Today my husband and I went to see Godzilla, against my better judgement. But my judginess wasn’t related to the quality of the movie, but to the mile-wide streak of yellow that runs through my soul. I’m a big baby when it comes to scary movies of any kind, so I was prepared to close my eyes and plug my ears for most of the coming two hours. To my surprise, I didn’t find the movie scary at all. In fact, I laughed out loud. Several times.
Granted, it’s a Godzilla movie, so I wasn’t expecting Shindler’s List or even X-Men: First Class. But after reading so many favorable reviews, I really wasn’t expecting an Independence Day-grade movie. Now, I’m not slamming Indpendence Day, but that movie is about a good time and very little logic; you can’t poke it too hard or all the fluff starts to show. Same goes for Godzilla.
I will also confess I had never seen any major monster movie, unless you count Cloverfield, or Pacific Rim, but I don’t. Especially Pacific Rim. My dear husband, on the other hand, is like many other men his age who grew up on creature features played on Saturday afternoons. Meaning, he was stoked. He enjoyed the movie immensely, but he agreed that after one of the major characters died, Godzilla began to rely too heavily on worn out movie crutches.
I offer you eight of the silliest things I took away from Godzilla.
SPOILER ALERT. LOOK AWAY! NOW!
8. Where’s the Evil Queen? When Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Ford) and his furrowed brows rolled into town to hop a nuke-train, the location was so obviously the same one used for Storybrooke on Once Upon a Time that it took me straight outta the movie. I even turned to darling husband and said, “That’s Once Upon a Time!” Kindly set folk, just slapping a different sign above Belle’s library doth not a new location make. Hello, British Columbia!
7. Are you talking to me? Ken Watanabe is a very talented actor. I was impressed that he didn’t bust a move or swing a sword once in the whole movie. However, how often did the camera find his Dr. Serizawa deep in thought, staring at some spot on the floor when someone turned to talk to him? I feel like he looked into another actor’s eyes maybe three times in the whole movie. He spent a large majority of his screen time talking to someone or something that wasn’t there. I almost expected to hear someone say, “Hey, Ken, I’m over here, buddy.” Those smart people are never on the same page as the rest of us, am I right?
6. Asst. Exposition. Speaking of scientists, I’m so glad Sarah Hawkins–who played Watanabe’s assistant, Vivienne–has appeared in plenty of other films, because she has very little to do in Godzilla, other than fill us (and Dr. Serizawa) in on what came before and what’s happening now. She must have been exhausted at the end of each day from looking so INTENSE when delivering all those facts. Exposition or not, she still had more lines than Watanabe.
5. Objects Are Closer Than They Appear. The camera focuses on Dr. Serizawa on the deck of the aircraft carrier. He is looking at the ocean through binoculars. [Dr. Serizawa POV] It’s Godzilla! He puts down his binoculars and… Godzilla’s right in front of him! Maybe he was looking through the wrong end?
4. Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water. [San Francisco] The monsters are coming. The nukes are coming. Evacuate the children! Across the bridge! That spans the very water ways where Godzilla is predicted to swim. Great plan! This genius strategy was capped off with David Strathairn turning to the camera and saying, “But there are still civilians on that bridge.” Well, duh! All that was missing was the dramatic removal of his eyeglasses.
3. Who forgot to lock the back door? After the A-Team figure out there’s a second Muto somewhere in Nevada, the military investigates a nuclear waste facility to find it. After entering the facility FROM THE OUTSIDE in trucks and various other modes of transportation, we see a group of soldiers going door-to-door in the storage area, shining lights in windows and looking for Muto Mama. They come to a door with bright light pouring out of the window. They open it and… THERE’S A GINORMOUS HOLE WHERE THE MONSTER ESCAPED into the desert. Think they could have spotted that on their drive in? And, oh wait, the TV shows the monster wandering down the Vegas Strip. Gee, mystery solved.
2. To Nuke, or Not to Nuke. Admiral David Strathairn decides the best way to take down these monsters is with their big nukes, set to an analog timer, so the Muto’s electromagnetic pulse won’t shut down the bomb. Assistant Exposition points out that our monsters will only come running like they just rang the dinner bell. Military men say the blast will be big enough to kill them. Guess what? For each nuke, a monster gets another snack, not a big hold in its chest. The nuke on an analog timer ends up being a bigger risk than a solution. I guess Assistant Exposition knew what she was talking about! The whole point, of course, was to lead up to, “Let them fight.”
1. Remember when I said EMP? Okay, so everyone figures out very early on that the Muto can shut down anything within several miles with its nifty glow-in-the-dark EMP. But how many planes have to fall out of the sky, and how many ships have to be lost at sea, for them to stay the frick away? Or at least stop depending on all your electric gizmos? Sure is convenient that every time the good guys get close to taking down a Muto an EMP goes off and EVERYTHING gets FUBAR. Along those lines, how smart is it to provide an aircraft carrier escort to a monster who can cause tidal waves at unpredictable times? Whoops! Godzilla flipped over our ships. AGAIN.
Regardless of the laughable moments Godzilla provided, the whole crazy ride was worth it to see… well. That part I won’t give away. Let’s just say, Godzilla’s brand of swapping spit is mighty lethal.
Am I wrong? Comment below.