Kaiju Profile: Godzilla 2014
Hey kaiju fans, Titan here, with a profile on the King of the Monsters as he appeared in his return from his 10-year hiatus… the Legendary Godzilla!
Legendary Pictures has confirmed that their Godzilla stands at 355 feet tall, his tail is 550 feet and 4 inches long, there are exactly 89 dorsal plates running down his back, the palm of his hands are 34 feet and 4 inches each, and that his roar can be heard from three miles away. All of these are huge stats for Godzilla, encompassing the Legendary Godzilla’s size.
The Legendary Godzilla's face is shaped very squarely, his neck being broad and possessing gills. His eyes are an amber-yellow color, and his teeth are small and not nearly as straightly lined up as many previous Godzilla incarnations. His nostrils are more separate than previous incarnations, with them being in opposite sides of the snout, making it more reptile-like instead of the more mammalian fashion of being close together in front of it. Godzilla's head and neck seem to lean forward more so than any previous design. His dorsal plates are smaller than past Godzillas , but they still retain the core maple-leaf shape, although straighter and very sharp. This Godzilla's claws are a black color, and his feet are wider and resemble an elephant's foot more than the other Godzillas' feet do. His skin is a dull greyish-black color; more reptile- and crocodile-like, and rougher than the other incarnations. His body and tail are very wide as well, making him look somewhat bulkier than other Godzilla designs.
Godzilla: Awakening, the prequel comic for Legendary Pictures' Godzilla, explained that Godzilla was an ancient life form from the Permian period, having survived various extinction events by consuming geothermal radiation in a hibernation-like state at the bottom of the sea. In Awakening, it is shown that Godzilla was awakened in 1945 alongside the Shinomura by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. However, in the actual movie, Godzilla was said to be awakened in 1954. It’s important to point out that the continuity of Godzilla: Awakening is dubious and doesn’t exactly fit with the events of Godzilla 2014. Anyway, Godzilla was theorized by Ishiro Serizawa to have been the alpha predator of his ecosystem, and prevented the other species from overpopulating and overrunning the world, acting as a force of nature that maintained balance.
An ancient alpha-predator that thrived during the Permian period, Godzilla retreated to the ocean depths as the Earth's surface radiation levels declined, instead feeding on the planet's natural geothermal radiation. Godzilla remained dormant underwater for hundreds of millions of years, appearing occasionally at various points in human history, inspiring the mythologies of several cultures. In 1954, an American nuclear submarine unwittingly awakened Godzilla when it reached the lower depths of the ocean, drawing him to the surface in search of new sources of radiation. Godzilla attacked and fed on American and Soviet nuclear submarines in the South Pacific Ocean, with each nation believing the other was responsible for the attacks. When Godzilla's existence became known, the American military began detonating a series of nuclear bombs in the Marshall Islands to try and kill him, under the guise of nuclear testing. On March 1, 1954, Godzilla was lured ashore at Bikini Atoll, where the American military detonated their first-ever dry-fuel hydrogen bomb, codenamed Castle Bravo, in an attempt to kill him. Godzilla vanished following the detonation, and the United States covered up all evidence of his existence. A scientific organization known as Monarch had been formed to study Godzilla and any gigantic creatures like him, and continued to search for him in the following decades.
In 2014, Godzilla detected the mating call of a M.U.T.O., a parasitic lifeform that lived during Godzilla's time and laid its eggs in corpses of his species. In order to preserve his own existence, Godzilla came ashore in Honolulu to fight the winged male M.U.T.O. before it could reunite with its female counterpart and reproduce. Godzilla confronted the M.U.T.O. at the Honolulu airport, engaging in a brief clash before the M.U.T.O. flew back out over the ocean. Godzilla dove underwater and continued pursuing his enemy. The United States military believed Godzilla to be just as dire a threat as the M.U.T.O., although Monarch scientist Ishiro Serizawa stated that Godzilla was only here to hunt the M.U.T.O. and that he should be allowed to do so. When the female M.U.T.O. emerged in Nevada and began heading to California to reunite with the male, the military formed a plan to lure Godzilla and both M.U.T.O.s out to a remote island and kill them all with a nuclear warhead several times more powerful than Castle Bravo. Serizawa believed the detonation would fail to kill any of the creatures and warned William Stenz, the Navy admiral in charge of the operation, to call off the attack. Stenz regretfully told Serizawa they had no choice and allowed the warhead to be armed and carried by boat over San Francisco Bay. The male M.U.T.O. used its electromagnetic pulse to disable the military's vehicles and stole the warhead, using it as a nest on which the female could lay its eggs. Godzilla emerged from the Bay shortly afterward, surfacing near the Golden Gate Bridge. Tanks were deployed onto the bridge and opened fire on Godzilla while civilians were attempting to cross it. Godzilla withstood the artillery fire until a blast hit him in the gills, causing him to smash into the bridge and split it in half. Godzilla roared and continued to approach the city, where the M.U.T.O.s had constructed their nest.
