[WARNING: This post contains possible SPOILERS for 'Godzilla.']
Just hours after the director of Godzilla detailed the history and nuance of the iconic creature’s roar (with Warner Bros. and Legendary encouraging fans to give their own attempts at imitating it), a brand new trailer for Asian markets has arrived, featuring not only more of the ear-splitting bellows but a clear look at the enemies Godzilla will be called upon to fight and what events will likely bring the two monstrosities to blows.
Previous trailers had kept Godzilla and his mysterious enemy in near-total secrecy, instead emphasizing the horror and tension fans could expect from Edwards’ take – but the latest trailer makes it clear that Godzilla intends to be one of the most action-packed blockbusters of the coming summer movie season. Whether it’s the lengthy look at Godzilla doing battle with a suspension bridge or the wealth of explosions, it seems safe to say that Jurassic Park fans will be just as likely to line up for admission as fans of the classic sci-fi disaster movies.
Given the abundance of CGI spectacle, it’s possible that fans may have overlooked some key scenes and lines of dialogue that also lay out the presumed plot of the film fairly clearly, and help explain how it is that Godzilla will be playing the part of hero. Recent TV spots and images have implied that other mutated creatures would be responsible for the widespread destruction glimpsed in the earliest footage, and this trailer confirms our suspicions (with far more impressive visuals than the toy line which already revealed the villain creature).
According to the new footage, the glowing, sucker-filled tentacle glimpsed in several trailers does indeed belong to the villainous creature(s?); it is these monstrosities that seems to have been the subject of Japanese experiments, and whose escape from containment kicks off the events of the film. With the world being torn apart, it is Ichiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) who offers a solution: the monster – no, the god – that has the power to stop the otherwise unstoppable menaces (Editor’s note: it’s possible the creature seen in both images is one and the same).
With the obvious tagline ‘let them fight’ – followed shortly afterward by a shot (pictured above) of the monsters preparing to do just that – it’s clear that however the characters of the film set about unleashing, directing, or baiting Godzilla into action, the film is one long build-up to the iconic creature getting to do what he does best and save the day for the rest of humanity. That’s all but expected, given the franchise potential WB and Legendary are clearly after, but a question remains: Where did Godzilla and the flying creature come from?
Previous trailers may help shed a light on the mystery: specifically those which revealed that 1950s atomic bomb tests in the Pacific Ocean were actually an attempt to kill Godzilla. Combine that failed plan with the images referring to the villain creatures as “Mutos” and it seems believable that while the radiation left Godzilla unharmed, it may have helped create the monsters bringing about the end of the world. Whether it was nature’s handiwork or man’s that created them, Watanabe’s words drive home the point: nature is balance. And in this case, nature will be playing the part of Godzilla.
Besides helping to explain exactly how Godzilla can be portrayed as a hero after destroying entire cities (he isn’t responsible), this potential plot helps take the atomic commentary of the 1950s that spawned Godzilla into the modern age. Radiation resulting in monsters the size of skyscrapers isn’t something modern audiences will relate to, obviously. But experts trying to exert mastery over events and beings outside their control, only to make things much, much worse? That’s something modern moviegoers can talk about around the water-cooler.
Obviously this is speculation on our part, but it’s certainly backed up by the footage and narration seen in the new trailer. Whether it’s the actual direction Gareth Edwards intends to take the fiction remains to be seen. And if nothing else, fans can now look forward to Godzilla and his enemy facing off in a truly toe-to-toe fight.
What do you think of our theories and the creature designs finally visible in the new footage? Are they the kind of updating you hope to see, or is it the action, not the themes you’re most interested in seeing? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Godzilla arrives in U.S. theaters on May 16th, 2014.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.