Those following me on Facebook are well aware that I, along with a little over 100 SXSW attendees, were treated to an extended clip from the 2014 movie by Mr. Edwards himself!
Man oh man oh shevitz, THAT was a thing, lemme’ tell ya.
Again, it has been recounted in many other places the play-by-play of exactly what went down, but it is impossible to convey the raw awesomeness in words alone. I daresay this flick is gonna’ be a crowd-pleaser. That said, I’ll just run through the highlights of what I saw.
- Aaron Taylor Johnson is escorting a little Japanese boy that I think he’s just keeping an eye on during this segment of the film. Not sure what the story is there, but they’re on a monorail when the power goes out.
- SOMETHING’S going on out in the Hawaiian jungle, and it starts a fire that catches the attention of attendees at a luau. Suddenly, a little girl notices the water from the shore receding…and people start running, because, y’know, tsunami….OR SOMETHING WORSE.
- Ken Watanabe, on the deck of a battleship, spots something offshore. Through his binoculars, he spots one….two…THREE spines jutting from the water. A comparison to G’98’s fishing dock scene would not be unwarranted, but this is bigger and substantially more terrifying.
- As in the trailer, Godzilla passes underneath the boats - this scene had the most animatics, as it was an work-in-progress.
- A dog on the beach starts barking at the oncoming waves, then thinks better if it and bolts. He joins a crowd of people running their asses off from the oncoming waves. Imagery reminiscent of the Fukishima tsunami from 2011 is featured, as people on the rooftops look down at the mass of debris and water filling the streets.
- Then, Godzilla looms through the city. Unlike in G’98, where his body is hidden by buildings for the first act, his size is emphasized by being SO BIG that the camera simply can’t contain him. It’s all from a very human perspective, so even the audience feels like ANTS.
- Surprisingly, the armed military personnel on-hand over the rooftops unload on Godzilla with high-powered assault rifles…right over the civilians’ heads. But when it becomes apparent that Godzilla doesn’t even NOTICE them, they just stop shooting and stare in helplessness.
- At the airport, the lights come back on, as Johnson had assured the child they would, but through the interior shot of the monorail, we see something positively GHASTLY poking about the airfield. This is the Winged M.U.T.O., and it moves about like a giant mosquito, lights dancing around its body (bio-luminescent?). It sees the monorail coming, and even the audience reacts as though they’re inside the monorail. It bites the car in half, and Johnson barely saves the boy.
- Military choppers begin firing at the monster, but it doesn’t seem to do much good. Suddenly, a massive fin rolls into the POV of the chopper, and clips it, sending the vehicle plummeting to earth.
- The famous shot of the airplanes exploding in a domino effect plays out, but goes on just long enough for Godzilla’s MASSIVE FEET to come into view. They are huge, armored, and blot out the light from the explosions.
- The M.U.T.O. turns and notices Godzilla. It flares its wings and bares its mandibles, shrieking and recoiling like a cat that’s been cornered.
- The big money shot is right here. The scene cuts to a shot of Godzilla’s feet and lower body, from the front, then pans up to fully reveal the Monster King. He splays his arms and angles his head low, belting out a TERRIFYING roar! It is an image that unmistakably says “I AM HERE TO END YOU.”
Take from that what you will.