Summary: This film has it all. Wonderful cinematography (great in 3D) with a plot tapping our archetypal fears and hopes. Its vision of the Leftist future will make you more woke. Best of all, it stars a woman much like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (in Demolition Man we learned that in the future all restaurants will be Taco Bell; in our future all Hollywood heroines will be Ocasio-Cortez).
“This is Godzilla’s world. We just live in it.”
For 65 years, films about Godzilla have tapped a powerful archetype: the superbeing who fights to defend us from mysterious giant foes. Like most archetypes, these terrify us in their pure form, so we tell them as domesticated stories. Sometimes that means placing him in the far past or future, on distant worlds, or in other realms. If the story takes place in the here and now, we tell it as a children’s tale to mute its impact. Critics whine that the Godzilla films have shallow characters and simple dialog. That is not a bug but an essential feature, allowing us to mute their impact. Otherwise these stories would remind us of our vulnerability to the great forces of nature, many unknown, before whom we are like bugs. But without a giant monster protector.
Compare Superman with Godzilla. The former is a handsome and caring man, careful not to hurt us while he fights terrifying foes. He is an angel for a secular people. Godzilla is a more realistic defender of humanity. He can fight monsters because he is a monster, just stronger. He shows little interest in us, a reasonable attitude for an invincible behemoth. His fights with other monsters level cities, as do the wars we wage on each other with our tiny weapons. He is a creature from the unknown, helping us for his own mysterious reasons.
The shattering events of Godzilla (2019) take place in a Leftist vision of the future. It is unisex. Men and women dress alike, mostly in drab grey and blue. They talk and act alike (the script need not distinguish between male and female roles). The women look like the men, except for the faces and hair. But except for the one Asian woman (the beautiful Ziyi Zhang, age 40), they appear quite plain. There is no appeal to the evil “male gaze.” The only marriage mentioned ended in divorce – due, of course, to the man’s behavior (drunkenness and fleeing his responsibilities). Half of the key roles are women, including scientists and senior soldiers. Plus the obligatory androgynous-looking hyper-competent 15-year-old girl with a unisex name.
But best of all, the bad guys are eco-terrorists (much like Thanos), whose victory leads to the surprise happy ending that will (so the Left’s activists hope) make millions in the audience become woke. The useful idiots of Hollywood don’t know and don’t care that this rests on one of the Left’s big lies: about the mass extinction now underway (for an explanation, see here, here, and here).
Eco-terrorist: “The mass extinction we feared has already begun. And we are the cause. We are the infection. But like all living organisms, the earth unleashed a fever to fight this infection.”
Rational scientist: “You are out of your goddamn mind!”
Eco-terrorist: [firmly] “I am sorry. But this is the only way.”
Heroine: “You’re a monster.”
Eco-terrorist: “I’m sorry.”
Important: stay for the end credits, in which you see the aftereffects of the events in the film. They are essential to understand the film.
Critics disliked the plot and dialog. I thought both quite realistic. People’s actions were often irrational, just as they are in life when people are under immense stress. The institutions involved functioned as dysfunctionally as they do in the real America. But the monster fights went on far too long.
Having seen all the classic Japanese Godzilla films, I rate this as average. It has none of the tight plotting and human interest elements found in Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975), and the Hollywood design of Godzilla is grossly inferior to that of the 1970s films (he looks overweight, even pudgy). Among modern monster films, it is top-notch.
One question for you as you leave the theater. What are the odds that the child, Madison, becomes an eco-terrorist? I hope they put her on an FBI watch list.
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Ideas! For some shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.
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- “Avengers Endgame” is three slow hours of fun and sorrow.
The great trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters