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23 May 2014

Godzilla (Film Review): “Godzilla and the Dangers of Open-pit Mining in the Philippines”

If you have already watched the new “Godzilla," then you know that the Philippines is briefly featured in the movie, although not a single scene was shot in the Philippines. Still, it is interesting hearing some Tagalog phrases being spoken in an international blockbuster film, albeit just as background noise.   

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Director Gareth Edwards’ new adaptation of the classic monster is better than Roland Emmerich’s 1998 ambitious yet laughable adaptation. This new reincarnation resembled the original 1954 Godzilla of Ishirō Honda, and Edwards' new adaptation worked primarily because he blended the old with the new. The flawless special effects also added to the overall effect of the film.  In a nutshell, “Godzilla” is a great rollercoaster ride with the outstanding Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) right beside you.

Entertaining the film may be, the movie still has some curious flaws, which only matters if you are Asian. Firstly, Ken Watanabe plays the token Asian lead. Secondly, despite being an Asian-created movie icon, white people still rule. From Bryan Cranston’s intense portrayal to Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s insipid performance, I see a slew of white heroes with Asians as props. Even the French Juliette Binoche is in the film, but I am just “nickpickingly being sardonic,” if there is such a term. 

Nevertheless, in the end, this new “Godzilla” film has one clear message: “Open mining in the Philippines will inevitably bring disaster.” If open mining had been banned, Godzilla would have been quietly resting underground nibbling on radioactive materials and reminiscing on his glory days in the 1950s.

Yes, “Godzilla” is the fiercest environmentalist we have today. He got my vote. Come to think of it; he may be the only thing standing between Vice President Binay and Malacañan Palace. Godzilla, the Philippines need your help.


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