This is my first movie review for Gospel Spam. My qualifications: I like movies and I like to write. So, don’t expect any highfalutin prose or technical type-estry of the likes of Siskel, Ebert, Pittman, or Dodson. This review is just the opinion of one guy who thinks 99 out of 100 movies in theaters today are not worth the price of a movie ticket. Just sayin’.
I went to see the latest installment of the cult-classic Godzilla last night. The best part of the movie was my sister. No, my sister neither had a starring role in the film, nor did she serve as an extra. She neither had anything to do with the production of the film, nor did she cater lunch on the set. My sister simply joined me for a bro/sis date last night. We enjoyed wonderful fellowship, some Cold Stone ice cream (apple pie ala mode is still my favorite), and she was the most entertaining part of the film. It was a blast to watch her scream when expected, or punch me in the arm when she grew indignant of being startled, or pump her fist in the air when the alpha lizard took on the mega-parasites. It was a great night out with my sister, Cheri–a night I will always remember.
As expected, the theater was filled with an overwhelming number of 20-something men. Some came with a bro, a road dog, a homie. Others came in small packs. Many of them made that sound as they talked among themselves about the movie, before it started–that Spicoli, Beevis and Butthead-esque chuckle-grunt. There were several reasons why these men did not have women on their arms as they entered the theater. But that’s an article for another day. The new Godzilla movie is nothing more and nothing less than what one should expect from a movie of this genre–summer blockbuster, massive amounts of sanitized mayhem, the biggest…..lizard…..ever to cover a 60-year-old story line and high school thespian-level screen writing that has not improved with age, and wasted acting talent of those in the cast who can actually act. If you enter the theater with Saturday matinee and not film festival expectations, you will enjoy yourself. The movie is fun.
Of course, in a movie like Godzilla, where all eyes are fixed on monsters and special effects, where all ears are numbed by explosions and, quite frankly, the best Godzilla roar ever, most viewers will care little about the continuity issues in the story line and action–the most egregious being a scene involving a very big bomb, a little boat, and a brave seaman/soldier. Or other examples, which took me back to my childhood, were the many times handguns were drawn and pointed at Godzilla. I actually expected one or more of the characters to say, “Stop! Or I’ll shoot!” But again, the bigness of the action, which filled the screen to its very corners, does not allow for breaks in continuity to distract the viewer from what’s really important to the film–the critters.
Like the original Godzilla movies, this one is politically charged with embedded commentary on nuclear proliferation–everything from nuclear arms to nuclear waste is addressed. But nuclear proliferation is not the “great Satan” of this movie. The nuclear question is but a minion to the ruler of this world–the ruler being the world’s dependence on…..wait for it…..technology. You see; the main problem for the humans in the movie is not trying to figure out how to penetrate the scaly hull of a 500′-tall amphibian with a devastating projectile. The main problem is mankind’s present-day, utter helplessness without technology. Zap my iPhone and I’m like an ant on my way back to the mound when, all of a sudden, something very big puts a rock on the ground in front of me. Chaos! I’m lost! Siri! Talk to me, Siri! I need you!
Regarding the script, the movie will likely be remembered for one line. In the second half of the film, Dr. Ichiro Serizawa (played by Ken Watanabe) says, “The arrogance of man is to think he can control nature. It is the other way around. Let them fight.” This line expresses the typical, cultish worldview of the religion of naturalism–a religion that worships a mother (creation), while denying the Father (God the Creator). Yet God made it clear in His Word that, even in spite of the Fall of mankind and the curse of God upon this fallen world, man has and is to take dominion over creation, while, with eyes fixed on Christ, being a good steward of what God has created.
Another major theme in the movie was self-sacrifice. The entire Brody Family showed moving aspects of other-mindedness in the film. However, as encouraging as I found this aspect of the film, it also greatly troubled me. It troubled me because the unintended, metaphorical, and allegorical Christ-figures were so abundant in the movie I have no doubt that lazy, incompetent pastors around the country will soon advertise Godzilla sermon series to try to fill the seats in their theaters (I mean churches) during these lean summer months when church attendance is of less importance than recreation to many professing Christians. The movie goes as far as to identify Godzilla as “The King of Monsters and Savior of Our City.” The reality of Romans 1:18-32 is everywhere.
My sister was able to get us discount tickets. I’m glad. I would have felt guilty spending full price to see this movie. And I doubt it will be added to the family library when it comes out on DVD. But my sister and I still had a good time. Godzilla has come a long way from his early days of a guy dressed in a costume and kicking over Matchbox cars in a sandbox. But, beyond that, he hasn’t changed a bit. I like that.