Who's favourite part in 2014's Godzilla was Aaron Taylor-Johnson running around looking for his family? I'll tell you! No one's! Even Aaron Taylor-Johnson watches that movie and shouts "get that guy off screen, and gimme more monsters!" Although Godzilla was fairly well received, there was a consensus that the slightly dour and grim tone actually detracted from the experience, rather than make it believable to western audiences.
For so long, there has been a silent agreement that Japanese media can afford to be completely crazy, while American entertainment has a certain sensible dignity to it. That's all changing now. An increasingly media-savvy consumer combines with endeavours to expand franchises (think The Avengers, the Fast and Furious Movies, and [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870)) to form a new Hollywood landscape. Studios are coming to realise that their audience isn't made up of pedantic grandpas, but of people who, funnily enough, want to have fun. If I were Gareth Edwards returning for Godzilla 2, this would mean one thing; go nuts!
Being afraid of your own audience is one of the biggest restrictions on a director's creativity, while knowing they won't mock you for your final product is one of the greatest freedoms. With that, what crazy changes could Godzilla 2 make to improve on the first film?
Bring Back Classic Godzilla Enemies!
I'm not alone in saying one of the weakest elements of 2014's Godzilla was the "mutos". These creatures weren't terrible in their own right, but including them in Godzilla's second American production practically made them symbolic of how the film was just a little too scared of going all out in bringing Godzilla back. The whole movie felt like a kid choosing to jump off the middle diving bored, and this was one of the reasons why. Godzilla 2 provides a second chance, and boy do they have a plethora of choice!
Rodan, Mothra, Gigan, Baragon, Anguirus, the possibilities keep on coming. Gareth Edwards and Warner Bros have new antagonists for Godzilla 2 basically lined up for them! These monsters won't even feel like pandering to established Kaiju fans, since they're so well designed and in some cases iconic, that the average moviegoer will perceive them just as cool monsters. There's no deep backstory and explanation that makes comic nerds insufferable after a Marvel movie, just ready made good ideas. Use one of these guys, and you never have to rip off Cloverfield again!
I would personally love to see King Gidorah appear in Godzilla 2, partly because three-headed lightning shooting dragon, but also because it would likely force the filmmakers to write aliens into this universe, thus deepening the inevitable crazy spiral we're falling into. Also three-headed lighting shooting dragon.
More Monsters, Fewer Humans
It's something Hollywood has been fooling itself into thinking for years; that movies with big visually compelling spectacles need to be grounded in human drama. While this is true for some films, and is the reason obtrusive action scenes can sometimes feel soulless and redundant, we're encountering a situation where filmmakers need to choose one or the other. Do you want human drama, or complex and interesting visual spectacles? Because whichever you do better will detract from the other!
George Miller proposing that [Mad Max: Fury Road](tag:41445) will be akin more to silent cinema than to a traditional action film was the most exciting way he could sell that movie, and I genuinely believe Gareth Edwards would benefit from the same attitude. Sure, you can have some humans as a reference point to stop us losing track of the scale, but the filmmakers would benefit from admitting that we come to a Godzilla movie to see Godzilla, not Aaron Taylor-Johnson frowning and looking for his family.
Why not? We're all thinking it, so let's just come out and say it. The ultimate way Godzilla 2 could exhibit good will to this new Hollywood audience would be to conduct some sort of cross over with Pacific Rim. Here are some reasons why this would be possible!
- Both properties are owned by Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures.
- Both properties involve aliens and or inter-dimensional portals, so little narrative excuse is needed.
-Film is not actually real and therefore not bound by the logic of our boring lives.
My only doubt is based on the fact that Gareth Edwards generally took a vanilla approach with his feature debut, Monsters, and with the first Godzilla. Who knows though? Maybe his foray into the infinitely hopeful and ambitious world of the Star Wars anthology will make him more partial to the crazy filmgoing landscape we've all agreed upon in the past few years. Let's hope!