has done.
Check out the main trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIu85WQTPRc
Before talking about how it works as a Godzilla movie, it’s worth noting just what a cast Edwards has assembled. Breaking Bad fans will have instantly been excited by hearing Bryan Cranston’s voiceover at the start, mirroring a similar voiceover from David Strathairn in the last teaser trailer. Brief lines are given to Ken Watanabe (seemingly there to still give the movie a connection to Japan) and Aaron Johnson (playing a young military type, potentially the protagonist), and we see only small glimpses of Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins, and Juliette Binoche.
But forget all of them, because the real star of any Godzilla movie is the man himself, who gets even less facetime in this trailer than Binoche does. What’s conveyed about Godzilla here isn’t so much what he looks like (though we get that great brief final shot) but rather his massive size. We see the buildings he’s torn through (he’s seemingly taken a message from Cloverfield and destroyed the Statue of Liberty), the ocean waves he pulls apart, and there’s that breathtaking shot of the flares that only illuminate a small portion of his leg. If Edwards has gotten one thing right that Emmerich missed, it’s that Godzilla’s size matters.
What’s also interesting is the supposed connection here to the Japanese original. Rather than being a reboot like Emmerich’s film this seems to be a bit of a sequel to the first film. It references that “In 1954, we awakened something” and mentions “those nuclear tests in the Pacific.” When the film hits on May 16th it’ll be interesting to see not only how much it connects to that film, but how the cast plays in and what Godzilla really looks like to Gareth Edwards. What do you think? Are you excited to see a new version of Godzilla? Are you done with remakes and plan on just watching the original again? Tell us in the comments below.
Article by Wesley Emblidge