I don’t think Hollywood will ever get monster movies right. We don’t know what it’s like to be a rising nation only to succumb to a greater power. Even when we’re attacked we retaliate tenfold. As solid as Gareth Edwards’s 2014 Godzilla was, nothing has ever matched the richness of 1954’s Gojira directed by Ishiro Honda.
Shin Gojira, English title Godzilla Resurgence (though Shin Gojira better translates to True Gojira) comes pretty freakin’ close to a believable monster story. Releasing July 29 of this year and co-directed by Shinji Higuchi (veteran SFX director, who helmed Attack on Titan), and Hideaki Anno (Yeah, THAT Anno of Neon Genesis Evangelion), the movie is shaping up to look like an absolutely beautiful nightmare.
There’s almost no dialogue or voiceover in this trailer at all. We see people and politicians talking, but we don’t hear them. What they say doesn’t matter, and when it comes to stories about gargantuan kaiju like Godzilla, the helplessness of humanity is kind of the point. You can bicker and argue all day, but doom is coming no matter what — and all you can do is wait or try to delay the inevitable. Is that awesome, or what?
I especially love how the trailer doesn’t quite feel like a punch-up spectacle. We’re not supposed to derive any kind of cathartic pleasure from watching onscreen destruction in films like Godzilla. We make movies like Man of Steel and San Andreas and we’re supposed to interpret the chaos as thrilling, but all they do, often, is numb us to images of societal panic. In this Godzilla Resurgence, the destruction is crude and blunt. There’s no slo-mo, stylized shots of the monster’s tail taking down stylish. It’s just terror made alive.
While Warner Bros. and Legendary hold the Hollywood rights to Godzilla, Toho — the original source of the OG kaiju — retains the Japanese film rights. This means the company is free to make its Godzilla movies, and frankly, we’re grateful.