Returning to the Nuclear DNA of Godzilla

Director Gareth Edwards (Monsters) has admirably returned to the Toho roots of Godzilla 60 years on and made the Kaiju myth as relevant as ever, even adding a humanistic twist. Drawing on the recent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster as inspiration (what if it wasn’t a natural disaster?), and utilizing the best that CG animation has to offer, Edwards delivers the thrilling monster goods along with a sense of melancholy.

“Godzilla represents nature in our film and the MUTOS represent our abusive nature,” Edwards explains. “And so Godzilla is here because of our sins and our misuse of the power of nature, specifically using nuclear weapons and power. Even when they discover fossils at the beginning, we have to find it because we’re doing something wrong to the planet. And so in the middle of this beautiful rain forest we’ve carved out this quarry to benefit. I think the horror is best served when there’s guilt…”

Godzilla (which utilizes IMAX 3D to the fullest) is a return to storytelling from the late ’70s and early ’80s before our senses were assaulted. It takes its cue especially from Jaws and Alien by holding back and placing Godzilla in silhouette early on (Seamus McGarvey’s cinematography is a stunning combination of pseudo-documentary and hyper-reality in keeping with Edwards’ vision).

London-based MPC (under the VFX supervision of Guillaume Rocheron) shined in delivering its best creature work to date. New in-house tools were created for skin and muscles, while extremely high levels of detail were used by artists due to the close-up nature of the camera work on the 350-foot Godzilla, particularly with texture. Yet this is still a lizard and so a lot of time and effort were spent on poses and expressions. At various times, Godzilla not only expresses anger or frustration but also nobility.

Read the rest at TOH/Indiewire.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Movies, previs, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production

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