Since its the beginning of 2015, I have been seeing a lot of lists from 2014, the best and the worst. I was a little surprised that I saw Gareth Edward’s Godzilla on a “2014’s worst films” list! I thought that Godzilla was actually a more than decent film. Perhaps I am just a fan of the big beast!
Admittedly the human element was a little lost or mis-guided in the second half of the film, but to it’s defence, the film is entitled, Godzilla. This movie is about Godzilla. And yes, Godzilla only appears a meagre 8 minutes of the 123 minute run time, but…isn’t it just amazing when he does appear!? I just want to mention something here, the 3D model of Godzilla is made up of 500,000 polygons, and if he had been rendered by just 1 computer, it would have taken 450 years to complete! So, basically it took a lot of computer power just to get him on the screen! Smaug, from the Hobbit trilogy comes to mind, he only showcased about 20 minutes, again, because of the immense scale of image rendering! The anticipation that Gareth creates is what makes this film noteworthy. In addition he goes contrary to the usual hollywood style, instead of focusing on large, he brings it down to our human point of view. We frequently feel like we are looking up at Godzilla, or down. This makes for some really beautifully crafted cinematic shots!
Toho company, the original creators of the 1954 version of Godzilla approved of this project, and they even allowed use of the original soundtrack, for Godzilla’s iconic roar. Gareth went on to slightly modify the roar to create a more organic and contemporary sound. You need to watch this at a cinema, or with a really crisp and powerful sound system. In fact I am surprised that Godzilla was not considered for oscar attention, in the technical categories, that is, especially sound and sound editing.
Godzilla is such a photogenic mega-beast!
And this is the most amazing Godzilla kill yet!
The MUTO design was interestingly inspired by King King, Alien, Jurassic Park and Starship Troopers. They are ugly creatures to say the least, but I must admit, they look rather original!
Gareth said about Godzilla that “he is definitely a representation of the wrath of nature. The theme is man versus nature and Godzilla is certainly the nature side of it. You can’t win that fight. Nature’s always going to win and that’s what the subtext of our movie is about. He’s the punishment we deserve.” This is important. Film can be used to convey messages. Here we are being told that nature is unhappy with us, we’ve upset nature, and nature is going to make us pay. All to often we take for granted that nature can only take so much, its time that we really, as a whole make changes to make sure that ‘Godzilla’s’ wrath doesn’t come crashing down upon us….
On a lighter note, Breaking Bad fans will enjoy the Bryan Cranston performance, he basically carries the first half of the film, and then Godzilla takes care of the rest. Ready for an epic munch? Godzilla is no snack, get ready for seconds!
TRIVIA COOKIE: The music that plays in the background during the famous HALO jump is from Gyorgy Ligeti’s “Requiem”, which is also used in the Monolith scene from Stanley Kubricks’ 2001: A Space Odyssey. This also happens to be one of my favourite scenes, its hauntingly good!