Godzilla really appears to get around in the second trailer installment launched by Legendary Pictures today, Tuesday. Where this space has focused on Godzilla’s attack on San Francisco, the second Godzilla Trailer briefly reveals something else: either Big G, or the much-talked about MUTOs he winds up fighting, attack Las Vegas.
Two scenes give this away: the first one is a look at a set of buildings which have been damaged about the rooftops and walls, with a path of destruction down the middle of it. One thing is clear on first pass: the structures are squat and colorful. Then if you freeze the frame (as any hard-core junkie like me is going to do), you notice that the orange building at the left is none other than the Palazzo Tower of the Venetian Hotel. If you know Las Vegas to any degree, you can quickly determine that much of the main Las Vegas Strip was damaged by this giant monster.
The second frame is less obvious and a quick pass would lead you to think that Godzilla had New York on his menu, because the Statue Of Liberty is damaged, with her arm sheared off. But a freeze frame shows a kind of red steel frame behind her: it’s the roller coaster at the Las Vegas Hotel New York: New York.
More Than One Giant Monster
From this Godzilla Trailer, it’s clear that we’re to expect an epic battle to take place between Godzilla and at least one or perhaps two enormous creatures, and we can expect to see the U.S. Military go up against Godzilla and loose – big time.
Evidence of that occurrence is in the foggy water scenes – one of the them shows a large suspension bridge in the background with a gap in it: the Golden Gate Bridge is damaged right at about the place where it looked like Godzilla would have basically walked or burned his way right through it, down the middle, and headed toward land in San Francisco. Our U.S. Military’s on hand to meet the creature, but only winds up loosing fighter jets as they come down to the San Francisco Bay waters in a series of free-falls.
There’s also one very small scene where something that’s much more akin to a spider’s foot than Godzilla’s stomps down on the ground around some military soldiers, and by the looks of the limb, that creature is at least as big as Godzilla.
Overall, it looks like there are two or three creatures on a collision course that ends in San Francisco: Godzilla comes from Japan and goes through Hawaii (apparently not stopped by a nuclear bomb), and the MUTOs come to San Francisco from Nevada, with a stop in Las Vegas to conduct a successful visit to the Las Vegas Strip.
Along the way, something else is obvious: Godzilla’s huge. I would say he’s taller than the 300 feet some say he is – perhaps closer to 400 feet or 500 feet tall. No version of the King Of Monsters has been this large but I will say Godzilla should be this large. In all, the movie does a great job of an achieving epic scale not seen before.
And Godzilla should be this large as one master stroke against the terrible image of the Godzilla-In-Name-Only that angered fans of the Big G in 1998. Godzilla 1998 producers Roland Emerich and Dean Devlin had crafted an image of producers of big-budget disasters, and so everyone expected their Godzilla to be just that. Instead, what we got was a monster only a fraction of the size of Godzilla, and who runs away from helicopters, and leaves almost no destruction in his wake.
That’s not Godzilla.
The Godzilla Trailer is the perfect tonic to rid us of that bad memory of a movie – in this trailer it’s clear that billions of dollars of damage is caused, and thousands of lives are lost. What’s commonly forgotten about giant monster movie is that, from a human perspective, they’re actually disaster movies. People are killed – and at a grand scale. In Godzilla 2014 that much is obvious.
This Godzilla’s going to scare the hell out of you. It will do so by making you believe something that large and that destructive really exists, can and will kill you, and is coming to your city, soon.
Much Better Than Pacific Rim
The obvious movie to compare Godzilla to is Pacific Rim, but it doesn’t take me long to believe such an activity is not fair: to Godzilla. For all of its success at building a World where giant monsters fight giant robots, the simple fact is all of the fighting scenes happen at night in Guellermo Del Toro’s masterpiece. In Godzilla, the creatures appear during the day and night. There’s one particularly frightening scene where we see Godzilla’s scaly back rise out of the ocean and next to what appears to be one of the Hawaiian Islands (and in daylight) and right next to the same atomic bomb that eventually explodes, producing the mushroom cloud we see in the trailer.
That’s a scene one can only call “iconic” and will be played again and again. Yes, we have a truly giant Godzilla.
The 2015 Oscars For Special Effects
I don’t know what other accolades Godzilla may win during the 2015 Awards Season, but I’m placing a certain bet that one of them will be the Academy Award for Special Effects. I’ve never seen a giant monster movie with this much realistic detail – so much so, that it’s down right scary. Godzilla’s not even out yet, and I can say, already, that it does an excellent job of showing you what would happen if Godzilla himself really happened. That’s the objective Gareth Edwards, the movie’s director, set about achieving. I can already say he’s done it.
Godzilla is a Legendary Pictures / Warner Brothers production, written by Max Borenstein, directed by Gareth Edwards, and with Brian Rogers (who I interviewed in 2010), Mary Parent, Ken Banno, and TOHO Pictures as executive producers. It’s set for release May 16th, 2014.
And I can’t wait.