So we have three movies just titled Godzilla (two if you’re a purist who doesn’t know that “Gojira” and “Godzilla” are both equally valid translations of the kanji) and now two called Godzilla: King Of The Monsters. This is risking confusion.
This week the trailer came out for the newest entry in Legendary Pictures “kaijuverse” and while I think they fell into the same mistake that the other not-Marvel shared universes have, there may be the makings of a good movie here…if we actually get to see the fights this time!
I still have yet to watch Kong: Skull Island (although I hope to do so before this movie comes out…stay tuned for that installment of Finally Watched) as of this writing but it appears that Legendary’s theme is to make humanity look small and helpless. While Japan has at least tried to fight or ward off Godzilla and the other monsters the US version seems to be giving in to the futility and I’m not sure how I feel about that just yet. Few monster movies, even during the heyday of giant monster movies in the 1950s, had humanity winning by anything beyond pure luck (although some did find just the right amount of bullets). But at least they tried. I guess having Godzilla the protector again still makes me happy. That’s the Godzilla I grew up with.
I’ve seen the designs for Mothra, Rodan, and Ghidorah. Mothra looks more like a regular moth, which certain fits with the style Legendary is going for since they’re part of the “CGI is better than rubber suits and models” crowd, and Rodan also looks more like a dinosaur. It makes sense and I don’t hate the designs, but there is that little part of me that wishes they were closer to their Japanese looks. Ghidorah on the other hand I can totally accept. It may actually prove their point since it gives the three heads more individual movement than the puppetry limits of his suits.
The big misstep to me though is that Mothra and Rodan should have had their own movies first. The originals did before Toho decided to make a shared world around Godzilla, and Mothra still had her own movies afterwards during the Heisei era. (Poor Rodan has never had a solo movie since his first one.) Establish their lore first, especially Mothra given that she has a spiritual component in the form of Infant Island and the twin fairies. Rodan is practically a blank slate they could work with, but Mothra has a rich lore attached to her that really should have been her own film first. This is where the Marvel Cinematic Universe succeeded and every other shared universe since has utterly failed. None of the MCU movies existed exclusively to set-up the team-up. Meanwhile the first Godzilla and the aforementioned Kong movie were both solo films that hinted at a larger universe. I hope they at least get their own films in the future.
I also hope, and I can’t stress this enough after Godzilla and Garth Edwards, LET US SEE THE MONSTERS FIGHT THIS TIME!
Godzilla: King Of The Monsters hits theaters May 31, 2019, and I am looking forward to it. I just think they missed an opportunity and it won’t excite me like a classic Godzilla and friends movie would. I still have affections for the rubber suits and I won’t apologize for it. I do want to see Godzilla Resurrection (no, I still don’t care that Funimation dropped the intended international title, Shin Godzilla still doesn’t work for me) and the animes if they ever get off of Netflix, and then I’ll have seen every Godzilla movie. I have interesting goals.