Gareth Edward's 2014 take on Godzilla ran for a total of 123 minutes. Can you guess how many minutes of it actually showed Godzilla? (No cheating!)
How many minutes of Godzilla do you think actually showed Godzilla?
The answer is about 10. TEN out of 123. Just let that sink in for a second. This video below has complied his few, but incredible, minutes of glory.
Note: This video shows only 8 minutes, but it's been suggested that it has been sped up to avoid some copyright issues.
I knew after seeing it that I wished there had been more Godzilla, but I didn't realize that there had been this little.
To be fair, I see can what Edwards intended. He wanted to build suspense and a sense of dread, while also not just relying on the insanely cool CGI monster fights. I mean, it's not like we deserve, or even particularly love, the movies that stand on non-stop action. But at the same time, audiences are paying to see Godzilla, and he really didn't play a huge role in the actual story, like, at all. It was more a film about Aaron Taylor-Johnson struggling with all forms of transportation, while monsters are also battling it out and wrecking the city in the foreground.
While the mere ~10 minutes of Godzilla are a little disappointing time-wise, this was far from the first movie to pull the old bait-and-switch on it's audiences. Here are some other movies where the marketing promises didn't quite match up to the actual film.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
In my mind: Finally! Venom is going to be everywhere! He will be badass and it will be awesome. He is one of Peter Parker's main nemeses, so naturally he'll be a major villain. How fun!
In reality: Peter Parker becomes emo. Eddie Brock is a skinny twerp. Venom ended up being a secondary villain, even after Sandman. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't what I expected. Everyone had been waiting to see Venom for so long, but he was in the film for like 3 minutes total. We did get the awesome bell tower scene and their last fight, but that was about it. Maybe this was setting us up for a Spider-Man 4, but after Sam Raimi had a falling out with Sony, things just kind of fell apart.
Inglorious Basterds (2009)
In my mind: Oh cool! Brad Pitt and his ragtag crew are trying to assassinate Hitler and killing a bunch of Nazis along the way. Awesome!
In reality: This was still a great movie, it is a Tarantino film after all. But it was by no means a Brad Pitt film, and he is far from the main character. All of the marketing completely oversold Brad's part in the movie, and undersold the rest of the film. With actors like Chrisoph Waltz, Mélanie Laurent, Diane Kruger, and Michael Fassbender, they had enough star power to not have to rely solely on Brad. The Basterds have some of the best parts bits in the movie, but the story goes much deeper than just theirs.
The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)
In my mind: Tatted up, motorcycle riding Ryan Gosling stars in a movie about a bank robber trying to make things right as best he can and be a good as a father. He gets chased down by good guy Bradley Cooper. Ray Liotta is there too.
In reality: Gosling doesn't even make it out of the first act! This doesn't end up being an issue though. The rest of the cast were absolutely brilliant, the story really stands up as a great one, and the cinematography was gorgeous. The lack of Gosling in no way hindered the film, but his early exit was definitely still a shock.
Of course, the misleading marketing of these films didn't actually affect the quality of movies themselves (duh!). This isn't really a problem of overselling and under delivering. But it seems a little shady to push a certain character or actor in the marketing, only to have them play a small role in the actual film. In the end, I guess it worked! The deceptive trailers, teasers, and posters got me in the theaters and I rarely left disappointed.