When Godzilla entered downtown San Francisco, the male M.U.T.O. attacked him while its mate laid her eggs. Meanwhile, several soldiers were sent into the heart of the city via a HALO jump to recover and disarm the warhead before it could explode. Godzilla finally reached the nest and roared at the female M.U.T.O., who charged at Godzilla and attacked him. Soon, the male reentered the battle and both M.U.T.O.s double-teamed Godzilla. With the nest unguarded, the soldiers recovered the warhead, while Ford Brody opened a gasoline line, causing the entire nest to explode in a fireball. Both M.U.T.O.s witnessed the explosion and stopped pummeling Godzilla and rushed back to their nest. The female M.U.T.O. grieved over her dead offspring, but became enraged after seeing Brody near the nest. Before the M.U.T.O. could kill Brody, Godzilla emerged behind her and blasted her with his atomic breath, buying time for Brody and the other soldiers to carry the warhead to the docks. The male flew behind Godzilla and pulled him out of the way, allowing the female to chase after the soldiers. As the male flew behind Godzilla to try and grab him again, Godzilla swung his tail at it, impaling the M.U.T.O. on a skyscraper and killing it. Godzilla stopped to catch his breath, only for a skyscraper to collapse onto him and bury him in rubble. As Godzilla lie on the ground being buried in debris, he caught a brief glimpse of Brody, who was running to the docks. Brody ran to the docks, only to witness the female M.U.T.O. kill all of his companions. Brody grabbed the warhead and placed it on a boat, preparing to send it out to sea where it could detonate safely. Suddenly, the boat's engine deactivated as the female M.U.T.O. approached, her EMP field disabling all nearby electronics. However, just before the M.U.T.O. could kill him, Godzilla came up behind the M.U.T.O. and bit down on her neck, pulling her away from the boat. Godzilla grabbed the M.U.T.O.'s jaws and pried them open, then fired his atomic breath down her throat until her head fell off. Godzilla roared victoriously before dropping the M.U.T.O.'s head and collapsing onto the ground unconscious. The boat reactivated and began heading out of the bay, while Brody was rescued by a helicopter.
The next morning, San Francisco was in ruins, while survivors, military and emergency personnel surrounded Godzilla's unconscious body. Serizawa and his assistant Vivienne Graham looked sadly at Godzilla, believing him to be dead. Suddenly, Godzilla's eye opened and he began to stir. Godzilla stood up and began walking back out to the ocean. Godzilla let out one last victorious roar before diving back into the sea and disappearing beneath the waves.
Atomic Breath: The Legendary Godzilla retains the character's trademark atomic breath, however it appears to be used as a weapon of last resort rather than his primary weapon. When Godzilla charges his atomic breath, a blue glow slowly moves from the tip of his tail up his dorsal plates. Godzilla then spews a fiery blue blast of radiation from his mouth, which is capable of wounding and knocking down the female M.U.T.O. When he fires the beam directly into the female M.U.T.O.'s mouth, it decapitates and kills her almost instantly. In the film's official novelization and in an earlier screenplay, it is mentioned that the M.U.T.O.s' EMP evolved to interfere with Godzilla's atomic breath, meaning it is possible that the atomic breath is not shown at its full strength in the film. However, it is unknown if this use of the EMP applies to the film. It’s possible that using his atomic breath significantly drains Godzilla's energy, as he is shown collapsing from exhaustion shortly after using his atomic breath a third time to kill the female M.U.T.O., though this could also be attributed to fatigue from the rest of the battle.
