Playing EPIC in 28mm.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Godzilla (spoilers !)

Happy Friday 13th !  I'm writing this on Wed 04 Jun 14 - my last night away on the project I'm leaving this week - new job soon (same employer). Ok, so this post technically contains spoilers if you have not already seen this spring's Godzilla film.  But, 'onest 'injun', none of them are surprises.

Cover photo

I came across this:


Now, don't misunderstand my criticism for dislike. This criticism is criticism as in criticism, not as in criticism, kapeesh ?


The modern US military have, I expect, an uneasy relationship with Hollywood. Hollywood wants to depict aircraft carriers and other hardware, the film (any film, not just this one) involves a lead character who is an officer in the services.  Hollywood shows US servicemen in a fantastic light, performing super human feats of endurance above and beyond the call of duty, for all the best of intentions.  And the hardware is often shown off to good effect as well.  In this film in particular, the US military's ability to throw together a HALO insertion of a SF platoon plus attached hero at what we supposed to believe is an hour or twos notice gives a favourable impression of a capacity that Uncle Sam wants everyone to believe is as easy as it seems in the film.

However, the poor ol' US military is more often than not depicted as deploying in a tactically naive manner.  In this film, the US Navy crams all of it's assets into the space more usually covered by an infantry platoon and parks it's major assets directly in the path of a large hostile entity.  Navies of the world have had the capacity to engage targets over the horizon since WW2.  I suspect that the real first act of a carrier group would be to ensure that there was an appropriate amount of space between themselves and the thing they were shadowing.  ie at least 22 miles, not 22 meters.

And the poor ol' SF Squad sent into the the bush on Hawaii on a recon mission are shown in (what in wargaming terms would be base to base contact) close proximity to something that was just about to be targeted with a tommahawk or airstrike.  So there are nice shots of men running away from explosions for the film makers, but really, there should be no one anywhere near there.  If the enemy has a particularly effective EMP weapon, does any really think that any modern air force is going to fill the sky with enough F22 Raptors that it'll look like Raptor rain when it goes off ?

And the next thing is the apex predator aspect of the film.  Now here's the thing; I am untrained in the ways of predators and prey animals.  However, I offer the following observations from my own meandering experience.  Wasps preying on spiders is the only instance I know of where a terrestial predator preys upon another; however it happens in the sea a lot.  Nonetheless, mostly to reduce the risk to themselves, predators don't usually prey on others.  But this is a film, so meh.

On to the defining part of predation.  The predator eats the prey. There, that's it. The rest of the prey animals flee the apex predator.  Now there are exceptions here; lions and hyenas might fight but usually break off if they find themselves loosing.  It would have to be a particularly harsh set of circumstances that result in a fight to the death.  So if what we see in this film is supposed to be a lion and hyenas, why bang on about apex predators so much ?  It just leads to the expectation that Godzilla wants to eat the MUTO.   And if it is for territorial dominance (and therefore access to resources) where is the conflict ?  MUTOs eat nuclear missiles and Godzilla doesn't eat, so what are they fighting over ?

Sorry for this, but that much worse film, Pacific Rim, which, lets face it, was awful, actually had a much, much better raison d'etre.

1 comment:

  1. You're thinking about this too much. It's Godzilla. Godzilla tramples and screams. That's all that is required in a Godzilla film, everything else is just dressing.