Cool monsters in a confusing movie
I needed a good brain washing after figuratively spending a few months in the hills of Tennessee with a bunch of killer hillbillies, so I took in a showing of Godzilla at the nearest multiplex yesterday. What did you expect me to do, read Hamlet?
I should start out this review by saying I’ve never understood the fascination with Godzilla. He’s basically a dragon that can’t fly. The only Godzilla movie I liked as a kid was when he fought King Kong, and we all know why I liked that one.
That out of the way, from a writer’s point of view it was meh with a side of confusing. They skimmed over the science and mythology, and it felt like it. Some of it didn’t make sense to me at all. The species of monster the overgrown terrestrial dragon battles is called the Muto. Godzilla and the Muto come from a time on Earth when the atmosphere was filled with radiation. As the radiation on the planet subsided, they went deeper and deeper underground and under water to feed on the radiation in the Earth’s core. Then mankind carelessly started testing nuclear weapons and they decided “Hey, it’s totally cool again. We can go up top.” Once they re-surface the Mutos (there were two) cause earthquakes and tsunamis through their ability to generate electromagnetic pulses. I’m still there with you as far as storyline goes. It’s science fiction logic to the nth degree, but I get it.
What I don’t get is why Godzilla was so hellbent on finding the Mutos and killing them. At one point the head scientist in charge made the profound statement that “He was hunting them.” I assumed it was profound because of the astonished look on his face. But to what end was Godzilla hunting them? Was he hungry? If so, he left without eating. Did he just not like the Muto? Did they post a nasty tweet about him? What? I know it sounds silly, but I need a clear reason why Godzilla chased the Muto from Japan to San Fransisco. Not knowing that kind of killed the movie for me.
On another front, I need my monsters to be interested in feasting on people. I kind of like them to be bloodthirsty. Otherwise they just aren’t that scary. They’re really only big nuisances that cause collateral damages that result in unfortunate fatalities. C’mon! Monsters gotta eat people!
Speaking of damage, I’m also confused why the human population was conflicted about their feelings for Godzilla. They didn’t know if he was a monster or a hero? Hello! He contributed to the destruction of a couple of major population areas, and he personally caused the deaths of what appeared to be tens of thousands of people. Seriously? Is it really hard to figure out that he’s a huge asshole that was only thinking about himself, and his inexplicable obsession with the Muto?
The good parts – The monsters looked cool. Bryan Cranston wasn’t in it long enough to ruin his credibility. And, it did wash out my brain. The hillbillies are basically gone. I’ve spent a good amount of time thinking about Book Seven since I left the theater… scratch that, since about half way through the movie, and I’m getting more and more excited about completing Oz’ journey.