For those that know me, this should be a movie for me. I LOVE giant monster movies. I have been a Godzilla fan since I was a kid, and I have seen a large array of kaiju movies. I even see the terrible ones. Yes I have seen the non-Godzilla Rolland Emerich thing. I have even seen Pulgasari -- the movie Kim Jong-Il had made by kidnapping a South Korean filmmaker. I have seen Garuda a Thai kaiju movie. I could go on and on.
To make a good giant monster movie, you need to follow a few simple rules.
- You need a reason for the monsters to exist and attack.
- Good - The original Godzilla existed because of atomic testing and attacked for the same reason.
- Bad - The marine iguana-like thing that attacked New York apparently always existed and picked New York for some nebulous reason -- and it was born pregnant.
- Good - Godzilla and Jet Jaguar are clearly the good guys when they face off against the Seatopian controlled Megalon and Gigan.
- Bad - Two earth children are kidnapped by aliens, so of course Gamera gets involved. Gamera totally cares about xeno-relations.
- Good - The family is the important part of this movie. The monster is just a plot device. It is about characters.
- Bad - Two words -- Michael Bay.
My only complaint is one of the complaints I had about Cloverfield. The monsters are too complicated. They are very Gamera/Ultraman like -- involved and weird. They just didn't work for me. It is my personal belief that kaiju should be simple. When we are working with giant monsters, we need to be able to get our head around them. It is difficult if they have so much going on.
This movie is what giant robots vs. giant monsters should be. It was fantastic! Now on to another US Godzilla movie -- cross your fingers!