If you thought Jurassic Park was dangerous, those dinos were plastic toys compared to this guy. If you thought King Kong was a monster, he’s got nothing on the nuclear reptile. If you thought killer okapi were scary, you’re M. Night Shyamalan, and you’re in for the shock of your life.
Godzilla brings back the old-school monster movie with the King of the Monsters himself versus a new threat known as a Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism, or MUTO. Does it tower above the pack of monster movies or should it be next on Godzilla’s menu? Well, let’s take a look at the trailer and find out. (To follow along, click here.)
So who stars in this movie? The hero, Ford Brody, is played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson of Anna Karenina and Kick-A–. His wife Elle is played by Elizabeth Olsen, whose other works include Silent House and Oldboy. Incidentally, both these actors are about to appear as brother and sister in next year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad fame plays Ford’s father, and Ken Watanabe of Inception and Batman Begins plays Japanese scientist Ichiro Serizawa.
The director is Gareth Edwards, a man better known for his visual effects than for his directing. He put both to work on his film Monsters, so he has had some practice with creature films. How has he handled this one? Only time will tell.
The trailer begins with Bryan Cranston demanding to speak to the people in charge and then accusing them of lying to cover up something horrifying. Smart move, Bryan, antagonizing the people with the power. But there might be something to his claims, as we see a wrecked commercial jet, a collapsing power plant, a mobilizing military, and buildings missing huge chunks. Also, the Statue of Liberty was attacked, so you know it’s a monster movie. Cranston claims the creature will send us back to the Stone Age, and I’m thinking there’s not going to be much Yabba Dabba Doo-ing in this version.
Godzilla goes for a midnight swim, almost upsets a few ships, and apparently does a belly flop that wipes out a nearby coastal city. Bryan whispers, “God help us all,” and the creepiest music I’ve ever heard in a trailer starts up. Several military men sweep their flashlights through what looks like Jurassic Park, but don’t worry, they’ll be fine as long as they don’t go into the long grass.
Someone wipes white goo off a radioactive container, proving that Godzilla has no idea how to roast marshmallows. The Japanese scientist explains that they woke the monster up in 1954. He tells us that the nuclear “tests” in the Pacific were attempts to kill it, which, given that the guy is running around causing tsunamis and biting the torch off Lady Liberty, were probably not successful. The military people walk by a train as explosions go off in the distance, Godzilla slips behind a collapsing building, and another soldier looks up at a glowing tentacle. Ford asks if it’s possible to kill the thing, but since a nuclear bomb failed to do the job, I wouldn’t get my hopes up, kid.
The MUTO dives into the ocean, soldiers make a HALO drop into a city, and Bryan cries as his wife gets sealed into a room full of deadly radiation. Then the Japanese scientist apparently gets swallowed by Monstro the Whale as we see him walk through the inside of a ginormous beast. “The arrogance of man,” he tells us, “is thinking that nature is in our control and not the other way around.” And the arrogance of Superman is thinking that flying is still the safest way to travel statistically speaking. Planes are falling out of the sky like crazy in this trailer, and then there was that jet that crashed earlier, and let’s not forget all those other planes and flying vehicles that have crashed in the last year or so of movies. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, flying in movies is a one way ticket to disaster.
Someone lights up a bunch of flares and HOLY COW THAT THING IS BIG. Seriously, how tall is this monster? He’s just . . . so . . . big. Anyway, enough of that. Let’s get to the action montage of the trailer. The MUTO roars and plants a giant claw on the ground, a train gets swept from the tracks, a helicopter crashes, Elle holds her son close, and we get a glimpse through closing doors of Godzilla giving his famous roar. And . . . that’s it. Somehow listing it makes it seem like there’s less action, but it’s so intense that it feels like you’ve been through a giant monster attack just watching it.
So based on the trailer, would I recommend this movie? Yes, yes I would. It’s got intense action, some good actors, and impressive visual effects, plus I’ve been listening to the soundtrack while writing this review, and it’s brilliant, evoking the old-school monster movie feel perfectly. Also, can I talk about the trailer itself for a minute, because this might be one of the best trailers I’ve seen in a long time. It gives away almost nothing about the plot while combining visuals, sound, and music to showcase the atmosphere of the film. Best of all, it doesn’t show the monster, only teasing it until the very end, and even then it’s just a quick glimpse. It’s intense, it’s mysterious, it’s intriguing, it’s ambitious, and it made me excited for the movie. And that, my friends, is smart marketing. As for the film itself, I probably won’t see it in theaters, but if you get the chance to, I recommend it. Something this big needs to be witnessed on the big screen, up close and personal.
Just not too up close and personal. We wouldn’t want you to get eaten, would we?
Godzilla is owned by Warner Bros.