One of the more anticipated films of the coming Summer, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures Godzilla, released its first trailer this morning and it has every possibility of being a great movie. It comes after months of teasers and beautifully made posters, starting at last year’s Comic-Con convention in San Diego. It was here that they released what became the first teaser for the movie which mostly focused on the soldiers as they parachuted into the middle of San Francisco as Godzilla trampled its way through it.
The trailer follows around the same area they had ventured in before. This time though, there is much more of a focus on the rampant global destruction that the legendary lizard is unleashing. It opens with a skyward shot of a massive traffic jam somewhere, ending with the charred remains of a 747 in the middle of it all. There are also shots of tidal waves and people running for their lives from mass destruction, as is to be expected from a big monster movie. The shot that some will probably view with a lump in their throat, given its similarity to the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, comes from a skyline shot of what appears to be Tokyo being torn to bits as Bryan Cranston’s character Joe Brody watches on.
With Brody, Godzilla shows off to the audience a level of paranoia and distrust that, though not surprising given the times we live in, gives it the chance for it to stand out favorably compared to its original Japanese versions. “Because what’s really happening is that you’re hiding something out there,” his character screams. “And it’s going to send us back to the stone age!” These are the type of life and death stakes that feel appropriate and give it a depth that Dean Devlin’s version from 1998 never quite grasped.
There’s also the plot point that this new Godzilla trailer eludes on about how Godzilla had been a steady global threat for 60 years, which makes it stand out and gives it the potential to be great and something very special in terms of epic monster movies. It follows along the same type of high life and death stakes mentioned earlier while giving it an allusion to the threat some view in climate change.
“The arrogance of man is thinking that nature is in its control,” Ken Watanabe’s character monologues as shots of fighter jets falling from the sky in front of a split in half Golden Gate Bridge play. “And not the other way around.” It is something that many in the political sphere will blindly focus on and make needless points on in order to bash the overly slanted nature of Hollywood as a whole. It would be a shame, but its inclusion in the trailer gives hope the movie will turn out well.
The technical elements that this first Godzilla trailer deliver on add to the growing optimism behind this film. There’s the appropriately chilling music from favorite of Wes Anderson Alexandre Desplat. There’s the design of the creature that takes a few cues from the monster from Cloverfield in terms of its face. If this trailer hints well to the future, with its only competition on May 16th being Disney’s family movie The Million Dollar Arm, Godzilla has every likelihood to be a great movie and a big earner in terms of global box office.
Editorial By Brian Ault