I prefer not doing trailer reviews, mainly because they tend to be pointless in the long-run. Speculation is usually left best-unsaid until the film comes out and is watched and reviewed properly. It’s the same reason I don’t speculate (and altogether avoid) trailers for video games. They don’t always show the relevant bits, and sometimes they just flat-out lie to you. So basically what I’m saying is, this could be just a one time thing at worst, a once in a long while thing at best. And the only reason I’m doing it is because I’m a Godzilla fan (mainly of the Heisei series from the 80s and 90s), and because I do have opinions regard the trailer that I’d like to express. And the main thing I aim to express is caution.
Ok, so right off the bat I’m not liking the trailer. Seriously, not joking here. They start out by showing a kid with binoculars on the roof of a building seeing “armageddon” coming in the form of clouds, likely caused by Rodan or something. What’s wrong with all that? The kid, that is what’s wrong. Every single mother-fucking kaiju film in existence who has featured a kid somewhere in the movie has had their enjoyment level brought down a notch or two because of it. The first fucking Gamera movie. Son of Godzilla. Godzilla’s Revenge. Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster. Kenny’s are the bain of all those movies and more. Why call them Kenny’s? Because Brandon does.
The other thing about the trailer, it says “the mass extinction we have feared is coming, and we are the cause. We are the infection.” Sounds like another green peace message thing about how mankind is fucking up mother nature, and mother nature will respond in kind by threatening to wipe out mankind. Normally, I’d be irritated by themes like this. But in all fairness, that does tend to be the general theme for kaiju flicks. The monsters show up because we used nuclear bombs (any respectable Godzilla origin story that doesn’t claim Godzilla is ghosts of the path seeking vengeance; yes there is a Godzilla film that does that), or because we do too much polluting (Hedorah), or some other such thing (the monsters used to exist, then went into hibernation until we started nuclear energy which woke them up again, like in Godzilla 2014). The main thing that irritates me is that the trailer is so on-the-nose about it. Well, we’ll see.
“But like all living organisms, the Earth released a fever to fight this infection. Its original, and rightful rulers, the titans. For thousands of years, these creatures have remained in hiding around the world. And unless all the titans are found, our planet will perish, and so will we. They are the only guarantee that life will carry on.”
Wait a minute, what’s this? This seems to imply the humans aren’t the “infection.” That the titans (not to be confused with the other Titans movie coming out; fuck it, I’m calling them Kaiju) are being woken up to fight something else. But they just said, “We are the cause, we are the infection.” So what gives? Best answer I can think of is that there are other monsters around the planet who have awakened due to mankind’s pollution and damage and climate/environment change who aim to kill off mankind to restore the balance. In the previous film, with the Cloverfield monsters who threatened to destroy mankind by feeding off nuclear energy humans created, Godzilla awoke to balance things out by feeding off of (or killing) those other monsters which threaten its own existence. So I guess this film is taking that concept but making it bigger. Now it won’t just be Godzilla waking up to fight some monsters, he will be teaming up with others (Ghidorah and Mothra and Rodan, or at least 2 of those 3) to fight the newly awakened menace which remains mysterious in the trailer. If it goes with the tradition of the previous Japanese Godzilla films (and why shouldn’t it? Hollywood isn’t original anymore. The best they can do is remake/reboot something and not fuck it up), it will most likely be Godzilla with Mothra and Rodan teaming up against Ghidorah at the end. You know, like in the first film Ghidorah made an appearance in.
So in other words, the film-makers want to give what the outspoken critics of the previous film want, more monsters, more action, more monster fighting. More more more!
That is ultimately what makes me worried (aside from Kenny). The reason why the 2014 Godzilla film worked for me is precisely due to its restraint. And that’s the big key word, “restraint”. Because of that restraint, it made me more and more eager for the monster action to happen. And when it did happen, it had some great payoff moments. Because of that restraint, it made the moments when Godzilla used his flame breathe seem epic. Because of that restraint, it made me hooked to the action when it was going on. As opposed to something like the Michael Bay Transformers films; which don’t get me wrong, I love those films (except for The Last Knight, fuck that movie), but the main complaint about them is that they are action overload with no substance to them. That, and they complain the action is tedious, monotonous, which ultimately resulted in it becoming boring because we were given it so often (a complaint I also use against the majority of Marvel films, but these fucking hypocrites always say, “That’s different!” Like hell it is). I worry the same fate may befall this film.
On the other hand, there may be a chance that it doesn’t. For on thing, there was only so much they could make Godzilla do to the monsters in the 2014 film before it got too monotonous. In this film’s case, assuming he does face off against Mothra/Ghidorah/Rodan (prior to possibly teaming up with them), we might get some variety in the action. Though I say that with my fingers crossed, considering every single one of those new monsters can fucking fly. None of them are grounded. How about replacing one of them with something more distinct (preferably Rodan, since he’s similar to the flying Cloverfield monster in the last film). How about Biollante? Hedorah? Anguirus? Though come to think of it, I guess Godzilla’s most memorable opponents were the ones that had flying capabilities. Plus Ghidorah tends to walk about as often as it flies. Alright, I’ll give the film a pass in that regard, especially since I don’t know yet what other, if any other, monsters will be in the movie.
In any case, the diversity of monsters would make for more interesting battle scenes, so it may actually be in the film’s favor to use less restraint. But I really hope it doesn’t go overboard with it. I really hope it’s a good thing, and that it doesn’t give us too much of a good thing. In any case, I might just go to the theater to watch this thing when it comes out. But not on opening day, not unless a group of friends talk me into it or something.
But one last thing in regards to the trailer. All the titans need to be found? They are the only guarantee that life will carry on? Seriously? I’d like to see what excuse they can pull out their ass to justify that reasoning.
Ok, now going outside the box and looking at the director and screenwriters, and what their film history is.
Director and Screenwriter Michael Dougherty: directed Trick r’ Treat, Krampus. Ok, I enjoyed those films. Plus with Krampus, he seems to now how to do a decent (albeit not exceptional) action scene. I just hope he doesn’t turn into one of those directors who can work wonders with a small budget, but falls apart when given a big budget project. As a screenwriter, he’s hit and miss. X-Men 2 was good; haven’t heard good things about X-Men: Apocalypse, but he did write Krampus, and a couple of the stories in Trick ‘r Treat. So it could go either way with him.
Screenwriter Max Borenstein: Worked on the 2014 Godzilla film (plus) and the Kong: Skull Island film (minus). The latter makes me worried, as I fear he may be going down the path of giving too much. And I didn’t like the Skull Island movie.
Screenwriter Zach Shields: Also worked on Krampus, and a bit of Trick ‘r Treat.
They might pull it off. At worst, they will produce a mediocre film. At best, it could be something exceptional. Just have to wait and see.
PS: Does seem like there’s a little too much blue hue in the trailer though, with most of the monsters, save for Rodan.