'Godzilla: Resurgence' Trailer: The King Of The Monsters Is Bigger And Meaner Than Ever

The problem facing Godzilla as a character, as giant radioactive lizard who makes a habit out of turning cities into piles of dust and rubble, is that time has the nasty habit of sanding the rough edges off of just about anything. We've watched it happen to other famous movie monsters – as the decades pass, formerly terrifying creations become mascots. They become heroes. They start to rescue the cities and the people they once mercilessly destroyed.

The most refreshing thing about the first trailer for Godzilla: Resurgence was the overwhelming sense of menace and dread in every frame. This isn't a Godzilla movie where the King of the Monsters saves Tokyo from alien invaders while kids cheer him on – this is a Godzilla movie where the title character is restored as a figure who deserves to be feared. The newest trailer, cut for the film's Philippines release, doubles down on this.

Godzilla: Resurgence has no connection to Gareth Edward's Godzilla film, which divided audiences back in 2014 and is still being used as a foundation for a larger movie universe that will soon include King Kong. This is the 29th Godzilla film produced by Toho, who have been steering this series since the original 1954 movie. However, this is no sequel and seemingly has no connection to dozens of movies that have come before it. Godzilla: Resurgence is a reboot, imagining Godzilla arriving for the first time in modern day Japan.

Directed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi (who previously collaborated on Neon Genesis Evangelion), Godzilla: Resurgence has already opened in Japan, where it was greeted by warm reviews and impressive box office. It will continue opening in additional territories over the following months, but viewers on the other side of the world viewers may have to wait some time yet. Although the film has been picked up for North American, Central American, and South American distribution, no release date has been revealed. Early word out of Comic-Con suggested a late 2016 release, but nothing has been confirmed yet.

In the meantime, I can only say that I like what I see in this trailer. I like how Godzilla himself, who looks downright cuddly in some of the Toho movies, looks genuinely grotesque and ferocious. I like how Godzilla seems to be operating as an instrument of total destruction. Even the Hollywood remake (and I fall into the "it's really excellent" side of that debate) felt compelled to give the big guy his fair share of heroic beats in the climax. Like the '54 original, Godzilla: Resurgence is about an unstoppable monster who regards human beings as nothing more than ants. I'll take scary Godzilla over friendly Godzilla any day.