I went to have a look at the new blockbuster movie called “Godzilla” expecting to see yet more destruction, more monster screaming, more women yelling in despair as a massive foot was approaching them.
I was not disappointed but I need to tell you that Godzilla was not the bad guy in this movie, he was the GOOD one. The bad ones were the MUTOs, massive insect-like creatures, one male, one female, both feeding off radiation (nuclear):
MUTO: Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism. It is however no longer terrestrial; it is airborne
— Admiral Stenz about the M.U.T.O.s (Godzilla)
So, here’s the storyline:
In 1999, scientists Ishiro Serizawa and Vivienne Graham are called to a quarry in the Philippines where a colossal skeleton and two egg-shaped pods have been discovered, one having hatched, and something has escaped to the sea. Near Tokyo, Japan, the Janjira nuclear plant starts experiencing seismic activity and in order to avoid the disaster, they evacuate the entire Janjira area.
Fifteen years later, the son of the nuclear plant director is an explosive ordnance disposal officer in the United States Navy, living in San Francisco with wife. When Joe is arrested for trespassing in the quarantined area, Ford travels to Japan to assist him. Intent on discovering the true cause of the catastrophe, Joe convinces his son to accompany him to Janjira for Sandra’s sake. Once in the quarantined area, they discover no signs of radiation. They then visit their old house to retrieve disks that would assist Joe’s quest to expose a cover-up. They are promptly arrested by local security and are then taken to a secret facility within the power plant’s ruins, built to contain a massive chrysalis, which is being studied by Serizawa and Graham. The chrysalis, which contains the monster that destroyed the plant, soon hatches and unleashes a colossal winged creature, which devastates the facility and flies off. Joe is critically wounded in the chaos, which eventually leads to his death.
Aboard the Saratoga, Ford is informed by Serizawa and his team that the creature he saw at Janjira was a MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism), an ancient creature which feeds off radiation. As the earth’s radiation subsided it moved underground and put itself in a cryptobiotic state. It in turn is being hunted by “Godzilla”, a much larger animal that was awoken during a deep sea expedition in 1954. Its existence has been continually covered up following numerous failures to kill it with nuclear weapons. Ford reveals that his father had tracked a form of echolocation from the Janjira area, which leads the team to believe the MUTO was communicating with something else.
A U.S. Army Special Forces team in Hawaii finds the wreckage of a Russian nuclear submarine in the mountains northwest of Diamond Head near urban Honolulu, and finds the MUTO feeding on its reactor. The military attacks the MUTO and a battle ensues at Honolulu International Airport. Godzilla arrives out of the ocean to fight the MUTO, in the process causing a catastrophic tsunami and devastating resort hotels and skyscrapers in Waikiki. The MUTO later flees by air. The second MUTO pod, which was brought from the Philippines to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, also hatches, and a larger female MUTO devastates Las Vegas before heading west. Serizawa believes the two creatures will meet to breed.
The military plans to kill all three monsters with a powerful nuclear weapon. A train is loaded with two warheads to take to San Francisco, but it is intercepted and destroyed by the female MUTO, which eats one of the warheads. The other warhead is taken by helicopter to San Francisco, where it is put on a boat and armed. The MUTOs, however, steal the warhead and the female MUTO constructs a nest around it in the middle of downtown San Francisco, threatening the lives of millions. Godzilla eventually arrives in San Francisco to confront the monsters.
While the MUTOs are distracted by Godzilla, Ford and a team of soldiers enter the nest to try to disarm the warhead. They are unable to disarm it due to the damage it has sustained, so they plan to take it out to sea and let it detonate.. The fight rages on between the three monsters. Godzilla is massive but slow and the male muto keeps on attacking it until Godzilla spins and impales the monster in the top of a tower.
I won’t tell you how it ends.
Good parts: The secrecy around the movie’s monsters made it impossible to guess how the monsters would look like. Godzilla also being the good guy for once. American movies with Godzilla have always portrayed the monster as being a horrible destruction kit sent to destroy the human race. While watching this movie I kept on thinking about some cartoons I saw as a child where Godzilla and his friends save the Earth by battling monsters:
After doing a little bit of research I found out that Godzilla in the Japanese culture appears in a lot of movies from the 1950’s until today, each time battling another arch-enemy, like a giant moth called Mothra:
or a three headed dragon:
Bad points of the movie: The views of the monsters is sometimes obstructed by the way the movie is filmed – by the fog, by wires, by windshield wipers, by lanterns swinging in the wind. I know there are a lot of shots where the monsters can be seen clearly, but I would have loved more.