harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote,

Review of the original Gojira (1954)



Starring: Akira Takarada, Momoko Kôchi, Akihiko Hirata, Takashi Shimura
DIR: Ishirô Honda

Da Blurb: "The theme of the film, from the beginning, was the terror of the Bomb. Mankind had created the bomb, and now nature was going to take revenge on mankind." - Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka

My Blurb: So... Gojira. As you know, if you've read my Godzilla, King of the Monsters review, the original Godzilla is quite a bit darker than its Americanized version. There will be more details that were... blurred... for the earlier American audience, but some scenes will read -almost- the same. Obviously there will be overlap going forward. I've made it a point of avoiding repeating screen caps and I'll try to also avoid commenting where I've commented before, unless there is some sort of difference that caught my eye from our first spin. But, when it comes to The Good, The Bad & Other Thoughts, it'll be impossible not to repeat many of my observations from that previous review.

Hopefully, you'll be able to give this one a read, anyway... on with the show.

Scene 00: First things first: The title screen is very dramatic, with a pounding set of footsteps booming from the player. Over this, the distinctive roar of the King of the Monsters.

We get a simple scroll of the production credits, no music, just Gojira's roaring echoing under the simple white text on empty black background. Only after we're through the producers, director and story credit do we get the marvelous Godzilla theme music come in. Now, alas, our credits are front loaded which is always a bit annoying. But I give it slack, because the esteemed Akira Ifukube's work shines.

Scene 01: We open with a view from the back of a boat, at the waters being churned up by the ship's propeller. On deck, men are gathered around instruments and playing music.

[We're at scene 05 of the Americanized version, since Steve's plane trip isn't here.]

There is a bright flash of light, that captures the crew's attention from somewhere nearby their vessel. The men rush to the railing for a better look. From underneath the water comes a roiling, and a white light. Moments later, the crewmen throw themselves to the deck, with cries of pain and the ship is bathed in the unexplained brightness. A bright, burning fog of something washes over the ship, and immediately it is on fire and sinking.

Below decks, those brave radiomen are trying to report what has happened when the sea rushes in, dooming them.

Scene 02: On shore, radio towers pick up the distress signal. In the meantime, out at sea, the last of the ship slips below the waves. There are no survivors apparent.

Scene 03: Elsewhere, a telephone rings. This is picked up by the really sweaty, but still delicious looking Hideto Ogata. With him is Emiko Yamane, looking on concerned at the alarm in his voice.

Once he's hung up, he apologizes to her for an interruption in their time together, and she guesses that there has been an accident. He apologizes again, because he can't accompany her to the concert that they intended to see that evening, due to the Coast Guard receiving that S.O.S.

She's understanding that he has a job to do, though what that specifically is, isn't stated.

Scene 04: At Coast Guard HQ, they're working on triangulating the last known position of the stricken vessel, as news filters out to the public that the freighter, Eiko-maru has been lost for reasons unknown.

The CEO of the company responsible for the freighter rushes into the HQ, with Hideto in tow, thanking the naval officers for calling him directly to let him know of the accident. All that can be shared with him currently, is that they believe there was a sudden explosion aboard. They have another ship in the area, the Bingo-maru, which has been diverted to the area to report what they can find of the Eiko.

Hideto points out the ship's last known to the CEO on a wall map.

Scene 05: In that area now, is the Bingo, but alas she doesn't get the chance to find much of anything. There is a flash of light under the ocean, and then she too explodes into flames.

Back ashore, newsmen are reporting in the latest developments that both Eiko and Bingo are owned by the Southern Sea Steamship Company. Our CEO is sitting with a look of devastation. Family members are meeting with a representative of the Coast Guard - who tells them that they have helicoptors approaching the area and will have news soon.

For some reason, all of this is taking place right in the command center, so how the actual Coast Guard is getting anything done is a good question. There are complaints that the area isn't being canvassed thoroughly enough, but our communications liason assures the family that other ships are being directed to the area, and asks for patience.

