After the chilly to flat-out disdainful reception Guillermo del Toro’s tribute to giant monsters (and the giant robots who fight them), Pacific Rim, saw this past July, one might question the wisdom of bringing the most iconic movie behemoth of all time, Godzilla, back into the fold via mainstream blockbusting. Yet that’s exactly what Gareth Edwards, the man behind the 2010 cult monster flick Monsters, plans on doing with the backing of Legendary pictures; in point of fact, we’ve been hearing a great deal about his film since the San Diego Comic-Con this past summer, so, obviously, del Toro’s success or failure could never have had a motivating factor in getting the movie made at all.
Regardless, there’s a concern over how well the king of all monsters might play to a wide audience that’s been kept in the thrall of superhero tentpoles for the last decade or so – the big-scale destruction such as Godzilla can wreak doesn’t seem to have the same magnetic pull for contemporary viewers (much less Americans, for whom the kaiju archetype doesn’t carry a ton of intrinsic value). After seeing the teaser for Godzilla, though, freshly released on the web earlier today, it seems like Edwards is on to something that should at least please the genre faithful, and may even have what it takes to storm the box office, too. Have a look:
In a word: yowza. Forget about collateral damage or the grimdark aesthetic that’s so popular in big budget spectacle these days – this is Godzilla, once upon a time a metaphor for mankind’s dangerous meddling with science, now embodied as a primal force of nature in Edwards’ vision. Expect buildings to crumble and don’t be surprised by bleak outlooks; if you’ve ever seen Ishiro Honda’s brilliant original film, then you know that the best kaiju cinema isn’t cloaked in a veneer of that much-clamored for element known as “fun”, and carries more horror in its heart than one might suspect given that the central villain is portrayed by a man in a big rubber suit. There’s subtext to the chaos.
Whether or not the same can be said of Edwards’ movie is yet to be seen, though he promises that there’s commentary woven into the destruction. If nothing else, it looks like he’s topped Roland Emmerich’s take on the character, but that’s damning Godzilla ’14 with faint praise already; we’ll wait until May 16th, 2014 to see for ourselves.