1 The New Godzilla Design!
Somehow, director Gareth Edwards found a way to take the original 1954 Godzilla design and turn it into something very modern yet classic, updating the monster with a finesse not usually seen in most modern day reboots. Godzilla: 1985 was the first time the U.S. got in on the excitement of releasing a new movie featuring the giant lizard, but it was still a Toho production and it marked the final film special effects art director Yasuyuki Inoue, who had been with the franchise since the beginning, would participate in. He gave the behemoth beast a fresh design that didn't stray too far from its inception. If you go back, you'll see that he retains the aesthetic, and its close to what we see here, in this new version. It wasn't until 1998 that an American filmmaker would completely bastardize the sea beast, churning out what is considered one of the worst Godzilla designs of all time (note: I'm not stating this as fact, its just what I've heard from fans throughout the last three decades). Roland Emmerich's version has its admires (and dang, they're hardcore), but his particular monster has been mocked numerous times in the many Japanese Godzilla sequels since its release. This new Godzilla, found here, standing in the rubble of a lost city, won't fall under that same scrutiny. It hasn't set out to completely recreating what has come before it. This feels iconic in every way. And we love what we're seeing so far.
8 years ago, we would have laughed and said, 'WTF?' Upon learning that Hal Wilkerson was about to go toe-to-toe with one of the most legendary monsters of all time. 5 season of Breaking Bad and plenty of award recognition and Emmy wins later, we've completely reevaluated who this man is as an actor and what he can do. And he looks pretty damn good in a Hazmat suit! He is one of our most versatile thespians currently working the circuit, and he is sure to bring something new to this age-old conceit. He's also not a mega-star like Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt, so there is no fear of him trying to overshadow what we came to see (Godzilla, duh!). But, on that notion, he's such an interesting, entertaining presence in nearly everything he does, he's sure to give some much needed levity to, and lift up, some of those 'down' scenes that the entire Godzilla franchise is built on. Go back and look at first few originals, and even some of the newer installments coming out of Japan. They are full of boring, tedious exposition. Here, it looks like Gareth Edwards has built a true story about these people, with Bryan Cranston and the relationship with his on-screen daughter, played by Elizabeth Olsen, at its core. He's then throwing Gojira on top of that, and letting the chaos ride. When it comes to Bryan Cranston, we can't think of a person better suited for this job. And listen, with names like Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Juliette Binoche, Ken Watanabe, David Strathairn and Sally Hawkins, the rest of the cast isn't so shabby either. In fact, we're going to boldly state that this is the best cast a Godzilla movie has ever seen (sorry Matthew Broderick and Jean Reno...and Raymond Burr).
3 Full-On Military Assault on Godzilla!
Pacific Rim is a great 'giant monsters vs. Mechs' adventure for the entire family. We're not disputing that fact. But when it comes to the fights seen in Guillermo del Toro's epic, its mostly a CGI affair. Here, we're going to witness real live humans going into battle. They will be directly interacting with the giant monster for some hand-to-hand combat. Which makes it a little more intimate, and not so distant. One of the cool things about the older Japanese movies is that the military has always tried to fight off Godzilla, it's a staple. A must-have moment. But they've always done it with toy airplanes and model buildings. Now, we'll get the real thing. And as we've seen with some of the behind-the-scenes photos, a great big bunch of it is practical photography. This is as real as it gets. We've always wanted to see how such a thing would play out in real life. Godzilla is finally realizing that dream for us.
4 The Destruction!
Wow! If there's one thing we love about a good Godzilla movie, it's the damage he manages to do over the course of his allotted two hour runtime. One of the most thrilling moments in seeing the 1954 original is watching this ominous presence rise from the sea to tromp on helpless citizens as it tears ass through skyscrapers and supermarkets. From the looks of things, this Godzilla is a stomp-master, and he's going to leave quite a bit of rubble in his wake. Equally as thrilling is knowing that once this massive action set piece comes to an end, near the beginning of the movie, we're going to see more monsters rise up later on, and do it all over again with twice as much power. Will Godzilla be a hero this time out, as he became in the original Japanese series? We're not sure, but one thing's certain. He's going to send some towering carcasses soaring through our most beloved cityscapes. And if that's not your idea of perfect escapism in cinema, we don't know what is!
5 Godzilla in 3D!
Just look at the reveal of Godzilla in this trailer. It is made for IMAX 3D. We've always wanted to know what it would be like to come face-to-face with Gojira in real life. This is going to be as close as we'll ever get. And if done right, it should give us nightmares. Playing into that notion is the P.O.V. shot from inside the paratrooper's helmet. We're going to see what these guys are seeing, and it's going to put us smack-dab in the middle of this fight. This is something long-time Godzilla fans have always dreamed of. Meeting the big green lizard up close. We're finally going to get that, here! And we couldn't be more excited.
6 The Kids Are Scared of Godzilla, Just Like The Good 'Ol Days
The best thing about seeing the new trailer is the chaos, and the shot of children running out of the school, both in fear of, and to marvel at, their new pal Godzilla helps bring more of that old school flavor to the surface. This is an iconic must-have moment in any Godzilla movie, and that it's included here, in the trailer even, makes us think Gareth Edwards is on the right track in bringing us a movie that will both please longtime fans and earn the trust and love of those new to the franchise. We honestly think this could be the greatest Godzilla ever made! (But honestly, just between us, go back and watch all the ones that have come before it...Its really not going to take too much effort.)
How excited are you after seeing this first footage from Godzilla? Is this what you want in your giant lizard movie? Or do you think no one will ever match what Roland Emmerich did? What about you die hard Ishirô Honda? Is it 'man in suit' for you forever? Or do you like this?
Godzilla comes to theaters May 16th, 2014 and stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Ken Watanabe, David Strathairn, Richard T. Jones, Sally Hawkins. The film is directed by Gareth Edwards.