Noticing that there was a lot of Internet chatter regarding this rebooted Godzilla and, personally, I felt that a little was being lost in the Godzilla mania. The monumental size of the animal or the lack of a neck were petty asides and I felt compelled to shout from the top of my little mountain "Godzilla is a parable for the nuclear age" (If you are the type who does not want politics mixed up with monster films better to stop reading, and as I mentioned earlier, the precedent for this type of film goes back to the absolute beginning of the franchise- so hogwash if you think this is new). The ideas, themes, and issues that made the original Japanese cut of Gojira in 1954 such a nuanced "monster" film are still alive and well in 2014. How would this new film approach them?
OK so it appears that, at least from the director's intent, Godzilla represents more than just nuclear power- but an overwhelming force of nature that restores ecological balance to a disrupted world ecology. For me this is a much more potent ecological message- Godzilla is coming to clean up our mess. For the director to take this stance- Godzilla does not specifically represent nuclear, or exploitation of resources, or global warming - but in fact represents an avenging power seeking to redress these grievances, really extends out the deep metaphor that Godzilla always had.
"The arrogance of man is thinking man is in control of nature and not the other way around."
During several scenes in the film the character Dr, Ichiro Serizawa Ken Watanabe makes some poignant remarks and even describes Godzilla as the "top predator" of its radioactive ecosystem. I want to riff on this idea of "Godzilla as top predator". Specifically with regards to the thematic intent earlier as described by the director coupled with the current state of knowledge on top predators as ecological linchpins (insert discussion on trophic cascades, wolves return to Yellowstone etc etc). Is Godzilla 2014 a pro-top predator film? All the underpinnings for a system out of whack are present in the film- nuclear residue, environmental catastrophe, invasive and parasitic fauna that reproduce rapidly -and Godzilla is the putative hero (i.e. top predator) returning to a system that it has been missing in to restore equilibrium. I don't know if its the filmmakers intent but for me I can connect the dots.
Two tid-bits to look out for. There is an homage to Mothra and Jurassic Park in the film. Gonna look for others next time I watch it.
My only negatives for the film were not enough Cranston, not enough graphic post-rampage scenes of devastation like in the original where the mere proximity of Godzilla gave people radiation sickness, and I could do with out the whole Abber-Crombie and Fitch couple (Crantson's grown son and his wife)- completely extraneous. Otherwise I liked it.
While on the subject of top carnivores I have heard about this book and will probably get it sooner or later.
"With characteristic insight and clarity, Cristina Eisenberg paints the large-carnivore story across a vast canvas. Few can boil down the essentials like Eisenberg in prose that both informs and inspires. She has come through again with an engaging read about iconic species that put to the test our willingness to coexist with other life forms."
Support me on Patreon.
Like antediluvian salad on facebook.
My other blog southlandbeaver.blogspot.