I know there are plenty of you guys out there that absolutely loathe reboots. Especially for films that have already received a reboot once before. I, on the other hand, welcome them and for the most part, keep an open mind about them until I’ve actually seen the finished product. Some turn out awful, some are just okay, and some are outstanding. Gareth Edwards’ foray into the most famous kaiju’s territory has proven to be a breath of fresh air and a truly awesome overall experience.
Seismic disturbances of unknown origin have been occurring in Japan for days. Power plant supervisor, Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and his wife, Sandra (Juliette Binoche), try figuring out what is going on when there is a sudden explosion and radiation leak, causing the collapse of the plant and deaths of Sandra and many other plant employees.
Fast forward 15 years later, Joe is still devastated by the loss of his wife and is on a mission to prove that the seismic readings he is studying today are the same ones that caused the explosion so many years earlier. He is determined to find out what everyone is hiding and what is really causing all of this damage.
That is clearly a very tiny breakdown or what is really going on throughout Godzilla. This reboot has much more involved in the story than every other Godzilla film I’ve seen over the last month or so. There is greater character development, more drama, and more characters to pay attention to. Some fans may be disappointed with the first act of the film because of the focus on the Brody family, but I really think Edwards and company have pulled it off very nicely. We can’t have just another monster movie; we need to know who and what is involved and why this is all happening.
With a cast consisting of Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass), Elizabeth Olsen (Silent House), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), and so many other wonderful actors, I really can’t say one bad thing about the acting. Everyone had their own individual personalities and melded well with each other with each on-screen transaction.
Now let’s get to the fun stuff. This is, without a doubt, the best we’ve ever seen Godzilla look. From the texturing, to the colors, to the tremendous size, everything Godzilla has to offer is awesome! The power of the G-man in this movie is really something to appreciate, finally bringing true terror back to a creature who has been around for 60 years.
The character design for the king of the monsters’ enemies was also very impressive. Looking like creatures pulled straight out of The Mist or Cloverfield, the enemy MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms) are frightening and cause uncanny amounts of damage to anything they lay their ‘hands’ on. Needless to say, to see all of the mammoths facing off with one another truly is a spectacle. I spent the extra cash to watch the movie in 3D and I am happy I did! The fight sequences are exactly what I’ve been waiting for in a monster movie for a very long time.
Gareth Edwards’ work on his first giant creature movie, Monsters, has proved to be a very good learning experience for the British film director because he clearly knew what to do and what not to do in a movie of this magnitude and subject matter. He knows his source material very well and stayed true to a lot of the Godzilla lore, while still bringing an exciting and original take to the franchise.
If you’re a monster movie fan or just want to see some really awesome brawl sequences between multiple goliaths, do yourself a favor and go see Godzilla, in theaters now. I give it 4.5 seismic readings out of 5.
One would suspect with my inherent hatred of gigantic Hollywood blockbuster films and my disdain for kaiju films that the 2014 reboot of Godzilla would have me scoffing and screaming obscenities at the screen. However, director Gareth Edwards and writers Max Borenstein and Dave Callaham really manage to pull off a gigantic film with plenty of story and just enough monster carnage.
Outstanding performances by Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick Ass) and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) aid in the story, creating a father/son relationship and gives us the basis in which the film will play out.
Since I’m not a huge Godzilla fan to begin with, I had only a handful of the older films to compare it with. This is a refreshing take on the franchise for me. It’s bigger and nastier than its original counterparts. The presence of the monsters is huge and extremely threatening, giving Godzilla many different elements from many different genres. It has the feeling of a huge natural disaster film, a military quarantine film, and a monster film all rolled into one.
This version of Godzilla is kept very dark and leaves your eyes searching the shadows constantly, which is something I really felt that this film needed. We don’t get over-exposed to Godzilla, which will leave some people grouchy. I, however, felt like it was just enough. We get just over two hours to take it all in — Godzilla is coming, how the military and civilians react, and enough character development to keep this from being a Freddy vs. Jason-esque film, which is just an excuse to have iconic monsters on the screen.
In 1998, Hollywood failed miserably, but this time, they got a lot right. Make way for Godzilla, because he’s here, he’s huge, and he’s about to take over.
I give this film 4 out of 5 EMPs.