Fifteen years ago, following a marketing campaign involving a level of secrecy which would have impressed the CIA, American audiences were introduced to Godzilla for the new millennium. The result was… terrible. We should have suspected something after finding out the movies soundtrack included a song by Sean “Puff-Daddy” Combs. The 1998 Godzilla should have been great. It starred Mathew Broderick, Hank Azaria, and Jean Reno. It was directed Roland Emmerich, a director whose credits read like a laundry list of the best disaster movies of the last twenty years. In the end we got a watered-down version of the legendary monster that bared little resemblance to the classic monster of dozens of classics.
Now that sufficient time has gone by Warner Bros., desperate for a franchise (see the upcoming Superman vs Batman vs Wonder Woman vs Khal Drogo), felt it was a good idea to take another swing at the franchise just in time for the characters 60th Anniversary.
This new version comes to us from director Gareth Edwards, a relative newcomer, and stars Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Olsen and Johnsen will be pairing again in Avengers 2 as Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver). The tone appears to be taking a more serious tone than the 1998 version, and this is one case where I think that going back to a slightly darker and, dare I say, gritty tone will help the movie. The original Godzilla movies were a response to the threat of nuclear power/war following the Second World War, so I’m curious to see what type of tone or commentary this one goes for. Or, more likely it’s just going to end up as a giant monster destroying a major city. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as long as it’s done properly. My biggest wonder is how this movie will top last summers epic Pacific Rim, which added giant robots to the giant monster formula. Pacific Rim was not a big enough success that the studio, or populace at large, might not be ware of the potential problem. However, the target audience of Godzilla are likely to be many of the same who the WB is banking on for a big first week.
To sum up, my thoughts on this trailer could best be defined as “cautiously optimistic”. While 2015 is prepping to be the biggest movie year on record, 2014 just got a bit more interesting.
For more reaction to this trailer, plus all the other movie news of the week, check out new episodes of the SCaM Show Podcast every Monday morning.