Spoilers for Godzilla are sure to follow, so be careful if you’ve yet to see the giant king of the monsters return to the big screen. Also go see the damn movie.
For all the problems with Gareth Edwards take on Godzilla last summer — and there were a few, let’s not lie — one of the more glaring was Bryan Cranston’s character, Joe Brody. We’re supposed to be brought into the story via Brody and his son, Ford, and then witness the gigantic destruction through the eyes of a character we can identify with on screen. And it worked out that way for a bit.
There’s a moment in the beginning where Cranston loses his wife in the nuclear accident that sets off the movie’s events and you feel for the guy. We have the nice concurrent stories rolling along, with the personal mystery for Cranston and son, and then the larger mystery with Ken Watanabe’s character and eventually the military. It was a nice set up that was derailed after (Spoiler) Cranston was killed off and we were forced to stick with Ford throughout.
Critics noted this complaint when the movie came out, so did fans, and now Cranston is joining in to talk about how he disagreed with the plan to kill his character off. The monster talk happened during his recent appearance on the Nerdist podcast — the same that featured his Trump comments — and according to IndieWire, he detailed how he tried to get the story tweaked to help the film:
“That character dying at that time was a mistake. I knew it when I read it. When I read it I said, ‘Oh, page 50 this character who was the emotional core at the center, that was guiding the audience in the story up to that point – he dies?’ What a waste,” the actor said. “They kind of dealt with it poorly, that’s my only criticism of it because I think it was a fun movie, it was a very successful movie. I told them that even if I wasn’t doing this role, that character shouldn’t die at that point. It’s just bad narrative, but they were too far down the road. I was the last guy hired because I was still shooting ‘Breaking Bad’ and they kept pushing because ‘Breaking Bad’ kept pushing. Finally, I was able to get in and do it.”
How would he have fixed it? Well he actually had a decent idea for how it should’ve happened:
“That character should have been with his son and they would’ve started to bond a little bit more and they went on this journey together to go back home and be reintroduced to his grandson. Just when they’re bonding and it looks like they could have a relationship, the father sacrifices himself to save his son. And that’s the way he should have died,”
That’s all well and good, but it still doesn’t explain why we got teased about monster fights throughout the movie, only to have a literal door shut on the festivities. Just having some more of what we got in the climax of the film would’ve made the sting of losing Cranston so early a little easier to stomach. And it certainly would’ve been better than whatever that train business with the nuke turned out to be. And where was Godzuki, eh!?