When mon­sters mas­ter movies

Hu­man sto­ries have al­ways been at the heart of dis­as­ter films, but a re­cent re­lease ques­tions whether hu­mans de­serve heroic sta­tus next to mighty mon­sters. Cine­mad­dict takes a look.

Kapi-Mana News - - MOVIES -

Hol­ly­wood likes to play fast and loose with our ir­ra­tional fears in its big budget block­busters.

In the 1990s it was as­ter­oids ( Ar­maged­don, Deep Im­pact) and aliens ( In­de­pen­dence Day). In the noughties, it was ma­chines.

Al­ways at the heart of the films were the hu­man char­ac­ters stand­ing up to ad­ver­sity – Bruce Wil­lis blows up that as­ter­oid for his lit­tle girl, Will Smith blows up that mother­ship for his son.

But as au­di­ences de­mand ever big­ger and bet­ter threats, what place do cin­e­matic he­roes have next to Movieland’s mega mon­sters?

In Godzilla( 2014, di­rected by Gareth Ed­wards), tech­nol­ogy and fam­ily story play sec­ond fid­dle to the one about how we are na­ture’s play­thing.

Ex­chang­ing the nu­clear anx­i­ety of the orig­i­nal 1970s films for mod­ern anx­i­ety about our place in the food-chain, Godzilla spends a lot of time mak­ing sure we know just how point­less we ac­tu­ally are.

Start­ing by ir­ra­di­at­ing liv­ing god­dess Juli­ette Binoche within five min­utes of her turn­ing up on screen and end­ing with Godzilla’s com­plete in­dif­fer­ence to hu­mans, Ed­wards has no in­ter­est in mak­ing us feel bet­ter about our prospects.

His mas­sive mon­sters smash, crash, and roll over our cities and lives, swat­ting planes from the air like flies.

Even our tech­nol­ogy – in this case a hefty nu­clear bomb – is just the next monster’s din­ner. As for the hu­mans? They’re in­ef­fec­tual, largely plot­less, driven only by the megabeast’s de­struc­tive tra­jec­tory.

The fi­nal in­sult: the most touch­ing ro­man­tic scene in the film isn’t even be­tween hu­mans.

Ed­wards’ Godzilla seems to re­mind us, bluntly, that hu­man­ity is tiny in the face of awe­some na­ture.

A re­cent re­port pre­dicted that in 100 years, ris­ing sea lev­els will ren­der coast­lines un­recog­nis­able.

As Godzilla lum­bers from the deep, stomp­ing good guys and bad guys with­out distinc­tion, lay­ing waste to ev­ery­thing in his path, it’s as if Gareth Ed­wards knows there re­ally is an un­stop­pable force of na­ture com­ing to get us from the briny.

It’s not a

100- foot

tall pre­his­toric monster that breaths ice-fire, but like Godzilla it will not care how big our guns are or how much we love our spouses and chil­dren.

And it’ll run the show.

Puny people: Hu­man prob­lems make the big guy yawn in Gareth Ed­ward’s dis­as­ter movie, Godzilla.

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