Get Off My Lawn

I can't tell if he's laughing or crying.

Godzilla: Fertility Rites Among Monsters

Godzilla 1

First off I want to say that this is a movie that should be viewed in a theatre, in 3D, to really appreciate the magnitude of destruction and the scale of the ancient beings attempting to start a family in an urban centre. We saw the movie with a friend who had never watched a movie in 3D, so I was very glad to see that the technology was used to great effect, and I can’t think of a better movie with which to be introduced to 3D. She was delighted.

The movie was well directed, the cast was competent, and for the most part the writing was serviceable. The overarching theme of forgiveness, redemption, and fertility was interesting if a little heavy handed (but this is a movie about monsters, basically, in a cage fight to the death so perhaps subtlety should be sought elsewhere).

The two monsters we are introduced to first are basically a couple. A husband and wife, if such constructs existed in the highly radiated pre-historic world. They want to have babies, as badly as Rachel from The Amazing Race, though with a lot less hysterics and desperation. The male monster is attempting to unite with his sweet bride, bringing her a nuclear warhead so that she may have the radiation required to fertilize the glowing orange sac of eggs hanging from her underside. The moment of reunification where the male monster hands over the long pointy phallus to the female is touching, and creepy, and tender, and for a moment I thought maybe we were going to see some monster porn. But we were spared that, I suspect because the movie would likely then have to have an 18A rating and thus limit the audience.

But, in the attempt to make a bunch of monster babies (who would no doubt be a bunch of unruly brats with sticky fingers, spreading colds and flus to all of humanity) and a nest to have those babies in, the monsters destroy huge swaths of cities and kill countless people. Enter Godzilla, nature’s most ferocious form of population control. It was stated many times throughout the movie that he is here only to ensure that balance in nature is achieved. The happy, expectant couple are obviously in the wrong place and time and Godzilla must restore the world to a proper balance.

What ensues is some pretty exciting fisticuffs between giant monsters, one of which can fly, fighter planes falling out of the sky, multi-storied buildings being leveled, and humans screaming and running for the nearest patch of underground available. And this is where the movie really shines. I am largely unfamiliar with the Godzilla story and assumed he would be the villain, so it was along with the characters in the movie that I realized he was doing the Lord’s work. God bless Godzilla.

As he swam off into the depths of the ocean having saved humanity, I had a few questions: What does something that big eat? Where does he live? Will he find true love? Maybe these questions will be answered in the sequels. In the meantime I recommend Godzilla. It was fun, weird, and loud, and really, what else could I ask for in a Hollywood blockbuster?

 

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18 replies

  1. My youngest saw it this weekend with a friend, and the rest of us look forward to seeing it next weekend. We have an IMax-like theater near us where we can see it in XD-3D or whatever the heck they call it. All I know is it’s a HUGE screen with thundering sound. Worth the 30-minute drive to get there. For lesser action movies, we go closer to home.

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  2. Godzilla plus XD-3D could result in loss of bodily control. At least one could hope. Now that would really be getting your money’s worth. It could be used in the advertising campaign: See Godzilla. Fill a diaper.

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  3. It’s also surprising that the monsters picked San Francisco as the place to raise their family – I mean, the real estate prices in SF are insane.

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  4. I heard the other day that anthropologists discovered the largest prehistoric mammal to date – a beast that was 10 stories tall! I can barely imagine it. I drove around town looking at all the tall buildings, trying to get a sense of something that large living among us. It was scary. Lots of people and buildings would be crushed. I really want to see that movie and am debating on just taking in a matinee soon.

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    • I heard about that as well. It is hard to belive something that enormous once lived. They must have had to eat everything. The movie is pretty. One of those rare occasions wher the ticket price and the 3D extra cost is worth it.

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  5. The serviceable writing is the film’s biggest flaw. I mean, I enjoyed the living hell out of it. Yet so many folks are bored due to the characters not being overly fun to watch. Why did they not go with Cranston trying to avenge the death of his wife? I’ll never know! That is something we could have cared about! Laughed at the last questions!!

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    • With movies, especially these days (although I hate that term), you can have great action and special effects, or you can have great writing, but you almost never get both. Avatar is a great example of stunning special effects accompanied by terrible, and at times offensive, writing. The character of Ford Brody could easily have been played by a head of cabbage on a stick. And everyone, including myself, is bemoaning the very short screen time of Cranston and Binoche. It seems a no brainer to have them as the stars. The powers that be missed a few opportunities to make a good film great. Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. It was all about the build-up here and that’s what worked the most for me here. The characters weren’t great but at least the actors in the roles were clearly trying. Good review John.

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