Thursday, August 17, 2017

Litany of Godzilla: Toho Reboot/Shin Series- Rewriting Biology

Shin Godzilla
(a.k.a. Godzilla Resurgence)

The classic Toho logo and roar starts this reminder of who will always make better Kaiju films than we do, even when they level the playing field by starting all over again.

Like previous starts of Godzilla mythology, an abandoned boat is seen floating listlessly on the sea…

Until it explodes for no reason and is surrounded by blood.  Some of that blood, or more accurately an insane and disgustingly chunky amount of that blood, also floods the newly smashed Tokyo Aquiline tunnel.

The Japanese government fusses a lot, and has meetings.  They come up with a series of ever stupider and geologically less possible reasons what could have caused it.  They finally decide to take a major action…

And call another meeting.

A meeting that is so long and colossally boring, the movie goes blank for a moment to tell everyone they skipped part of it.

Our Hero Yaguchi raises the point that he’s witnessed a giant creature a couple of times. Everyone laughs and yells at him, because they’ve never seen any of these movies before.

In the middle of their belittling, a hugenormous tail splashes out of the ocean on the television that every important government meeting has on in the back of the room.

They quickly title it a Giant Unidentified Life Form.  Luckily, they have a sustained argument about whether they should kill it, catch it, chase it, or leave it alone and hope it goes and does something with itself, before anyone can dub it GULFzilla.

Quickly rushing into yet another meeting, a group of environmentalists are brought in to stare at the government.  They go on to suggest it’s fake while it plows through the harbor.

Miss Horomi shows up from the environmental ministry to figure things out and frown. She looks at a blurry picture and proclaims it has gills and legs.  Experts chime in to say it can’t come on land because it would be unable to support its own weight.  This is odd since it must already be doing that in the shallows of the Nomi River.

The government holds another in their endless series of meetings, this time a press conference.  They firmly and categorically declare it cannot come on land.

Then it does.

It comes on land because it has transformed from whatever we didn’t see under the water, to a poop colored, googley eyed, Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent with floppy feet and a rash.

Blood gushes out of its gills for grossness reasons while the government worries that it’s going to pass through a city that is dense and brittle…

Much like the plot.

The government, in another staggering display of ineptitude, realizes they have no idea how to evacuate a whole city. Therefore they issue a statement that boils down to, “Everyone run for it!”

Naturally, this leads to impenetrable traffic jams, and the police and other municipal forces have to jump in to get people moving…which was pretty much all the plan they would have needed in the first place.

Terrible and unspeakable death and destruction are caused by the goofy looking thing.

The Japanese defense force isn’t authorized to act because the monster isn’t from another country.  The United States can’t do anything because they’re only allowed to help the Defense Force, not act independently.  In another round of Godzilla Vs. Bureaucracy most of the government is advocating no attacks against the giant floppy, blood flooding beastie smashing the town, because it might make it angry.

The Prime Minister declares an emergency anyway to let the J.D.F. take action, and everyone decides the Apache helicopters will stop it.

Our hero Yaguchi reminds them how well overconfidence worked back in the forties, because he doesn’t have any old Godzilla films to show them in this universe to make that point.

Before the copters get there, the thing flops to the ground and the classic Ifukube theme plays.  It transforms again, growing arms and the ability to stand upright while issuing the classic roar.  Yes, the new Godzilla works a lot like the Smog Monster.  It almost looks correct now, but kind of overcooked and rotten. 

Phase Three of the monster goes back to smashing stuff. The Apaches arrive, but since the monster doesn’t match their initial description, they have to wait for orders.

The world will not end with a bang or a whimper, but with a fetish for protocol.

An old guy walks though the destroyed and Kaiju filled area giving someone a piggy back ride prompting fifty-seven separate people to ask permission for the Apaches to fire with a civilian in the zone.  The answer finally comes back, “No.”

Rotty G falls down and squirms through a bunch more buildings, likely dumping at least one of them on the folks they decided to protect by not shooting at the giant monster.

The next day, somehow they’ve lost him. He’s back in the water somewhere, and happy music plays, until they remember to show the damaged areas.

Our Hero Yaguchi assembles a team of free thinking pains in the butt (that’s a quote) and a big room full of photocopiers.

Most of the Geek Squad believes that its impossible that the creature can be nuclear powered.

