Monday, April 28, 2014

Why I'm worried about Godzilla

There have been a lot of commercials lately for the upcoming Godzilla movie.  And with each one of them, I get more and more worried.  US film companies just don't seem to get it.

It's about the monster.  Godzilla movies are always about the monster(s).  Godzilla is the star.  Whatever army, weapon, robot, alien, creature, or force of nature it's fighting is/are the costar(s).  Miniature little princesses come next.  Regular humans come last.

The last US Godzilla movie failed because it wasn't about Godzilla; it was about Matthew Broderick. (I know his character had a name, but I don't care enough to look it up.)  About him, his ex-girlfriend, her camera man, and an army guy.  Godzilla was glimpsed and teased (because it had been redesigned to be more modern) before finally being revealed.  And then it was gone. Basically this was Cloverfield before Cloverfield.

Godzilla needs to be more Pacific Rim.  The people and plot exist to set up encounters with the monsters; leading to the big mondo battle at the end.  And the human plots get wrapped up as we watch Godzilla swim away and the credits roll.

That's a Godzilla movie.  Any subtext is about Man's inhumanity to Nature. (There's a touch of that in the commercials, so some hope.)  But while Godzilla is a force of nature, it's not some fire or storm to serve as a back drop for boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, parents, children, and friends separated by disaster to find their way back to each other.

This is not about Man triumphing over the odds.  Man doesn't beat Godzilla, only learns from it. And, often, is saved by it.

Learn you stupid movie studios. Learn!

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