A few days ago, like most Internet denizens, I brought up YouTube to watch the brand-new trailer for Gareth Edwards’s film version of Godzilla, coming this summer. And, like most who reloaded it multiple times, goggling at the waves flooding a small coastal town and Bryan Cranston’s desperate shouting to others about the impending danger of the Big Green One, the trailer caused me to embrace my inner ten-year-old, who spent far too many Saturday mornings and afternoons glued to the television resting in the corner of his apartment as it took him to Monster Island, where Mothra, Mecha-Godzilla, Rodan, and other oversized monsters did battle among scientists who knew almost nothing of real science, screaming mobs, and military men growing more and more desperate to save Japan from more destruction. Add to this elements of Ligeti’s “Requiem” and I was able to feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I even forgave the loud BWAARRP of horns that seems a permanent fixture of the modern American movie trailer. I was excited.
And then held myself in check. Yes, it looked good. Yes, Edwards, with his landmark Monsters, seemed knowledgeable enough about genre and genre tropes to make an interesting movie. It looked impressive, and even somewhat scary, much in the manner of Ishirô Honda’s 1954 classic…
And therein lay my problem.
This was a remake.