In the latest attempt to recycle tried and true media, Godzilla comes to us from the same studio as Pacific Rim and sadly has some of the same issues.
Without spoiling too much, this is actually a lot like the old school Toho films: shit goes sideways, humans are boned, we need to hope Godzilla can save the day. Sounds like a recipe for a fun, turn your brain off kind of movie and it is. When the monsters are on screen. Which seem liked more to me than what other sources (angry internet fans) have reported. But, like I said above, in keeping with what seems to be a pattern with these films (Pacific Rim, Transformers, and I fear the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), they aren’t really the focal point of the film: it’s the people around Godzilla.
This movie feels like it wants to be closer to a remake of the 1954 Japanese Godzilla, or Gojira of you want to be a pompous ass (or you’re talking to my father who still views the 1956 Americanized version with Raymond Burr as the “original Godzilla”), but falls a bit short. Where the first one was an anti-nuclear weapon allegory with a giant prehistoric lizard melting shit with his atomic breath, this movie approaches the problem like trying to put out a fire with napalm. There’s more plot holes here than a old pair of underwear.
The actors are what shocked me the most. Bryan Cranston doesn’t really have much to do, Aaron Taylor-Johnson is really unimpressive as an EOD tech turned monster hunter, and Elizabeth Olsen is juat kinda there as his wife. Ken Wantanbe (Asian guy in Inception) fills a dual role of exposition machine and fan service of Dr. Serizawa. Serizawa is probably the most engaging character, only because he seems the most shell shocked by the proceedings, like any normal human being would.
All that being said, I did enjoy it. I think the complaints about not seeing the creatures in full until the third act fits with the overall style, even if it feel well short of the lofty Jaws style suspense that director Gareth Edwards was aiming for. But, he sure knows how to do monsters. Those sequences alone make the movie.
I’m curious to see where the franchise goes from here and will be there when it takes that step. This is also one that will be in my Blu-ray player as soon as possible, being a Godzilla fanboy and all. What did you think? Let me know in the comments section below.