All of a sudden I’m interested in Godzilla. I mean, I always was, but I had a really cautious approach to it. After all, we live in a time when seeing cities get smashed isn’t that special anymore, and we’ve already had a shit Godzilla remake. It seems possible that this could follow suit.
It still might, but the trailer shown at Comic-Con today allayed some of my fears. The first half of the trailer was all humans, and it looked like a disaster movie. There was a refugee camp in a stadium, people running in broken streets, Bryan Cranston running in a big nuke plant-like corridor against a wave of fleeing technicians. That feels like the right choice, because the original Godzilla is exactly that: a disaster movie.
Everything changed in the second half of the trailer. A monster menaces a city, knocking down an elevated train. It’s a huge mantis-like thing with a hood, and doesn’t appear to be a classic Toho kaiju. Helicopters attack the monster, and it swats one out of the sky; it crashes into a parked jet on airport tarmac, both explode. People inside the airport cringe, looking at the monster rampaging... and then a huge foot stomps down in front of them.
The monster is huge, and it keeps destroying. Then something rises behind it. Something much bigger. Something that dwarfs it. Godzilla. And the roar.
So we get Godzilla fighting other monsters. It’s hard to look at that footage and not think of Pacific Rim, but that’s not a problem for me. What’s interesting is the look of the human stuff; Gareth Edwards has made something very cinematic, something very classically filmic.