Photo: Warner Brothers Pictures
With this summer’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters proving such a smashing box office success, we thought we would take this opportunity to go back and review its predecessor, 2014’s Godzilla. This is the film that unleashed monsters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and also fully introduced us to key characters of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. Some fans have largely dismissed this film due to its more controversial elements, but it’s still a fun film to watch and a crucial part of the ever-changing MCU.
This film is definitely a departure from Marvel’s normal fare in that in brings in not just superheroes, but giant kaiju monsters from the comics tradition. The story focuses on longtime comics nemesis Fin Fang Foom terrorizing the populace–at least, we assume that’s who that giant green dragon creature was supposed to be–while Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch, and Magneto try to stop him. We’re still not certain why it was called Godzilla, though, instead of Fin Fang Foom Destroys the Marvel Universe.
The most controversial element in this film is, of course, the incestuous marriage between brother and sister Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). On one hand, since Elizabeth Olsen has probably spent her whole life feeling left out of a famous set of twins, we’re glad that she finally had the chance to have a twin in the Marvel universe. On the other hand, it’s a little weird because she’s also married to her twin brother in this film. But let’s take a look at why and how that is in the context of the MCU’s unfolding story.
We first met these characters in a brief mid-credits scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, released less than two months before Godzilla. We see them fully coming into their powers and identities in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. But this film comes between the two in a time of transition and turmoil for our heroes. Wanda and Pietro have both been experimented on by evil Hydra scientists, and have probably experienced some memory loss or mental manipulation in the process. Thus, in Godzilla, they’ve been led to believe that they’re married to each other, and we see them acting and kissing accordingly. This is also why the twins are barely seen using their powers in this film, as they still aren’t used to them and don’t have full control. The Maximoffs don’t learn of their own true natures or their relationship until Age of Ultron, and it isn’t until 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse that Quicksilver even discovers who his true father is. So, while their marriage is a problematic one, it’s basically the same situation as Luke and Leia’s relationship in A New Hope. And that worked out great for everyone involved, right?
Speaking of the Maximoffs’ father, fans know that this is none other than Magneto, the mutant master of magnetism himself. The twins’ father plays a crucial role in Godzilla, although due to the Fox/Disney divide at the time, he is portrayed here not by Ian McKellen or Michael Fassbender, but by Bryan Cranston instead. While Cranston brings a stellar performance to the role, his metal-controlling powers are severely under-utilized in this movie. But we would have loved to see him Breaking Bad guys apart with his powers, or being The One Who Knocks a monster down.
Godzilla (2014) is still a key part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a solid introduction to some key characters. Go give it another watch!