Commentary: Actually, this part is confusing to me. I can't tell if this is actually the Coast Guard, the Japanese Navy or the Southern Sea Steamship Company's Operations office. Everything and everyone is just kinda jumbled together in the small office set. And Hideto's exact position is lost on me, since it appears that he's working for the Steamship Company - but what exactly he does, hasn't been explained. In Godzilla, he seemed to be a part of the Navy - at least partially, but here he may be more of a civilian troubleshooter working for the steamship company.

Scene 06: Out in the waters, there are three survivors clinging to wreckage that are quickly rescued. While two of our survivors aren't looking too good, the third is together enough to tell their rescuers that the sea just seemed to blow up around them.

Scene 07: Back on the mainland, the three survivors are being reported, and that they're being taken to Odo Island. Naturally, the assembled families want to know if the survivors are from Eiko or Bingo-maru, but that isn't known nor do they have survivor names to report at this time. The ship, Kotaka, is on the way to the island to assist in the survivors' treatment and recovery so they'll know more details soon.

Another man comes in to give a word to the liason, but the families hear that there is more news, so everyone rushes to the communications center. Officials, including our CEO and Hideto have to push through the crowd of scared family members to find out what the latest news received might be.

The news is shocking and grim. The fishing trawler that had found the three survivors has just been destroyed the same way as the Marus before it!

This is breathlessly reported in by the newsmen still being hosted by the command center.

Families continue fighting to be let in at the door, demanding to know whatever news has come in about their loved ones and whatever is going on out in the South Seas.

Scene 08: News headlines in the papers speculate on if the ships ran into mines, or whether an underwater volcano may've taken them by surprise.

Scene 09: On Odo Island, villagers sit on the beach looking out over the dark waters.

On a hillside, a man is speculating to a boy about whether an active volcano could really be the cause of the ships' losses. The boy spots something out in the distance, and realizes it is a raft of some sort drifting toward the beach. They call an alarm to those on the beach that there is someone drifting in.

Village men swim out into the bay to bring in the apparent only survivor of the two freighters and the rescue ship. The survivor is Masaji, a local fisherman who was on the rescue boat that found the three survivors, now a survivor himself. Masaji is unconscious and unresponsive, until he's slapped a few times and he's generally manhandled like a sack of potatoes.

He tells them that there was a monster, before falling unconscious again.

Commentary: Okay; I have to refer back to the King of the Monsters review here to discuss Masaji. In that review, I described this scene (16) and that the last survivor then died. Later, in scene 20, we talk about the boy Seiji and how his parents end up dead so he can be sorta-adopted by Ogata. This was mostly due to the way that film edited this sequence. Here we can clearly see that our nameless survivor there is Masaji here. And he's the same guy in Seiji's home when Godzilla/Gojira makes his appearance on the island. So, even though we see him drop 'dead' here like in the other review, here his face is far more clear and he gets a name. Masaji doesn't die on the beach this time.

Scene 10: The following morning, the islanders of Odo find that their fish catches are gone off of the coast, leaving the villagers in a bind. The old man from the hill tells them that Gojira must've done it - and gets angry when a woman tells him that the story of the monster is a relic from the past. Any further argument on this point is interrupted by a helicoptor coming in from overhead.

The coptor has men from the Japanese Navy and an official photographer/reporter aboard.

Scene 11: Masaji tries to tell the reporter that a huge creature must be out at sea, but this is poo-pooed and he frustrates at the reporter that he knew he should've kept his mouth shut.

[Our boy, Seiji, is here Shinkichi and is a younger brother to Masaji. We'll find he lives with his brother and his sister-in-law.]

Masaji storms away, leading Shinkichi, despite the reporter trying to tell him he wasn't judging what he said about a monster.

Scene 12: That night, the villagers arrange for their ceremonial ritual in order to try to appease/drive away the evil force that has taken hold of their coastal waters.

Our reporter asks the old man of the village about Gojira, who replies he is a great monster who will feed on humanity to survive. He goes on to note that they used to sacrifice a girl to the seas when the fishing was poor, but now this excorism ritual is all that remains of their old ways. [I gotta say, he seems a little put out by the fact they can't just send off a few women to their deaths.]

