When most people think of a typical monster movie, the last thing that comes to mind is a film that will sock them in the gut emotionally and provide a high dose of drama pulled from stellar acting performances. No, mostly what comes to mind are cheesy, made-for-TV pieces like Sharknado or some other Syfy Channel catastrophe, full of horrible acting, embarrassing special effects, and plots so ludicrous that they produce fits of laughter rather than spine-tingling chills. However, the new trailer for Godzilla, due out in May, seems out to crush monster movie stereotypes into rubble and ruin.
The newest trailer, which gives an extended look at the destruction and drama promises to give fans more than just a movie about a giant fire-breathing lizard wiping big cities off the face of the earth. The trailer seems to indicate that there is an actual story, with characters that have depth, that unfolds along with the action and devastation that Godzilla wreaks on the world around him. Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad fame pours emotion into the few scenes the public have been able to watch in trailers for the film, shouting angrily and shedding believable tears. The emotion is raw and real, as his character loses his wife in a nuclear power plant accident, with Godzilla’s awakening more than likely the cause of the incident. It seems that the powers-that-be are lying to Cranston, saying the accident was caused by a natural disaster, but he of course does not buy it, demanding to know the truth, and no doubt wanting to expose the cover-up.
As if this was not enough drama, it turns out that Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays Cranston’s son, who is featured in an intense scene where the father tries to explain to his son why he allowed his mother to die in the accident. Taylor-Johnson is apparently given an opportunity to join the team waging war on the monster, a chance to exact revenge on the creature that likely led to his mother’s death, but that is also threatening to destroy the world and kill everyone he loves. This kind of plot, sure to feature plenty of suspense and a few twists along with the rubble and ruin caused by Godzilla, is what makes critics think this is one monster movie that is going to defy stereotypes and appeal to a wider audience than previous films in the genre.
One thing that is clear from the trailer, Godzilla is not anything at all like the 1990’s version, which was a commercial flop. This version promises to provide thrills, terror, drama, and everything in between, and will keep folks entertained from start to finish. The effects look excellent and believable, a worthy accomplishment in and of itself. The depth of storytelling, combined with amazing action is slowly becoming a staple of summer blockbusters, something that demonstrates the evolving tastes of audiences, as mindless explosions, blood, and groan-inducing one-liners are no longer enough to justify forking over money for the high price of an admission ticket. Godzilla, if it is anything like its trailer suggests, will definitely destroy monster movie stereotypes and amid the smoldering rubble and the maze of ruins, will give the genre some credibility among serious movie fans.
By Michael Cantrell