Director: Gareth Edwards
Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, etc.
The king of monsters is officially back in action! Ever since 2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars, i’ve been sorely waiting for any type of retreading of one of the favorite characters of my childhood. I’m happy to say that, despite a couple glaring flaws, that the new Godzilla does the name justice.
I’ll try not to say much about the plot. The best parts of the film are best kept under wraps for maximum enjoyment. It’s about what you’d expect, the giant titular, irradiated lizard emerges from the depths of the ocean to bout with an equally dangerous kaiju for survival, while our human characters grovel beneath them. What Godzilla does right, it does extraordinarily well. The visual effects create an absolutely enormous sense of scale, while the sound (including the iconic roar) combine in a stew of aesthetic glory. Godzilla has never seemed more powerful or awesome, and it works great. The fights between Godzilla and MUTO (the primary antagonist here) are easily the highlight, pleasing to both crowds and veteran fans alike. It’s takes a very long time for them to happen, though, as the film focuses more on suspenseful buildup, and the scenes mainly occur in the film’s climax. It makes the scenes that much more satisfying, but leaves you wishing that there was more, and now and then creates a sense of frustration (just cut to the monsters already!).
Where the film falters the most is its human story. I’m aware that Godzilla couldn’t function all his own throughout an entire film, and Cranston does very well, as expected, but, for the most part, the story of the human characters is very plain and the audience isn’t really given enough incentive to care. Like a said earlier, you spend 90% of the film wishing Some giant monster action was happening instead of a cliche family reunion and survival story. It leaves a wanting that is not completely filled by the amazing action when it does happen.
As a whole, Godzilla is an immensely enjoyable creature feature bogged down somewhat by a not-so-enjoyable sub story. The action set pieces are huge and impressive and do a very good job of pleasing viewers. In all, i’m just glad Godzilla is once again able to stand among to great film characters; the king of monsters. Here’s hoping for a sequel in the near future.