Godzilla: King of Nitpicks

by Oliver Wang

A quick introduction: I enjoyed Godzilla. A lot. I wanted spectacle; it delivered. In the end, whatever MUTO-sized plot holes or character shortcomings weren’t that big of a deal in terms of my enjoyment. But I found so much of the film completely inexplicable on some very basic logic levels that I wanted to have fun with those. So I invited friends to join in with their “huh?” moments from a film that we all agreed was quite fun. If it helps, imagine hearing this being read by the Red Letter Media guys.

(These are in loose chronological order based on events in the film. Also, spoilers).

•How did a submarine “awaken” Godzilla in the 1950s? Was Godzilla just hibernating and the submarine bumped into him? Or was it the radiation signature on the sub itself?

•Speaking of which, how are the MUTOs able to detect the radiation inside a warhead? If ICBMs leaked that much radiation, wouldn’t that be a danger to military personnel?

•Wouldn’t Project Monarch have shown up on Google Maps or other satellite imagery?

•Wouldn’t someone else have noticed there was no radiation by the old power plant?

•How does a 300 foot tall creature gestate inside a nuclear waste facility where the rooms definitely do not look to be 300 feet tall? And how would it break out of there without anyone noticing? Do they not have, like, alarms in nuclear waste facilities?

•How did they lose track of a 300 foot tall creature that’s moving by ground? EMP powers or not, the thing is the size of an office park and it’s walking across Nevada and California. It can’t possibly be that hard to track.

•Also, if you’re the U.S. military, why would you move all those warheads BY TRAIN ACROSS TERRITORY WHERE THERE IS A KNOWN MUTO? You couldn’t have just flown one in by bomber to SFO? The Navy doesn’t already have some nuclear weapons on a sub or boat somewhere? They ended up using a helicopter to move the surviving warhead to SF anyway. WHY NOT JUST LEAD WITH THAT?

•Related: how do you lose Godzilla in the ocean? Wouldn’t that thing have a sonar signature the size of, well, Godzilla?

•If you were going to lure three MUTOs using a nuclear weapon, why would you only go 20 miles offshore? Why not 200?

•If you wanted to nuke a MUTO but minimize collateral damage, shouldn’t they have nuked the female MUTO in the desert as opposed to allow it to cross the most populous state in America?

•Why didn’t Godzilla coming out of the Bay cause a tsunami in S.F. like he did in Honolulu? And is Godzilla, in fact, big enough to displace enough water to cause a tsunami along a beachfront as broad as Waikiki?

•Who goes to work in a tall office building in San Francisco when there are known MOTUs converging to your area? The city wasn’t on mandatory evacuation for EVERYONE?

•If you’re trying to flee SF from giant monsters, wouldn’t someone point out that driving kids across a bridge is a bad idea?

•As my friend Max Leung pointed out: if you’re evacuating people to Oakland, why would you drive across the Golden Gate Bridge? That goes north, not east.

•As my wife pointed out, why did it have to be Chinatown where the MUTO buried its eggs? THAT’S RACIST. 😉

•Didn’t both MUTOs eat a ton of warheads? So how was there only ONE in the egg lair?

•Robert Perlman asked: how did those eggs get fertilized anyway? Did they leave the MUTO sex scene on the editing room floor?

•How are the MUTOs supposed to be parasites? Are there parasites in the (rest of the) natural world that are bigger than the animals they’re supposed to be parasitic on? And also, at no point do we see the MUTOs attempting to inject a spore into Godzilla.

•This one bothered me endlessly: the military sends in these specialists, via a beautifully shot HALO jump, into the city specifically to disarm the bomb. And yet when confronted with a STICKY LID, they decide “sorry, can’t do it.” You’re telling me that a dozen highly trained, conditioned soldiers can’t figure out how to fucking pry the lid off a bomb casing yet have the strength to carry that thing through San Francisco while three giant monsters are destroying the city? No crowbar? No blowtorch? This entire plot sub-thread — the “bomb lure” — was easily one of the most inexplicable parts of the entire film. A completely meltdown of basic logic by the writers.

•James Burgos asked: Why did they tell Lt. Brody there was no extraction but they ended up extracting him?

•What kind of alpha predator doesn’t bother to eat the prey it’s just killed? Isn’t that part of the point of being an alpha predator?

•The most unbelievable thing: That a nurse and navy lieutenant can still afford to live in San Francisco in 2014.

Oliver Wang is a writer, DJ, and academic living in Los Angeles. Since the mid-90s, he has written for almost every major hip-hop magazine — including The Source, XXL, Blaze, Vibe, and Scratch — as well as Spin, Yolk, A Magazine, The Nation, Mother Jones, and the LA Weekly. Currently, he writes about music, arts, and occasionally, politics and society for outlets such as NPR, the LA Times, and Wax Poetics.

3 thoughts on “Godzilla: King of Nitpicks

  1. Also how did the the LARGER OF THE TWO ALREADY GIANT MUTOs lay eggs meticulously embedded around a warhead in the CEILING of a tiny enclosed space only accessible by a human-sized door that had to be opened by barging into it?

  2. Here comes the obligatory, “as much as I wanted to like it…”: As much as I wanted to like it, the absence of simple logic in most of the key points you mention made this a lost cause. If I’m looking around the theater to see if anyone else saw the what I just saw, it ain’t working.

    Even in non-essential moments…


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