Durability: The Legendary Godzilla displays an impressive degree of durability. He is shown in the film's opening to have survived the detonation of Castle Bravo, a 15 megaton hydrogen bomb, while directly next to the bomb in 1954. When blasted by missiles and artillery by the United States military, Godzilla reacts but appears unharmed until one missile strikes him directly in the gills, causing him to reel back in pain and plow through the Golden Gate Bridge. Godzilla survives his battle against both M.U.T.O.s with little visible physical injury, and despite collapsing from exhaustion awakens hours later and walks back into the ocean completely unharmed. Physical Abilities: While relying less on his atomic breath than previous incarnations, the Legendary Godzilla makes greater use of his physical strength and combat skills when fighting. Godzilla is able to defeat the male M.U.T.O. in each encounter, due to his size advantage. Godzilla is also able to overpower the larger female M.U.T.O. when he confronts her, although he does experience difficulty when trying to battle both M.U.T.O.s at once. When fighting the female M.U.T.O., Godzilla first grabs her by the neck and pushes her backwards then bites down on her neck. He also at one point pushes the female M.U.T.O. to the ground and steps on her chest to pin her down, which could have allowed him to finish her had the male not intervened. Godzilla finally kills the female M.U.T.O. by grabbing her from behind when she is distracted and prying her jaws apart so he can fire his atomic breath down her throat. Godzilla's tail is also a formidable weapon, shown when he uses it to smash the male M.U.T.O. into a skyscraper and kill it when it tries to attack him from behind.
Amphibiousness: Godzilla possesses gills and amphibious lungs, which close whenever he comes onto land, allowing him to breathe both underwater and on land. An adept swimmer, Godzilla swims by undulating his tail like a crocodile. Godzilla is capable of swimming extremely quickly and eludes the United States Navy despite his size.
Intelligence: The Legendary Godzilla demonstrates learning and planning during his battle with the M.U.T.O.s. When he is unable to overpower both M.U.T.O.s at the same time, he instead gradually learns their weaknesses and attack patterns after repeated clashes with them. After being repeatedly attacked from behind by the male M.U.T.O., Godzilla anticipates its attack and allows it to fly behind him before swinging his tail and impaling the male M.U.T.O. on a building. After his atomic breath proves effective against the female M.U.T.O., Godzilla sneaks up on her while she is going after Ford Brody. The Legendary Godzilla also appears to avoid unnecessary conflict, as he completely ignores the military's attacks and does not at any point retaliate, even after being visibly hurt by a missile striking his gills. After defeating both M.U.T.O.s, he leaves San Francisco peacefully, without causing any further destruction.
Weaknesses: The Legendary Godzilla, while a formidable opponent, demonstrates a few weaknesses. The gills on his neck appear to be a weak point, shown when he reels back in pain after being struck directly in the gills by a missile. The M.U.T.O.s are able to draw blood from Godzilla and cause him to collapse to the ground by striking his gills with their hooked claws. Godzilla was also easily overwhelmed when both M.U.T.O.s attacked at once, being unable to fight the female head on and anticipate the male's attacks at the same time. Godzilla's endurance is also not limitless, as he suffers from apparent exhaustion multiple times during the fight. After killing the male M.U.T.O., Godzilla pauses to breathe, only to be pinned under a collapsing skyscraper. After killing the female, Godzilla roars victoriously before collapsing to the ground and passing out.
This video is already super long, and there is A LOT to cover here, so it will be left for another time.
Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn, sound designers of the 2014 film, embarked on a similar process of experimentation to the 1954 Godzilla film’s. To make the Legendary Godzilla’s roar, they first tried animal sounds and reproduced the glove-on-strings used to create the original Godzilla roar, but were not happy with the results. They spent six months over a three-year period trying to create a roar that would fit the new Godzilla, using scientific microphones that record above the range of human hearing and then taking the ultrasonic sounds and pitching them down and slowing them down. That’s how the Legendary Godzilla’s roar was made.
The Legendary Godzilla was not portrayed exclusively through computer animation. Some motion capture work was performed by T.J. Storm, and Andy Serkis (who motion captured the 2005 King Kong) provided consultation about making Godzilla and the M.U.T.O.’s CG movements more realistic.
Until the release of Shin Godzilla in 2016, the Legendary Godzilla was the tallest incarnation of Godzilla to appear in a movie, surpassing the previous record set by the late Heisei Godzilla by a bit over 8 meters.
Well, that’s all there is to say about Godzilla 2014… for now. Thank you for watching, see ya next time.