Sunday, January 20, 2008
Now, as a disclaimer to this post, I haven't seen Cloverfield even though I want to, so this isn't a review of the movie in any way. I've been reading up on it, though, and I think J. J. Abrams has sort of missed the mark here, given the spoilers I have been able to sort of grasp on-line.
Here's my thing: Godzilla is an icon and a monster in the classic sense because he's not very complicated, either physically or from a raison d'art. I mean, nuclear arms are bad, the U.S. is bad for testing them, and Japan paid the price not once but twice for the human experiment into nuclear hubris. We get it. And a giant lizard ... I get it. I don't like to see medium-sized lizards without a piece of glass between them and me, so the idea of a 40-story fire-breathing lizard-monkey is exactly right: I'll run away and be scared.
But it seems to me "Cloverfield" is too complicated. I mean, what is it? Should I be scared of it? Maybe I should feel sorry for it, or maybe I should be glad it is killing me because the other choice is that it rules over me. There's nothing really visceral about it. It kicks my brain into "science" mode rather than "mess my pants" mode.
I could be wrong. Open thread on "Clovefield". You tell me what you think. You don't need a Bible to play.