The new remake of “Godzilla” seems to have a different philosophy than perhaps Japan initially had when the original Toho productions were kicked off 60 years ago. While Japan never really let on to what the Godzilla analogy was, some have argued that he stood for America and the atom bombs we dropped there in 1945. Consider it was only nine years after we dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki when the first “Godzilla” released in 1954. Japan was far from becoming the economic superpower that would emerge 30 years later, and America had yet to extend a handshake to nurture an economic partnership.
Now with a new Japanese generation that only knows about 1945 from the history books, you have to wonder what they think of America’s U.S.-Japan hybrid reboot of “Godzilla.” The creature is now very much an anti-hero rather than the hero it turned out to be in later years once the possible American metaphor slipped from everyone’s minds. Now Godzilla is being deemed an analogy for the wrath of nature and how we get full payback when we don’t heed the warnings.
While some people won’t bother to find those meanings, the director saying it already sets up a political brouhaha over those who believe in global warming and those that don’t. Those who deny it should talk to those who’ve had destruction on the level of a Godzilla emanating a cascade of hellfire onto their homes and surrounding area. While we don’t see Godzilla causing floods (and, yes, it’s easy to see a parody ahead of Godzilla relieving himself on Tokyo), his destruction is certainly indicative of every other natural disaster we’ve seen recently. Wildfires, earthquakes, and sinkholes are just a few that come to mind.
If this Godzilla stands for nature so much, then he’s going to have to meet his match eventually in order for some kind of payback to begin. Why not bring King Kong back into the mix as what happened once in one Godzilla movie made 52 years ago?
Godzilla vs. King Kong Part Two
In 1962, the Toho production end of Godzilla made one crossover movie where Godzilla takes on King Kong. By that time, Godzilla had turned more into a hero, and King Kong was now the metaphor for American meddling into Japanese affairs. And that’s ironic when King Kong was actually an enemy of the state (or New York City) after going berserk and climbing up the Empire State Building. He also wasn’t American considering we found him on Skull Island somewhere in the Southern Pacific.
Assuming Japan meant it as a parallel to America, they obviously meant it as representing American film as an institution of power. Ironically, Japan was making superior films by this time, namely “Rashomon” and “Tokyo Story” as just some.
Today, King Kong might seem more like a hero against the establishment here in America. In fact, Japan might think the same thing. Any sequel having King Kong going after today’s Godzilla might be considered less about Japan and U.S. going at each other’s throats economically and more about having each other’s backs. After the tsunami disaster in Japan several years ago, America was there to lend support to one of the worst natural disasters in human history.
While it’s doubtful they’ll ever have King Kong join the new Godzilla franchise, it’s still fun to imagine the possibilities. The fighting sequences would be more exciting than the creature suits used in the original 1962 film. We’d also see an interesting take on how the Japanese people react considering this new “Godzilla” takes place back in Tokyo with Americans integrating.
As in the first film, all the populace can do is stand and watch two behemoths fight it out to the ambiguous death. Whoever halfway wins would be even more interesting considering a Godzilla victory would still mean that nature could someday completely win, despite our best fight.