So, Godzilla 2014
-runs hands through hair- Godzilla.
First of all, I’m a bit worried about a completely American made production of Godzilla simply as a premise. Like, Godzilla was originally a pretty nuanced commentary on nuclear bombs and the lasting impact that the bombs had on Japan as a nation. And I think that this movie in a lot of ways sort of….missed that context? Not entirely, mind you, there’s still some pretty clear commentary on nuclear power in general happening, but I think that the specificity of the bombs impact on Japan is downplayed a lot. But, as an American, I’m not super confident in my ability to really make a judgement on that. I’ll defer to more knowledgable people on that point.
On a feminist note though.
Failed the Bechdel test. There are a few female characters but they are all secondary, and fairly unremarkable. The dead mother is…motherly and then dead (when she died in the first 10 minutes, I knew we weren’t in for an excellent time). The wife is…likable, I guess, but spends most of the movie in a crying panic and functions as motivation for Ford and little else. Dr. Graham is cool, but plays second fiddle most of the movie.
So the ladies in this film are pretty forgettable.
But even as I say that, I must admit- ALL the humans in this movie are pretty forgettable. Dr. Serizawa is probably the most interesting character (his stopped watch -Hiroshima moment is probably the strongest moment in the film.)
And I just kept thinking- Why isn’t Dr. Serizawa the main character of this movie? Why is it some random American guy that I literally don’t give a crap about? Dr. Serizawa is way more interesting. His father was in Hiroshima. He’s dedicated his life to studying these monsters. He seems genuinely invested in Godzilla, and he’s an expert in the field, and he is the voice of the “hey, let’s not bring an active warhead anywhere near San Francisco. That’s a bad fucking plan” team. HE is leading man material here!
I didn’t find anything in this movie blatantly offensive, but mostly I just wanted it to go back to the monster fighting. The bits with Godzilla and the MOTAs were exciting, looked great, and I’m all on board with giant monster fights.
If you like monster fights, you’ll probably enjoy this film. But it’s no Pacific Rim.