Director Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla should have been one of the best films of the 2014 summer blockbuster season. I want to stress the "should have" part there, because while it was certainly enjoyable in spots, it’s hard to look at Edwards’ giant monster movie and not see a whole lot of missed potential.
Luckily for all of us, the guys over at Screen Junkies have returned with a new installment in their Honest Trailers series, and this time they’ve aimed their rapier-like wits at The King of Monsters. It’s pretty much everything you were thinking while sitting through all 122 minutes of Godzilla, only with scenes culled from the film as supporting evidence.
The highlights of the piece include repeated call backs to the fact that Godzilla only appears in his own film for a whopping 11 minutes. Sure, the alien in Alien and the giant monster of Cloverfield got less screentime, but those are different examples. Everyone already knows what Godzilla is all about as a character. We know what he looks like. There’s no mystery to sustain in a movie where the title tells you you’re GOING TO SEE GODZILLA. Seriously, it’s like making a movie called "Brad Pitt" and then giving him 12 minutes of screentime where his face is consistently obscured by things in the environment.
Maybe the lack of giant lizard action would have been more tolerable if we’d have been allowed to spend time with the supporting cast. Everyone was thrilled to see Bryan Cranston in a role post Breaking Bad, so imagine our chagrin when we learn that he doesn’t fare any better in the screentime category. Plus, far be it from us to ever criticize Walter White, but his Japanese is pretty terrible too.
Of course, the one guy in the movie who can speak perfect Japanese, venerable actor Ken Watanabe, is basically around to utter one really cool line in broken English – "let them fight" – and then stare off pensively into space. Here’s an idea – let the great American actor speak English, and let the great Japanese actor deliver lines in Japanese. Or maybe just let the great Japanese actor talk. It’s enough to make you weep.
So, what were viewers treated to if they weren’t given an abundance of the holy trinity of Godzilla, Bryan Cranston, and Ken Watanabe? Why, the riveting tale of a bomb expert (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and his family. This is to say nothing of the fact that movie basically gives us a version of Mothra who ISN’T NAMED MOTHRA.
Some of my friends get really worked up about these Honest Trailer clips in the same way they got angry when Mystery Science Theater 3000 dared to poke fun at something they loved like Danger: Diabolik or This Island Earth. I’ve never entirely understood why. I mostly liked Edwards’ take on Godzilla, and sure, the Honest Trailers guys get a little nitpicky just to make a good joke, but most of these criticisms are valid. That doesn’t mean you’re wrong if you loved Godzilla – it just means you have terrible taste…wait, that’s not what it means at all. What it means is it’s okay to love something and still be critical of it. Now, watch the video and have a few laughs.