Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Godzilla Teaser

As a huge Godzilla fan, I've been eagerly and somewhat anxiously awaiting the first sight of Gareth Edwards' reboot of the franchise, due out May of next year. Now it's here, and all I can say is:

I confess; after Pacific Rim, I was a little worried about Godzilla; would it be able to distance itself from the other movie? Would it come across as just 'also ran'? What would be different about it?

Judging by this first trailer, the answers are 'yes, no, a lot!'

The first half of the trailer is taken up with a striking new idea; a parachute jump into a kaiju-afflicted city, making our first glimpse of Godzilla a bird's eye view from above. This is something we've never seen before, and seems to indicate that Edwards and his crew are really pulling out the stops in terms of creativity and inspiration. Basically, that scene has done more than almost anything else to reassure me about this movie. The sequence, even in the trailer, is equal parts awe-inspiring, thrilling, and frightening (especially accompanied by music from 2001: A Space Odyssey). In a word, it's exactly what you might have been hoping for.

After this we get a lot of quick scenes, mostly of people running and looking. Nothing especially special (though a brief shot of a crushed train strewn across a highway is impressively alarming). Then, at the very end, we get a long, though smoky and unclear view of the king himself.

What impressed me most is the palpable sense that, for all that this is a reboot, with a new studio and computer-generated effects, that this really is Godzilla. Something about the shape, the size, the way he moves in the little we get to see of him that just feels right. It's not just the fact that he looks like himself - the classic 'tripod' dinosaur shape and spikey plates on his back - it's that they seemed to have captured the majestic, indomitable nature of the character. Basically, I felt as I was watching it that this really is him; the one and only.

Or put it this way: the few, unclear glimpses we have of Godzilla in this trailer were more true to the character than the entire 1998 movie.

My only real complaints about the trailer are that 1. I would have liked to see more, though I suppose that's the point of a teaser, and 2. even allowing that, I wish they hadn't cut away just as Godzilla begins to roar at the end: I would have liked to hear the whole thing.

So, for the full trailer I'm hoping for some sense of the human characters and story, a clearer look at Godzilla (including hearing his full roar), a glimpse at the enemy monsters, and (most importantly) a hint of the atomic ray, because judging by what we've seen so far, I can't wait to see what they're going to do with that. Ideally, the trailer would end with a scene of his plates lighting up, then cut away just as he's about to fire.

Anyway, in case it's unclear, I really, really loved this teaser, and I can't wait to see the full trailer (they better hurry up; the movie is less than five months away). This, more than anything, has brought home to me "yes; this is happening; we're getting a new Godzilla movie."

And now I must return my happy dreams of a sequel featuring the Heath-Ledger-Joker version of King Ghidorah.

Vivat Christus Rex!

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