Godzilla: King of the Monsters opens in Paris on Wednesday, or a day and a half before the States. I don’t care if my repeated mentions about Godzilla having become a total fat-ass sound obsessive, but why do I seem to be the only critic-columnist on the planet earth who’s even mentioning this obvious fact?
Five years ago Japanese film enthusiasts were fat-shaming Godzilla, and for good reason. Compared to the original Toho Godzilla of 1954, Gareth Edwards’ super-reptile was definitely Raymond Burr in the mid ’60s. But the new Godzilla is flat-out obese — a kaiju Orson Welles. And no one, it seems, wants to even take note of this. Not even in passing. Not even as a joke.
The reason (and I’m not kidding) is that critics and think-piece writers have sensed that the monster’s expanding belt size is a subliminal gesture of kinship and comfort to the obese community, which of course reps a significant portion of the moviegoing public, and no film writer wants to be accused of fat-shaming. Because in today’s p.c. environment a fat-shamer is indistinguishable from a racist or a homophobe.
I’m no shamer, but I am saying “is anyone besides myself going to look this thing in the eye or what?” All I’m doing is saying (a) “look at him” and (b) “why do you think that is?”
You can bet that if the new Godzilla had ignored the 2014 precedent and reverted to the relatively lean-and-mean physique of the 1954 Toho version, reviewers would be mentioning this left and right. Because they’d have nothing to fear for saying “wow, Godzilla’s been working out…he’s back in shape!” Because that wouldn’t be shaming.