Movie fans are pretty evenly divided when it comes to director Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla reboot from 2014. One viewer’s patient, crafty, and unnerving monster mash is another viewer’s self-indulgent and paper thin bore. I’m very much a member of that first group and think that the 2014 film is a brilliant way of reinventing one of cinema’s most famous monsters in a way that actually makes him feel like he actually matters again.
But sometimes, you really just want a guy in a giant lizard suit stepping on buildings and that’s where Godzilla Resurgence comes in. This Toho production has no connection to the new film and the new trailer showcases a film attempting to strike a tricky balance between paying homage to the past while boldly stepping into the future. It’s also one helluva teaser.
The trailer is in Japanese, but you don’t need to speak the language to appreciate what’s going on here. The footage is half rampaging radiative monstrosity and half soldiers and politicians looking practicing their best thousand yard stares in the face of utter oblivion. It seems that directors Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi (who previously worked together on anime Neon Genesis Evangelion) are looking to return the big guy to his horror roots with this film. This version of Godzilla is not going to go out of his way to save any cities or protect Tokyo from alien invaders any time soon.
Godzilla Resurgence is the 31st film in the main Godzilla series, but it’s not an actual sequel to the films that have come before. It is essentially a reboot, treating this as Godzilla’s first appearance in the world. That makes the Resurgence subtitle an odd choice (and it was already an odd choice, considering the mere existence of Independence Day: Resurgence).
Confusing titles aside, this trailer is full of striking images and chilling moments. I’ll be perfectly honest and admit that I was expecting something that looked a little outdated and silly when I clicked on the trailer, but I found myself drawn in by the sense of scale, the often stunning wide shots, and the pervasive sense of dread. That may be a man in a suit, but he’s being not like man in a Godzilla suit has ever been shot before. I’m very curious to see the final film and how all of this feels when placed into an actual narrative.
Godzilla Resurgence opens in Japan on July 29, 2016. There’s no way the rest of the world won’t get to see it in some capacity soon enough
by Jacob Hall