We get a few moments of kabuki masks, drums, wood flutes and ritualized movements.

Scene 13: As the ritual proceeds, an ill-wind picks up. It is the warning of a raging storm moving in on the island - perhaps even a typhoon. Waves crash against the rocks, and trees start to tumble.

Scene 14: In the village, Masaji is lying awake - restless - with his wife. Nearby, his brother also lies awake listening to the growing storm. Suddenly, things begin to tumble down around their shack, and under the wind, there is a deep booming, rhythmic sound. Shinkichi rushes outside to see what is happening.

Masaji gets up to follow, only to stop at his doorway, a terrified look of recognition on his face as he sees something out in the storm. Masaji rushes back to hold his cowering wife as the shack quakes and shakes.

Shinkichi cries for his brother to run, but it is too late as the shack completely collapses as something massive brushes against it.

Commentary: I always like Ren Yamamoto's acting here, as he sees and reacts to the monster that already tried to kill him aboard the rescue trawler earlier. And I appreciate the pathos of Masaji surviving an encounter at sea, only for the monster to follow him home, and kill him along with his wife.

Scene 15: Shinkichi lies in the mud and the rain, screaming for his brother and watching his house flattened.

The rest of the villages grab him and force him to retreat for the hills as the seas rush up from the coast. The arrival helicoptor lies crumpled in the storm. [The generally darker film stock doesn't help us any with this toy helicoptor standing in for a real one. It looks just as bad as with Godzilla, King of the Monsters.]

Scene 16: Some days later, Odo Island representatives are bussed to Tokyo to present testimony. They're mobbed by reporters.

In the conference, we find out that seventeen houses were destroyed that resulted in nine deaths - including Masaji and his wife.

Shinkichi's testimony that he saw a huge animal in the storm is treated with skepticism. The reporter that was part of the naval team gives Shinkichi's testimony more credence by reporting that he saw the remains of the houses, and the helicoptor, and it seems to him that they were crushed from a force coming down from above, rather than wind damage.

A paleontologist is called for an expert opinion on the possibility of any such creature existing in the modern world: Professor Kyohei Yamane. He'll also be Emiko's father, when she makes her return to the film.

He offers that it is premature to speculate until they've conducted a thorough investigation, but also reminds those present that the Earth has many unexplored regions, including abyssal regions that they have no clue about. Professor Yamane requests the authorization of a full investigative crew.

Commentary: It always takes me surprise when I realize here that our "main" characters - or who I thought were going to be our main characters - the secret lovers Emiko and Hideto have completely vanished from the film for as long as they have. But then I look at the timer, and it says we're only 16 minutes into the movie!??

So much seems to have happened, that I can't believe we're not farther in than we are. I have to say that Professor Yamane is much easier to accept than his Americanized cohort, Dr. Yamane. At least our Professor doesn't stumble over the word 'phenomena'. I'm not sure what his testimony really gave us though, like in the other version. His "expert opinion" that we don't know enough and should have an investigation doesn't seem to be all that valuable. Perhaps it's a sly commentary on the Japanese bureaucracy of the time that they needed to be told the most logical steps to follow by someone with a bit of prestige, before they'd get off their asses?

I also want to insert here that I apologize for not commenting more. Most of what I might say has been covered in Godzilla, King of the Monsters as -excepting Steve's inserts - we're covering the same ground. I do find it interesting just how much Steve Martin footage was inserted into the film, though. Our scene 16 here is scene 22 over there, and there seemed to be some scene-shuffling going on as well.

Scene 17: Our Odo Island Reseach Party is given a heroes send-off on their mission. [It remains a little more than over-the-top.]

On the docks is a man in a suit, sunglasses and sporting an eyepatch: Dr. Daisuke Serizawa. Aboard ship is Emiko, the Professor and a glowering Hideto Ogata.

After they're well underway, Emiko and Hideto are alone on deck. Ogata tells Emiko that he was surprised to see the doctor at their departure, as he so rarely seems to leave his lab. He wonders if Serizawa only showed up because he thinks this will be their final voyage, and rather callously tells Emiko that even if they avoid the dangerous waters, anything could happen to them before marching away from her. Oh, and he's dressed in uniform so is a member of the Navy -- maybe.

