If you’re like most of us, your productivity at work took a sharp nosedive today after that new Godzilla trailer stomped into our lives. It’s difficult to be productive when you’re watching a video over and over and over again all afternoon. After months of teases, oblique glances, and sparse hints about the upcoming reboot, the last few days have really delivered the goods on the giant freakin’ monster front (despite our name, we also go nuts for massive beasts as well). In addition to today’s teaser, we’ve seen stills, ominous videos, a viral website, and now a poster. It’s good to be a Godzilla fan.
In a trailer full of striking images, one that stands is the picture of the soldiers diving out of their transport plane, trailing plumes of blood red smoke behind them. This is what forms the basis for this new poster, these brave, perhaps foolish men, soaring through the sky, right towards a really big, really pissed off lizard that presumably shoots fire.
The juxtaposition of the grey and red works well in these promos. In addition to adding a sinister air right out of the gate, the foggy, hazy atmosphere also creates a dreamlike feel. As you fall through the sky, seeing the world from the perspective of a soldier you assume is Aaron Taylor-Johnson, there’s a sense of unreality. Things move so fast on one hand, but so slow on the other, and you’re not immediately sure what you’re looking at. Is that a cityscape, are those ruins, perhaps they’re some natural structure, like a mountain range?
In the midst of all of this you realize that something out there, something big, is moving, and then it’s hello, Godzilla. But even then, it takes a moment for the true enormity of the beast to sink in. This type of reveal is why director Gareth Edwards was the right choice to helm this reboot. In his previous film, the indie horror hit Monsters, you almost never see the titular beasts, especially full on. A big part of this was due to budget restraints, but Edwards used the limitations to great effect.
From what we see here, Edwards continues to use a similar approach. We do get good looks at the King of the Monsters. After all, that’s the money shot, that’s what everyone wants to see. But at the same time, it’s never entirely clear. He’s always a little obscured, hidden by smoke or shadow; a little off center, or seen through another plane, like goggles. Before he delivers the big picture, Edwards unveils his monster piece by piece, psychologically building the creature, assembling him in front of you. It’s an ingenious strategy, and yields nice results.
Aside from cranking our salivary glands up to eleven, and assuring us that Godzilla is going to kick a great deal of ass, this trailer doesn’t divulge much in the way of details. Here’s what we know for sure: there is a big ass lizard named Godzilla, and he plans to stomp the holy hell out of a city near you. That’s it. But isn’t that all any of us really need? We don’t know where he came from, where he’s going, what he wants, but right now, none of that matters, we’ll get there eventually, but not until our butts are in theater chairs.
Beyond that, we get flashes of the key players. We already mentioned Taylor-Johnson, but there appears to be heart-wrenching drama in store for Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston. Elizabeth Olsen also looks suitably impressed by Godzilla, not to mention appropriately terrified by what she witnesses. You wouldn’t have it any other way. We also get a quick peek at some very, very large missiles, which you can bet are going to lead to some equally sizeable explosions, so we have that to look forward to.
Legendary Pictures has a reputation for delivering fantastic trailers, even when the finished movie leaves much to be desired. However, if Godzilla is even a fraction as epic and badass as this teaser, we should be in for a damn good time.
Godzilla stomps theaters May 16, 2014.