5.22.2014

He is King over all Proud Beasts, but no Christ

First, let me say, Godzilla was awesome!  Everything that a monster movie should be!  Monsters fighting monsters with humans caught in the middle of it all!  It was beautifully at moments, well paced (if a little slow in parts) and had some crazy fight scenes that were not just a blur of action (e.g. not like Avengers, Iron Man, Transformers, etc...).  While I dislike 3D (the 3D version was the only time I could go see it), it was used to add texture to the film, which made me (mostly) forget I was watching a 3D movie.  The movie also treated the genre and original context (post WWII Japan) with a certain amount of respect.

Over all, it was a very well made movie.  But that's not why I'm writing this blog.  I'm writing this blog because of two Christian perspectives: one relating Godzilla to Christ, the other to Job.

The comparison that has been made relating Godzilla to God and his saving of the city to Christ saving mankind is paper thin and so fragile that it probably should not be made at all.

First, the movie itself doesn't relates Godzilla to God.  Everyone treats him like an animal (e.g. attempt to lure him away, use his natural instincts) and he acts like an animal (a predator who is hunting prey).  There is also a strong impression that he lives by instinct alone.

Second, Godzilla isn't interested in justice, or even people.  Actually, he's completely ambivalent towards humans, he ignores them the entire movie!  He's a predator, he's interested in hunting and destroying his prey, once he's done he leaves, nothing else interests him.

Third and perhaps most telling, Godzilla's role (from one of the main character's perspective) is to bring about "balance".  This is why Godzilla is no Christ, bringing balance is quite opposite to what Christ did.  Godzilla comes so people can continue to live as they always have, Christ came so that people could live like they never had before.

The comparison of Godzilla to Leviathan is much more substantial!

Godzilla, in this view, isn't a type of Christ; He is a frightening force of nature who happens to be at the right place at the right time.  He is beyond human control or taming, he is an example of the might and power of God of which humans will never be able to comprehend.  In this sense think Christian gets more to the heart of how to relate Godzilla to our thinking about God: through the book of Job and Leviathan.

In comparing Leviathan to Godzilla Josh Larson writes (linked above):
This striking Biblical imagery – of an aquatic behemoth man cannot contain – is meant to put Job in his place. Up until this point, Job has spent many chapters decrying the suffering that God has allowed him to endure. When God eventually responds, it’s with a litany of examples of His awesome power. Among these is Leviathan, which is an earthly creature but could also serve as a symbol for God Himself. As Davidson notes, God’s description of Leviathan concludes this way: “He looks on all the proud; he is king over all proud beasts.”
Also, here's a link of Job 41 with 1954 Godzilla pictures.