Godzilla is coming! On May 16, the most legendary of all kaiju will tear up theater screens and, hopefully, make us forget the 1998 atrocity directed by Roland Emmerich.
Of course, any new Godzilla film could make everyone feel better about 1998′s Godzilla, but 2014′s entry seems like it will be the film that will bring Godzilla back to his full might and power. There are several things Godzilla has going for it; below are four reasons as to why you should give this film a chance.
An Impressive Cast
If we’re using the ’90s Godzilla as a baseline, film-and-Broadway star Matthew Broderick as its highest selling point. Hank Azaria, famous for his voices on The Simpsons, and Jean Reno round out the notable cast.
The 2014 Godzilla, however, boasts a deeper roster. Just in the main cast, there’s Kick-Ass‘ Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston, Oldboy‘s Elizabeth Olsen, Lincoln‘s David Strathairn and international stars Juliette Binoche and Ken Watanabe. In fact, it’s almost surprising that there are this many proven actors in what is otherwise a monster movie. It leads one to think that the script must be extremely tight if it’s able to convince this type of cast to sign on to the film.
The Director, Gareth Edwards
You might not know him, but if this movie is a success – which, if you look at the Godzilla trailer alone, it seems like it will be – then you’ll probably know him very well before 2014 is out. But in the meantime, one of the things that makes him a director to watch is his 2010 entry into the sci-fi world, Monsters.
Monsters, which was also written by Edwards, is a story about a jaded journalist who agrees to escort a scared American tourist to the Mexican-American border. The catch is that the world is still reeling from an alien invasion that happened six years earlier. The story sounds awesome already, but Roger Ebert gave the film his seal of approval, saying in his review that ”Edwards is brilliant at evoking the awe and beauty” he wanted to achieve with the film, focusing more on the human connection rather than having the film rely fully on strange aliens. If Ebert liked this film, which was shot with a miniscule budget, I wonder what he would think of Godzilla.
A Return to the Mythos
It goes without saying that ’90s Godzilla was a bit of a crime against the Godzilla fandom. The only real callback to the monster’s origins is that the monster was originally called “Gojira” by the old man in the beginning of the film. Everything else is not anywhere near the Godzilla lore; Godzilla himself was turned into either a hermaphrodite or a female monster, has children, and then there’s a huge, elaborate action scene that has severe echoes of Jurassic Park rather than a standard monster movie.
So how does 2014 Godzilla seem to come closer to the original? Well, first of all, it seems like the film is looking to be the film that undoes the horrors that the ’90s committed upon the franchise. It seems like it’s trying to be the Batman Begins for Godzilla. Also, it raises the scale of Godzilla himself. In the trailer, Godzilla seems to be truly unstoppable. He seems powerful, like a true unbeatable force. Put side by side, this monster might eat the ’90s monster for breakfast.
This Godzilla Instills True Fear
One movie that really put the fear of zombies into me was World War Z. The airplane scene in particular really drove home the horror of an actual zombie attack, and, despite the film not having anything to do with the Max Brooks book it’s based on, the film seems to have changed the game for zombie movies. It finally made a zombie attack seem like it could actually happen, which is the most horrifying thing of all.
Similarly, Godzilla seems to want to change the game for monster movies. Yes, a level of realism helps to make the story more relatable, but it also makes the fear of a huge monster hit closer to home. In this film, Godzilla is actually a tremendous, awe-inspiring force to be reckoned with. Just the shot of seeing this expansive creature in the smoke, a creature that could stomp San Francisco with one foot, makes you want to clutch your imaginary set of pearls. This focus on fear just might be the thing that should make audiences come away with a brand new love for the Godzilla franchise.
In short, Godzilla looks like it’s going to be awesome. But you don’t have to take my word for it; how good do you think Godzilla will be?
Images: Warner Bros.