Memorial Day Musings #2: The Godzilla Movie

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 13.266% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

The fascinating thing about the new Godzilla movie: the things people complained about were things I saw as strengths.
For example, people complained there weren’t enough monster-on-monster battles, and that they kept cutting away from the monsters or showing them in parts.  For me, big monster battles are like Chinese Five-Spice – I like them, I really do, but I can’t have a meal of all Chinese Five-Spice.  I need a palate-cleanser between courses, and so a little monster goes a long way.
I liked the way we hardly ever got good, long looks at the monsters.  It made them seem fucking huge.  Seeing just a foot or an eye kept me thoroughly rooted in the human perspective, forcing me to keep in mind that this is a 300-foot tall lizard, and holy crap is he big.
And I like the way we only got flashes of the monster battles.  I would have been pissed if we’d ultimately gotten no monster battles – but again, there’s only so many times I can watch Godzilla stomping through a city before it gets old.  And by the time we got to the end, where there is one huge-ass unrelenting pounding, I was entirely thrilled with it.  Plus, as mentioned before, thanks to all the glimpses of Godzilla, when we finally saw him cut loose he looked gigantic, a mountain to me, amazing.
People complained that the humans didn’t do anything.  I loved that, too.  We had one hope, Godzilla, and all of our weapons really didn’t work.  I actually hated the one moment where a monster noticed a human in any significant way – I adored the way they didn’t even acknowledge us, that they were so huge that all our weapons couldn’t even get their attention.
People complained that the plot was lame.  Which it was.  But it was lame in that kind of stupid, it-knows-it’s-stupid way that Pacific Rim was, where the movie pretty much flat-out acknowledges that this wouldn’t happen, but let’s all take it with maximum seriousness because goddamn, don’t you want to see a giant lizard eating Las Vegas?  With today’s technology, I’m not actually sure how you would make a serious Godzilla film.
But that’s my weakness: I’m not a Godzilla fan.  Yet for all that, Godzilla may be an entertaining movie, but be a terrible Godzilla movie – in much the same way that Man of Steel was a great “superpowerful aliens invade America” film, but a pretty crappy Superman movie.  Godzilla fans have certain expectations, and I can acknowledge that maybe this didn’t do it for ’em.  My friend George Galuschak wasn’t impressed, and he’s a huge Godzilla fan, so I’m willing to admit that maybe it didn’t live up to established expectations.
Still.  Worth my $9.50.  Totally worth it.

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