Scene 18: Cut to Odo, where our science team is surveying the destruction. They run over a well with a geiger counter, to discover that the water is contaminated by radiation. Emiko takes notes for her father.

Ogata brings up with the doctor using the counter that the wells on the other side of the island show no signs of radioactivity, as would be expected if this well had been irradiated by fallout. He agrees that it is strange.

Meanwhile, Yamane is measuring land subsidence, or as Yamane tells their local reporter/photographer, possibly the footprint of a creature they happen to be standing in. He's joined by Geiger Counter Guy. A small stream of water is flowing through the depression in the earth, and this reads as radioactive, as with the well water. Dr. Yamane goes ahead and calls the depression they're in a footprint. He finds a trilobite. And he picks it up with his bare hands, before being reminded that he shouldn't be handling anything in the depression due to the radiation. And then begins sifting through the radioactive water for more 'extinct' creatures - with is fully exposed bare hands!

[G'd dammit, Yamane! You were just giving worried face over the radioactivity, what the hell are you doing?!]

Scene 19: Dr. Yamane's attempt to induce cancer and burns to his hands is interrupted by a lookout on the hillside, who is striking a bell of warning. People start yelling that "It" is on the other side of the hill, and everyone dashes upward toward it to get a look at this new beast. [And that's probably the most realistic thing about Gojira -- despite the seemingly suicidal-stupid decision, I could totally see everyone needing to get a look at this creature.]

As everyone dashes up the hill, we hear the growing booms of footsteps from over the ridge.

Commentary: What I like about the way this is shot, other than the realistic-but-stupid decision to head toward the footfalls, is the lack of incidental music through this scene. It allows the natural sounds of the bell and the booming footsteps to resonate through the speakers unimpeded. And, I'm assuming, helped to build up a sense of tension as we near our audience's first view of the creature made by Japan to match (and surpass) America's monster creations.

Or, that was the idea anyway. In reality, Japanese audiences weren't much interested in Gojira until it was re-imported back to them as Godzilla, King of the Monsters -- which is pretty wild. Again, I'm going to put in a plug for the commentary track done by Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski -- despite their occassional slipping into fanboygasms. This is just an audio-only rip of the Classic Media commentary, if you want to listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZcBtklK1-o

Scene 20: Gojira's head pokes above the hillside ridge, and he lets loose with his mighty roar, causing those who had been rushing to get a peek of him to retreat the way they came. Our Professor and the Reporter/Photographer snap pictures.

(Gojira's roars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRYq58QPTk8)

Emiko takes her tumble, and Hideto drags her to her feet and yanks her into some bushes to hide from the monster's gaze. Something that was ultimately unnecessary, since Gojira has no interest in the fleeing insects at his feet.

As Gojira vanishes from view, and his footfalls retreat, everyone rushes back up the hill to catch a glimpse of him returning to the ocean. They don't see him, but they do see his tracks returning to the sea.

Scene 21: Back at the Diet building, Professor Yamane proves himself to be the worst paleontologist in Japan by telling the gathered meeting that dinosaurs roamed the Earth only 2 million years ago, during the Jurassic period.

[Which was actually about 200 million years ago, more or less. And this is an example of why Americans have to come in and do everything in future... kidding! We all know it's because Hollywood is the World Emperor.]

Yamane reports his belief that Gojira is an intermediary between the dinosaurs of the Jurassic and the Cretaceous periods [and I'm ignoring some of his lecture here, because it's so badly stated as to sound like he completely flunked out of paleontology school... I mean in addition to his confusion between 2 million and 200 million].

Yamane attempts to explain its presence in the modern era by speculating that it was eating deep sea creatures in an ecological niche, which has now been disturbed and altered by undersea nuclear bomb testing. To support his contention that nuclear testing has forced Gojira to the surface, he offers the trilobite they found in his footstep crater, and the radioactivity found contaminating the well water on Odo by his passing. The radiation in sand found embedded on the trilobyte indicates Strontium-90, whose source could've only come from a nuclear detonation. This information causes a mild uproar in the chamber and order has to be called.

