Gojira (ゴジラ) is a portmanteau of the Japanese words: gorira (ゴリラ, “gorilla”), and kujira (鯨（クジラ）, “whale”)
We never knew the actual Godzilla, by we I mean most of us nestled between the birthplace of the giant and the West which so eagerly milked the concept for all its worth. In India, Godzilla is relatively well known, the Godzilla of Roland Emmerich. He gave us Independence Day and we loved it, it had action, aliens, patriotism and lots of stuff blowing up. In 1998 thus when he brought the monster from Japan to us we were thrilled. CGI which any self respecting designer would be ashamed of now was so riveting then. The movie got translated in multiple Indian languages and is still replayed on various TV channels across the nation on weekends.
Imagine the shock and surprise then when someone tells you that this movie that a young generation of a nation has enjoyed so thoroughly is considered one of the worst movies of the genre ever made. Godzilla is a Japanese creation, one of the daikaiju (strange creatures) from the tokusatsu films. The genre was made famous with dozens of TV movies containing special effects scenes with monsters stomping around and people running around. The gigantic water reptile made its first appearance in a movie in 1954 and since then there has been no looking back. The creature has grown with time to so that it can always peer over the tallest of skyscrapers. The story of its origins has always danced around an underwater nuclear experiment. Here is a look at some of the older Godzillas.
As you can see we have come a long way from men dressed in suits throwing rocks at each other, however the story lines have always been intriguing. This new venture released recently runs along a similar story line. There is a the usual rigmarole about explaining the legend and origin of the Dinosaur like creature, how they tried to kill it and so on. Ken Wantanabe plays a scientist who is working to track creatures like our famous monster which thrive on radiation. Then there is everybody’s favorite Meth Doctor Bryan Cranston who plays a misunderstood engineer searching for answers after a disaster at a Nuclear Power Plant. His son is played by Aaron Taylor Johnson, the kid from Kick Ass who has grown into a proper Hollywood hero type from the lovable Nerd he was a few years ago. Tying all this together is a new type of Monster which humanity must face but is not equipped to. Wantanabe was rather decent in The Inception, none of that is visible here with a more than generous helping of an accent to sell the appealing oriental nature of the movie. Bryan Cranston also holds little appeal in this movie, possibly because such supernatural monster flicks can hardly focus too much on people.
The monsters in itself are a tad disappointing. Godzilla being the fattest ever made and perhaps a testament to our times where even monsters suffer from obesity. In a classic “This world ain’t big enough for the two of us” , its a monster showdown movie ultimately. I guess with Avengers, Transformers and Pacific Rim these Epic Catastrophes are no longer as unique as they used to be. But to take a good and tested story and to not be able to deliver is a sad thing. Despite its criticism and cheesy lines I liked the 1998 movie much better, at least there was scope for humor. I am not overly fond of the concept itself though, while mildly entertaining the movie seemed mostly like a colossal waste of money.
Watch this if you liked Pacific Rim or have a really great sound system. Lots of sounds like cow violating acts heard through a metal pipe in this one.
This is a difficult movie to watch and can be demanding on the viewer too, although dietitians wouldn’t recommend eating while watching heavy action and violence, if you’d like my opinion help yourself to something heavy duty like this while watching this one.