What a way to start (or end) the day, am I right? Toho drops a brand new trailer for Shin Gojira (internationally titled Godzilla Resurgence), the first domestic Godzilla film since 2004's Godzilla: Final Wars. Today I will be doing something I have not done before: a trailer review. It'll be an analysis of what we saw and some of my own thoughts an opinions on certain aspects of it. So without further ado, let us begin...
If you haven't watched the trailer yet, do so now!
So, right off the bat let us take a look at the one and only GODZILLA! I will not lie, when I first saw the leaked designs of the Godzilla prop from earlier this year, I was a bit mixed on the general look of it. However, those grainy cell-phone photos did not do the design much justice since after seeing this trailer, I have a whole new level of appreciation for the design of the character.
Godzilla looks like... well Godzilla for the most part! He stands upright, has four fingers and four (or is it five...) toes, has the classic the keloid scarred skin, and traditional dorsal plate designs. It's the whole package and then some. The design is very surrealistic. It is, by far, the most "nightmarish" incarnation of Godzilla to date, especially with the ominous red glow beneath his scarred body. If I saw this thing, standing at a towering height of 118 meters, lumbering towards me, I'd run like hell! It is terrifying, and that is the sense that co-directors Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi are going for. Godzilla's excessive scarring indicates that he's experienced a horrific event (perhaps a nuclear strike), or is healing from something. A popular fan theory is that this is the same exact Godzilla from the 1954 film that has undergone a complete regeneration since being disintegrated by the Oxygen Destroyer. That sounds neat and all, but I have a feeling that Shin Gojira will be a whole new story for Godzilla that does not tie into the original 1954 classic.
My only issue with Godzilla, based on what we see only in the trailer, is that he seems rather static. Like, he does not move a lot. I gave the trailer several viewings and Godzilla has a more "lumbering giant" sort of way of moving. He is so large that he has to move rather slow, which is true in nature as well. Maybe it's the way that the movie's wide shots make him that give me that impression. However, that's what Godzilla is essentially, a lumbering force of nature that nothing can stop.
All in all, I have really grown to love the new Godzilla design. It is different, but it is a true homage to what Godzilla is meant to be. While America's Godzilla is a heroic force of nature, Japan's Godzilla is an unstoppable giant walking nuclear bomb. I eagerly await to see what figures we get of this design. Hopefully we do get an S.H. MonsterArts figure of Godzilla 2016 this year and perhaps an X-Plus 30cm figure sometime after that.
Now that we've covered Godzilla himself, let's look at the human aspect of this trailer. We don't get any dialogue or any other sort of audio aside from Godzilla's shriek at the beginning and the haunting musical score. However, we do see a montage of scenes that hearken to a disaster film and an intense political drama, something that this film and the original 1954 Godzilla have in common. The trailer treats us to views of the main characters played by Hiroki Hasegawa, Satomi Ishihara, and Yutaka Takenouchi. The way that the threat of Godzilla is being handled by the government in this film seems very realistic when dealing with a situation like this, and not as campy with flashy futuristic super weapons as G-Force from the Heisei Godzilla series or the JXSDF from Godzilla x MechaGodzilla (2002) and Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (2003) have done. Godzilla is being attacked by conventional weapons in this movie and with little effect as it seems, obviously. However, something "unconventional" may be used against the King of Monsters towards the climax - I suspect.
I wish we had more human elements to add a bit more context or hint at a general plot for the film, but still. Much in Anno's style (as he's done when promoting his Rebuild of Evangelion movies,) the trailer remains ambiguous and shows things without context only to give off a sense of the movie's tone. What I got out of the trailer was a sense of melancholy. Godzilla is an unstoppable force of destruction, which has the Japanese government scrambling for a way to quell Godzilla's rampage. It's a huge tonal shift from many of the Godzilla films of the past. While Legendary's Godzilla gives a sense of hope, Toho's Godzilla gives off a sense of dread.
I am eager to see Shin Gojira whenever I get the chance. I am a huge fan of Hideaki Anno's work as well as Shinji Higuchi's, so I have high hopes for this film, something I rarely say.
What do you guys think of the new trailer for Shin Gojira? Share with us in the comments below!