What follows is an argument between two opposing sides. One argument is that the fact that Gojira's presence was brought about by nuclear weapons and that the creature himself is now highly radioactive due to them is of such a fraught nature in the current world political climate, as to be destabilizing. This argument demands that Professor Yamane's report be suppressed and kept from public knowledge.

On the other side is a demand that the public be fully informed of Gojira's existence, why he's suddenly on the surface, and the radioactive danger he poses and its cause. The argument gets heated with insults flying from one side to the other on trying to hide the truth over "international relations" (read America's opinion) and being transparent with the Japanese people over the danger they now face. It's also an argument between powerful men, and the women of the chamber, with the woman contingent wanting full disclosure, and other nations' opinions be damned (read the Western Powers and the U.S.S.R.).

Commentary: So, this is the crux of the changes made to the Americanized version - in addition to just having to have a white face for western audiences to identify with. And, honestly, I don't really understand what the hullabuloo might've been. Even in this original version, America's name never comes up as being responsible for Gojira's presence. There is an undercurrent of anti-nuclear sentiment, but it isn't directed at the West or the Soviet Bloc. It's hard now to fully gauge the 50's views/relations between Japan and the U.S.

It's true that the United States did occupy the country after Japan's surrender of WWII, and that occupation had only recently ended (1952). It's also true that through treaty, the U.S. had imposed restrictions on Japan's ability to reconstitute its own Armed Forces, to limit their military power in the wake of the war. But Japan had seemingly become an ally of the United States during this period as the U.S.A. poured relief and rebuilding efforts into Japan, and American culture blended into the daily Japanese life via all of the military and contractor manpower stationed there. I'm not sure that commentary on nuclear weapons would've been so politically charged that this scene needed to be so truncated and edited for the Americanized version.

Scene 22: We cut to newspaper headlines, indicating that another seventeen ships had been destroyed around the island of Japan, crippling the economy and costing lives. Apparently, the 'disclosure' bloc won out, because we're aboard a train, where a woman opines on the circumstances. She complains that the tuna industry has been devastated by radioactivity, and now they have a giant monster out there attacking their fleets.

She worries about Gojira appearing in Tokyo Bay, but this is blown off by her companions. Another suggests that he may start looking for a shelter, just in case. The thought of having to return to the war bunkers sucks.

But on the positive side, the government announces the formation of an Anti-Gojira Squad to address defense against the creature.

Scene 23: Families are unsatisfied however, and demand that more action be taken to hunt down the monster and protect their families that work out on the sea.

Inside the squad, reporters listen to a broadcaster sending instructions for ships to avoid a particular area of sea that is to be targeted by an Anti-Gojira frigate fleet with depth charges.

Scene 24: Over martial music (and stock footage), we see the brave men of the Japanese Navy head out to sea to try to blow the shit outta the Big-G.

The news reports on the 10-ship fleet's massive barrage of depth charges over the general area known to be at high risk of Gojira attack. This is watched by the Yamane family, along with Hideto Ogata and without explanation, Shinkichi.

This upsets Professor Yamane, who as a zoologist (in addition to being a paleontologist, I guess -- which may explain why he doesn't know when dinosaurs lived - as he's better at zoology than paleontology) doesn't want to see such a unique creature blasted to bits. He leaves the room, and is followed by his daughter.

Scene 25: Emiko finds her father sitting in his study in the dark, and in a mood. He's not welcoming of her turning on the light.

Scene 26: While things may seem bad, Tokyo's nightlife isn't suffering any. People jam the streets, while out in the bay, a dinner and dancing cruise plys the waters.

There is plenty of merry-making, including our woman and man from the train... the one who expressed worry about Gojira appearing in Tokyo Bay at some point, and the gentleman (it may be her husband, it just wasn't clear) who offered that he'd probably eat her in one gulp. From under the ship, the echoing booms of footfalls (again, somehow echoing through the water) sound.

