First 'Godzilla' Reboot Footage Is Unsettling
It's silly to expect anything different. After all, we're talking about Godzilla here. A monster who has been bursting through buildings since he burst onto the scene in Ishiro Honda's 1954 film Godzilla. But, still, watching the first teaser for Gareth Edwards' 2014 reboot starring the likes of Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, and Bryan Cranston, I can't help but feel extremely unsettled. But, then again, I'm supposed to be.
The trailer — which has since been removed from the Web by Godzilla's studio, Warner Bros. — features only quick views of the towering monster destroying an entire city with what appears to be just a few bounds. Behind Godzilla rests a bounty of wreckage, a city suddenly still in the damage. The footage was awesome and encouraging from a pure filmmaking persepctive, to say the least, but, in the wake of many a real-life tragedy, it was almost too on point. With its burning skyscrapers and leveled streets, the Godzilla trailer immediately recalls images from some of life's actual events (9/11, the 2011 Japanese tsunami, etc.). And the trailer was made even more unsettling by the fact that it was backed by J. Robert Oppenheimer's post-Manhattan Project quote:
We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed. A few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita ... "Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."
It's a quote that makes sense in the context of the film — Godzilla was, after all, a product of atomic power. But it's still a bit perturbing to see Oppenheimer's quote — draped in real-life sadness and guilt over the deaths of those in Hiroshima and Nagasaki following his creation of the atomic bomb — used to publicize a disaster movie that claims to be "a spectacular adventure." Now, a Hollywood disaster movie isn't a disaster movie unless it comes complete with a message (hello The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, and so many more!) but Oppenheimer, in his post-Manhattan Project days, was a outspoken supporter of peace. Using his words to tease an on-screen brawl that will have moviegoers cheering while popping popcorn in their seats seems a bit... off.
That said, Godzilla's trailer, for the short period of time it was on the Web, proved the 2014 film is worthy of anticipation. (And, thankfully, nothing like the widely panned 1998 remake.) I just hope I don't need Mothra to keep me from getting depressed.