There came a moment in the new Godzilla film where, as I watched a group of nearly identical soldiers (new characters as far as I was concerned) walking down a train track, I realized that the protagonist had been there all along without my noticing. And even then, I couldn’t have told you with much certainty which one he was (before the other ones ended up dead, that is). I was not particularly angry about this fact, more quietly perplexed and disconnected until the GIANT MONSTER swooped overhead and I sort of forgot what I was perturbed about. That is perhaps the best way I can think to sum up a film that I am extremely grateful to have seen for free.
My presence at the premiere came with a certain amount of wonderful symmetry. As a kid I would sit side by side with friend D in a wood-paneled basement untouched since the 70s, and find myself enraptured by the many Technicolor wonders of the 1960s Godzilla spinoffs (we were even at an age wherein Godzuki did not seem like the most embarrassing of all possible franchise choices). Mothra and Mecha-Godzilla were far more the stuff of my nostalgia than the deeply atmospheric piece of nuclear anxiety horror that the original Godzilla was (which I later came to appreciate as a film geek).
Meet the film’s most compelling character. Don’t get too attached