The merry-making devolves into screaming as Gojira comes up from beneath the dark waters. Fortunately for those aboard, and assuming that they don't kill themselves in their panic, they're not in immediate danger as Gojira turns away from them and splashes his way toward deeper waters.

Scene 27: The following day, Professor Yamane is escorted to another meeting to deal with the situation. Reporters in the hallways complain to each other about the lack of anything to print coming out of the Anti-Gojira group.

The Professor is asked if there is anything he can come up with to help defeat the creature, as Japan is now in danger of having to cut off all international shipping rather than risk any more lives trying to keep the economy going. Kyohei expresses his disappointment in their wanting him to find a way to destroy this unique creature [now, he's just striking me as a bit of a tool]. Professor Yamane expressed doubt that they can do anything to fight off the monster anyway, pointing out that he absorbed a massive amount of radiation, and yet isn't dropping dead. He asks them facetiously just what they think can stop him?

Yamane gives his opinion that instead of focusing on trying to kill him, they should be focusing on understanding how he is still alive at all. [Okay, actually I can't argue with that.]

Scene 28: Cut to our newspapermen reviewing their latest issue fresh off the presses. Our main photographer/reporter who accompanied Professor Yamane to Odo gets a name! Hagiwara is instructed by his editor - interrupting a discussion on whether to study Gojira, or keep trying to blow him up - to interview a Dr. Serizawa. We also find out here that Dr. Serizawa is Professor Yamane's future son-in-law, explaining why Ogata was glaring at the docks as the research team was leaving for Odo.

Commentary: The structure of this film is a little strange, which I hadn't noticed before (to be fair, it's been awhile since I've watched it last). But our main characters seem to share screen time in a strange way. While you'd think that our central character trio would be Ogata, Emiko and Dr. Serizawa -- they've been shockingly absent for large portions of the film, to concentrate on Professor Yamane. But the Professor doesn't actually have much impact on the plot against the monster, so he's not really the central protaganist. And as the monster, you may think that Godzilla is the main character, anyway - but again, he's largely absent for a large portion of the picture as the humans are taking up all of the screentime. As we know from 'King of the Monsters', it's Serizawa that has the answer to stopping Gojira and it's Emiko who is key to convincing him to use what he knows, despite his moral objections. But neither of these characters have had much screen time to develop. Ogata as well has been in a supporting role, basically hanging out in the background and not actually contributing to the plot. In fact, our newsman, the finally named Hagiwara has had more screen time than any of our other characters! But you can't really call him a proper protaganist, either, because he's not ultimately involved in finding the solution to fight the beast.

It's also really weird how we're only now getting names for our ultimate hero, our constant reporter companion, and an explanation that Emiko and Hideto shouldn't be spending as much time together as they clearly are, and she should be seen much, much more with Daisuke - which she hasn't been. We're over a half-hour in, and the most basic information is now only coming to light -- and I just didn't even notice this whole time how odd in structure that is.

Scene 29: Elsewhere, Emiko and Hideto are alone again. This time at his office. He's expressing his uneasiness with their relationship behind her father and her fiance's back. He also wonders, obliquely, whether Emiko would be more interested in Daisuke if he hadn't been so scarred in the war. But Emiko tells him that she's always thought of him as more of an older brother, despite their family's arrangement, and that simply never changed as she grew older. The bottom line is that she just can't see Serizawa in that way. This seems to put his mind at ease over their basically 'betraying' her obligation to marry the older scientist.

They're interrupted by Shinkichi, who has come to tell Emiko that the reporter, Hagiwara, is asking to speak with her. [Shinkichi's presence at all is still a question. I don't understand how he ended up staying with Ogata, instead of being returned to Odo.]

Hagiwara explains to Emiko that he needs an introduction to Dr. Serizawa because the recluse refused to meet with him for his story. Ogata expressed to Emiko that this would be the perfect excuse for him to accompany her to Serizawa's home, in order for them to explain together that this arranged marriage simply can't take place between them. Emiko realizes that she needs to face this difficult discussion, but asks to be allowed to break it to Daisuke on her own.

