Thursday, April 26, 2012

Son of Godzilla: When Things Started Going Wrong

I've been on a Godzilla kick as of late and have been watching these movies in chronological order. So far, it's been great, and while I knew that the series was going to start going downhill, I had yet to encounter a Godzilla film that I could stand back and say, "wow, now THAT was a piece of shit." Which brings me to Son of Godzilla. Son of Godzilla stands as the first bad Godzilla film, and the first sign that the franchise was going downhill. While I didn't notice any stock footage, there were other things that stood out and killed my enjoyment of this film. They are:

Godzilla's weak. He looks more like a muppet and is more loving in this film. For the first time in the franchise, Godzilla isn't scary at all. He looks downright adorable at times.

The villains suck. Even that fucking giant shrimp from Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster at least had some kind of story and a background. People knew he existed, feared him, and took precautionary measures when having to get around him. I don't care what their names are, "giant spider" and "giant praying mantis" just aren't good characters when they randomly fly in and out of scenes and have little build-up. I don't care if that girl's journal mentions the giant spider before he shows up, it's still weak and doesn't build any kind of anticipation for his appearance. Sure, they look good and the suitmation on them is fantastic, but why should I care about them when no one on the island seems to view them as anything other than an inconvenience?

This is yet another fucking movie where Godzilla is either defeated or nearly defeated by bukkake. I'm sorry, I mean having an insect squirt a sticky white web/silk all over him.

The human story in this one is embarrassingly shitty. I'm not going to pretend that it was all that great in the previous films, especially Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster, but at least you knew what the motivations were and could at least get somewhat invested in these characters. This film was a major instance of the screenwriter just phoning this shit in. How the fuck will freezing an island solve world hunger? Just temperature control in general? BULLSHIT! I know "solving world hunger" is supposed to make these scientists "noble," but their performances were dull enough that I didn't care about them or their stupid little experiments.

The island girl sucks, and her romance with the reporter is cheap and retarded. It's about as believable as that stupid movie where that guy from Friends and Salma Hayek fall in love and get married. And this is going to be the pig in me talking, but could Toho at least have given her a skimpier bikini to swim in? Fuck, the wardrobe for the boy in Godzilla vs. Megalon is more revealing than what this island woman wears.

Minira isn't too bad, but his theme song ruins everything. When he battles a monster and you hear that music, you just can't take the fight seriously. You know it's going to be wacky and cute, and therefore, you CAN'T get invested in it. The filmmakers are just daring you to care about the outcome of the battle at that point.

The Godzilla/Minira training scene isn't that bad. I can live with it. Unlike everything else in this piece of shit film, at least there's some character development going on here.

I know Godzilla monsters have tough skin, but a newborn Minira getting poked and prodded by two preying mantises and escaping without a scratch on him really pushes it, especially considering how doughy and soft he looks.

The final battle between Godzilla and the spider is slooooooooooooooow. Godzilla just stands there while the spider squirts all over him and Minira freaks out. Why Godzilla didn't just keep unloading his firebreath on that fuck is a mystery, because that's how he finally defeats it.
 The "don't worry, Godzilla's gonna live and be OK!" ending infuriated me, as did "hey look, our rescue ship is actually a submarine!" I don't know why the submarine bit pissed me off, but it just seemed like yet another lame bit thrown into the mix. 

I absolutely dread watching Godzilla's Revenge, because if I remember correctly, it's even worse than this one, even if Minira is working as an alter-ego for the main character or some shit. Now keep in mind, I don't hate Minira, and I get that the films are being dumbed down for kids. My main problem is that everything about this film was so lazy that I couldn't stay invested in anything that was happening, and having Godzilla's main villains being random-ass bugs makes it even worse because you're robbed of a potentially cool back story for the villain. And yes, the human story does matter in these films, because a Godzilla film is typically 1/3 Godzilla and 2/3 everything-that-leads-to-Godzilla. Just give me a little fucking context for these giant monster battles, please. That's the bare minimum you can do.

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