In 1998, a year before the first events of this new Godzilla movie, I remember how enthusiastically my friend and I reserved tickets for the advanced screening of Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla at Greenbelt Cinema. I remember how the premium-priced ticket boldly said “guaranteed seats” but when we entered the theater there was no room except for the aisles. I remember how we didn’t mind because it was Godzilla, and we were seeing him ahead of the rest. So we settled down (on the aisle) and cheered when the opening credits rolled. I remember cheering a couple of times more and then we were silent. The movie devolved into cartoonish romp of destruction and contrived situations to make us like Godzilla. I remember coming out of the theater shaking my head. My friend wanted his money and time back. And I couldn’t disagree.
Sixteen years later, I watched Godzilla filled with anticipation that is tinged with apprehension as well. The buzz has so far been great. But the same can be said of the 1998 Godzilla. It helps that director Gareth Edwards’s previous film ‘Monsters’ was a good one, in spite of its low budget. It also helps that Ken Watanabe, Juliet Binoche and Bryan Cranston were cast.
So, after watching the new Godzilla, I’d like to thank everyone involved in the making of this movie. Thank you for removing the bad taste left in my mouth by the 1998 Godzilla. Sure, the young leads are a bit on the dull side, but they’re very easy on the eyes. Even the scale of destruction seemed apt and not overly so (unlike in ‘Man of Steel’). For a few moments I thought of ‘Pacific Rim’ but that’s okay because that’s a good movie too. I like that Godzilla is indifferent to us humans. That he makes no effort for us to like him. That even if we interpret his actions as ‘heroic’ because it benefited us, he is just acting according to his own nature.
Because in the grand scheme of things, we humans are just not on the apex of life. We just think that we do. But nature shows us once in a while where our place is. in these times, we just have to stand back and let nature takes its course. As Ken Watanabe’s character said when asked what humans can do in Godzilla’s battle with the MUTO, “Let them fight!”
I had such a good time that I want to see this in IMAX. 🙂