She leaves Ogata feeling much better about their future, now that Serizawa is going to get the boot.

Commentary: There is some cultural stuff here that I won't pretend to fully grasp, since I'm not a 1950's Japanese gentleman, but this engagement feels poorly integrated to me. For being betrothed to Daisuke since childhood, it's been very strange to me that her father hasn't ever brought up how uncomfortably familiar she's being with Ogata, or the amount of time that he's been spending around their home. You'd think that this topic would've been broached sometime before now, to set us up for her visiting Serizawa and the revelations that follow. But it's all just sorta being dumped on us that this has been going on in the far, far background.

I also wish that there'd been an explanation of some sort for why Ogata has taken on Shinkichi as a ward. There has been literally nobody asking a question about why this Odo Island kid is hanging out in Tokyo with this guy he didn't have any connection to before Ogata's visit to his island. It's all so very odd to me. But, I'm shocked too that I haven't really missed the monster scenes, because I find myself liking these characters and the progression of the investigation into Odo and Gojira's reveal. It's only now striking me that I'm not more impatient to get to the Godzilla-stuff, even though I'd usually be tired of the romantic drama and scientist babble in any other monster movie.

Maybe, it's the subtitles keeping my attention, so I haven't had time to notice how much screentime we're spending not being crushed and burned by a giant, radioactive lizard.

Scene 30: At the Serizawa Institute (Wait... this isn't a DIY home lab?? I'm so disappointed), Daisuke is telling the reporter that he couldn't have possibly heard anything about his research as he's not published anything about it. But Hagiwara returns that a German scientist (Serizawa was in the war, remember, so he'd have been an ally to the Nazis) told a Swiss researcher that whatever his area of study, it would be of benefit to the Anti-Gojira team.

Daisuke disputes that he has any German scientist contacts. Our reporter diplomatically ignores this unlikeliness and instead asks after what his research is that it'd be of such interest. Serizawa declines to discuss it, and Emiko subtly signals Hagiwara not to push it. The reporter leaves, but Emiko stays behind to have that other discussion with Daisuke that she'd been putting off.

Scene 31: When they're alone, Emiko brings up his studies again, this time under the guise of her father being interested. He offers to show her what he's been working on. He swears her to secrecy, claiming that he's risking his life.

With her solemn promise, he leads her to his locked lab. Emiko is taken aback by the setup of Daisuke's lab, especially the huge electrical generator taking up an entire wall. His lab is full of conical flasks of mysterious colored fluids, of course. But it's also full of various fish tanks. [And, I again strongly object to the cloudy, unclean water these fish are being kept in.]

Serizawa retrieves something from a safe, and joins the curious Emiko.

From a small dish, he pulls a silver ball which is dropped in a tank. He flips a switch, presumably carrying a low energy current through the tank water. Emiko watches in dreadful fascination at the tank. She screams, and collapses into his shoulder at what she's witnessed done inside the tank of water.

Scene 32: Emiko stumbles out of Serizawa's lab, obviously shaken and sick to her stomach. He follows, re-securing the lab. He presses her that he's trusted her with his secret research, and she repeats her promise to keep her mouth shut.

Scene 33: Emiko finally returns home after dark, still upset by the secret of Serizawa's research. Ogata and his ward are waiting for her, but Ogata's grin quickly falls as he notices her dour mood.

She turns away from his inquiries to go to the kitchen, while he returns to the sitting room. Ogata and Shinkichi are joined by her father, as he's heard her come in. The atmosphere is too quiet and tense.

Suddenly, a sound comes... one familiar to those present. The sound of booming footsteps. Professor Yamane immediately identifies that Gojira has returned to Tokyo and rushes out to see if the monster is coming ashore. He's joined by the others in short order. Emiko calls to Ogata to tell him that she couldn't break off her engagement, yet, and he seems to understand that something happened during her visit that she can't or won't talk about right now.

Commentary: Basically, this is all pretty much exactly as in King of the Monsters, and Gojira is about to launch the attack that we saw via Steve's viewpoint and voiceovers in that version.


Tags: review kaiju films

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