Then evidence arrives from frowning Miss Horomi and on television that it is. 

The main “it’s impossible” guy tantrums out ridiculously for a while when, once again, the general public is far more informed than anyone in the government, before apologizing.

To help out, they bring in half Japanese, super competent and connected, American liaison Miss Patterson. The only evidence that she’s not all Japanese is a bit more hair and makeup products, the revelation that she came straight from a party, and a request to dispense with most of the Japanese formalities, giving her far less of a stick up her butt than the rest of the cast.

She brings word of crazy old Japanese scientist, and boat abandoner from the start of the film, Goro Maki. The U.S. knew about the monster and was responsible for the illegal radioactive waste dumping that caused it. Japan had some blame in its creation and covering it up as well, so crazy old Goro found the Big G and didn’t tell anyone, thinking Japan deserved punishment. 


He made a giant mandala/ maze/ Spirograph picture and jumped in the water to die with the monster.  The DOE named the creature Godzilla from the Ohdo Island word meaning God Incarnate.  The Japanese then translate that to Gojira.  Weird.

In case anyone had gotten too involved in these revelations, there are some more government meetings.

The meetings reveal that Crazy Old Goro’s data shows Gojira’s DNA has eight times a human’s genetic information and mutates itself instead of evolving. It also reveals why Gojira  turned aquatic again-  to cool its nuclear reactor like self down.  Coagulants are suggested, not because they saw Space Godzilla, but because stopping blood flow will wreck the Big G’s internal cooling system and cause him to do a core dump.

An interesting theory when they have no idea what a “core dump” would mean for a giant radioactive dinosaur in the middle of Tokyo.

The city at night is filled with chanting, nutty Godzilla worshipers, because…Japan.

The King Kaiju finally gets bored with all of the meetings and resurfaces to another Ifukube classic in Kangawa.  He’s even bigger than any Godzilla ever and looking a little better. Still has some unfinished glowing red spots though.

With deity level destruction returning to the land, it’s time for more meetings.  Our Hero Yaguchi’s awesome coagulation plan isn’t ready, so they go with the “shoot it so it goes away from Tokyo” plan.   

Tanks, F-16’s and Apaches mobilize…

But only the helicopters begin the attack, and shoot Gojira in the face.
Nothing happens.

Then tanks shoot his legs while artillery goes for his head. Missile trucks join it along with the F-16s.  The Big G is covered with explosions!  Surely this will work.

Godzilla changes direction away from Tokyo! YAY!

He then kicks a bridge onto the tanks, and turns back toward his original path.

Nice work everyone.

Because he’s now walking through unevacuated areas, they can’t shoot at him as he levels all the buildings.  The Geek Squad is impressed by his power.  The U. S. sends B-2’s to carpet bomb the snot out of Tokyo, causing another (very quick) meeting to evacuate the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, and the Geek Squad.

After projecting blowing up the entire city, the B2’s do what they’re designed to and nail the King of Monsters with a couple of precision delivered bunker busters, blasting out fountain of blood. 
Godzilla’s reaction is to glow purple, hyperextend his jaw in both directions and vomit forth a city vaporizing cloud of energy and fire. It eventually concentrates into an even more city vaporizing beam that takes out the bombers and much of Tokyo while a choir sings about how Godzilla is sad.


The Geek Squad realizes, “He is a god,” as two more bombers come in.  He not only breathes the purple beam at them, but his spines each fire off multiple purple beams that get the B2’s, the rest of the city, and the Cabinet’s helicopter. Good thing the Geek Squad had to take the bus.

Our hero Yaguchi flips out, but the Second Geek calms him down, Gojira takes a nap, and the acting Prime Minister laments his noodles are soggy. 

Dude! Priorities!

Many more meetings are held and everyone acts very Japanese.

In other typical political maneuvers: China and Russia want to take Godzilla multinational, meaning they want to take him for themselves.  The US and Japan, meanwhile, think they should remain in control.  This causes the Geek Squad to grow with American assistance, while other western nations chip in as consultants.

The Big G’s spine beams are explained due to the fact that he has radar now, because…


Why the hell not at this point?  

It’s theorized he could also grow wings, or sprout a clan of little Godzillas with that adaptive ability.

