Why Godzilla matters

John Mecklin in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

ScreenHunter_660 May. 29 21.31Godzilla is on the fire-breathing march again, its latest silver screen appearance bringing Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures some $93 million in US opening-weekend revenue. The 2014 version of the monster sagaputs its nuclear connections front-and-center (although it does seem to suggest that rather than merely awakening the monster, a nuclear test at the Bikini atoll was actually a failed attempt to kill him). A couple of Mosura—flying, nuclear-material-ingesting monsters that create technology-zapping electromagnetic pulses by pounding the ground—emerge from something similar to cocoons underneath a Japanese nuclear power plant and inside a Yucca Mountain nuclear storage facility. They then rampage toward San Francisco to mate, in the process ravaging Las Vegas and Honolulu. For some reason, Godzilla steams across the Pacific to stop them. Once the monsters are all in San Francisco, the almost magical use of special effects allows them to fight in captivating ways across the city, to make amazing noises, and to kill many tiny humans the movie doesn't care about. Godzilla wins, swimming back out to sea, a scary hero who has restored the natural order.

What does it all mean? Don't ask this film.

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