Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

24 May 2014

Monsters and Saviors

I don't normally post a giant poster here, but, like, it's Godzilla, and he/she is one huge motherfucker. In fact, my friends and I were trying to compare Godzilla to the size of a Tyrannosaurus or a Stegosaurus and, well, they are not really comparable to Gojira him/herself. This is one enormous monster.

This movie is enormous too. In fact, that is really the most important thing to say about this movie. About six minutes of it are really, really cool. The rest of the movie is intensely frustrating. Director Gareth Edwards shows us about 3 or 4 seconds of great action at a time, and then absolutely insists on cutting away from exactly the thing that the audience wants to see. This tactic happens about 25 times (I swear I am not exaggerating), and it started to drive me crazy after about the 5th time. The whole time I was thinking why isn't he letting me watch his movie? He has hidden an awesome six-minute flick within this two hour monstrosity and gives us just a little bit of awesomeness at a time.

All of this is further complicated by the really boring family at the middle of the film. I really like both Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen, but they were both lifeless in this – staring wide-eyed and soullessly into Seamus McGarvey's camera – and waiting for something to happen. And I was too.

The original Gojira
Godzilla him/herself is, of course, totally awesome. Just totally awesome. I could have watched her/him swim around the Pacific and walk around Hawaii/San Francisco/Tokyo and eat radiation and knock buildings over with that tail for at least 40 minutes. Maybe that's gonna be in the sequel...? It sure wasn't in this movie.

There isn't much else to say, I guess, except that I was totally annoyed by the absurdly heterosexist gendering of the other monsters in the movie (they're called MUTOs). The only thing this "female" monster cares about is reproducing, and she lays her eggs (I am not sure how the eggs are fertilized or anything like that, and the film doesn't bother to try to explain that), and then she leaves them just hanging around, but then when the eggs are destroyed, the screenwriters have her keen over her unborn young in this bizarre way. The whole thing made me cringe.

And they made Godzilla into this weird Christ figure, sacrificing her/himself in order to save the world. Sacrifice is all good and well, but the film "says" that Gojira is a kind of embodiment of nature itself. In other words, he/she should actually be rather indifferent about humanity per se.

Oh, I know what else there is to say: I've seen Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim (which I really liked and reviewed here), so basically the whole time I was watching this Gojira reboot I was just wondering why they even tried. Pacific Rim already did this right.