Given this information, the United States wants to nuke him, because that always works so well on radioactive creations.  Political Party Girl Patterson refuses to leave the area, because her Grandmother lived through the World War Two nuclear bombs, and she’s feeling more connected to her Japanese half at the moment.

Yup, time for still more meetings, a big angry one, then a two person one, and back to the Geek Squad for the “Why dropping nuclear weapons on the nuclear reactor monster is a bad idea,” meeting, complete with the obligatory, “man is worse than Gojira” clause.

There’s an awesome Rock and Roll Geek Squad montage of them working to implement Our Hero Yaguchi’s coagulant plan, before the big one is scheduled to hit Tokyo.

Godzilla, tired from blasting energy out of many different parts of himself and likely bored by all the meetings, is still fast asleep.

In one of those, a discussion is held citing the problems of evacuating Tokyo in two weeks AFTER half of it has already been Gojira-ed. In another, just for variety’s sake, the meeting is on a park bench.

The outcome of several of these meetings, including the park bench one, is that Crazy Old Goro’s mandala/ maze/ Spirograph thingy is actually an origami Mad Magazine fold in, which reveals the Big G’s biological structure.  (Regenerator G1 Cells anyone?)  It also shows Our Hero Yaguchi’s plan ain’t gonna work.

Luckily, in a random cut to some German scientists, they solve Crazy Old Goro’s riddle and come up with an inhibitor for the G Cells.  Amazingly, it takes only two meetings to come up with a five step plan to get this to work.

Our Hero Yaguchi’s plan is now named Yashiori, after the sake used to make a Hydra sleep.  (I’m guessing there was some issue with the subtitle translations, or I was sick that day in mythology class.)

Political Party Girl Patterson gets U.S. help for plan Drunken Hydra from her faceless senator contact (her father??) at the risk of her political future. This leads to the second and now international rockin’ Geek Squad montage, culminating in Our Hero Yaguchi’s, “You’re all gonna die but this is important,” speech.

The “Monster Zero March” cranks up as they smash a bunch of exploding trains into Godzilla, waking him up.

So far, Plan Drunken Hydra is less than impressive.

Boatloads of drones fly in and are shredded by the King of Monsters' shiny new back rays.  This is also part of the plan.  The radiation count grows and many buildings fall down.  This is probably not part of the plan.

The drones continue in six waves doing worse each time.  The back rays stop to be replaced by a beam shooting out of the…


Now the buildings falling down are part of the plan, as they’re knocked over by planted explosives and cruise missiles on the Big G to hold him down. 

A bunch of cranes with hoses on them drive up to squirt the coagulant into his mouth.  Sixty-two years of Godzilla stories and I’m still not making any of this up.

Of course, next to his mouth is the best place for any plan when dealing with a radiation breathing behemoth.  Gojira exhales all of the pumpers out of existence and gets back up…

Only to be knocked down by a new wave of a metric crapload of exploding trains, which is a heck of a trick considering the first wave likely incinerated the tracks.

The second construction crane fleet drives hoses into his mouth, and to no one’s surprise, he eats them.

Godzilla returns to his feet ready to unleash more destruction, and then due to, “Hey! Physics!” freezes solid.

Well that was anticlimactic.

Major bows are taken for everyone who came up with the marginally less destructive than bombing the city out of existence solution. Special considerations are given to France for holding the longest and most boring meeting of the film to delay the nuclear option.

Our hero Yaguchi is thrilled that the Big G’s half life is short enough that he’ll be totally gone fairly shortly, or something. 
That is, of course, unless he moves, and then Tokyo still gets vaporized.

The government rebuilds, the refugees celebrate, Frowning Miss Horomi smiles, and Our Hero Yaguchi and Political Party Girl Patterson bond with their plans of leading their countries in ten years.

Our story finishes with the visual evidence of Crazy Old Goro committing suicide by leaping into the water with absorbing G-Cell owning Godzilla.

The end of Gojira’s tail is frozen but made of a plethora of little Godzilla/human skeleton hybrid thingies!

Because this story was clearly not weird enough or full enough of things I need to explain that I did not make up already.

Disclaimer for those new to my Godzilla summaries:  This movie was a hoot, the meetings were amusing satire and there was enough Kaiju screen time compared to human stuff. It's just funnier to write about them this way.

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Legendary Litany

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