Godzilla Movie Review
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He is a god, a monster having survived since before the dinosaurs. He is an enormous and elusive beast that has escaped the wrath of secret government agencies, to hibernate deep within the sea. He is Godzilla, and he brings balance on Earth.
However, mankind seeks to destroy Godzilla and that ignorance could have grave consequences.
Society’s cavalier use of nuclear energy plays a significant role in waking a kaiju called MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism); it thrives on radioactive matter, and it seeks to destroy. This MUTO first wreaks havoc in Japan, upon a large nuclear facility. Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston), had been studying seismic anomalies that lead to the incident, but his calls for alarm went ignored. He lost his wife, and nearly his son, in the aftermath of a putative meltdown.
Brody’s son, Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), now a naval officer, has to put his young family aside to bail out his crackpot dad, who’s been snooping around the quarantine zone in Japan. A reluctant son joins a father to recover his long lost data, in hopes of learning the truth about what really occurred 15 years earlier. What they discover, is a top-secret entity operating on a large cocoon, which has erected itself in the facility crater.
Meanwhile, Godzilla has intercepted signals emanating from the cocoon, and he’s emerging. Those same signals cause a second MUTO to surface near Las Vegas, an event with catastrophic results on the Sin City.
We learn the two MUTO seek to reproduce, so plans are formulated to eliminate all known threats (including Godzilla) as they ascend on one another, using a massive nuclear blast. When will we learn? It’s a massive comedy of errors on mankind’s part…while Godzilla goes nuclear on his natural enemies, playing savior to our arrogance.
Framed mostly from the perspective of its human pawns, Gareth Edwards successfully achieves a horrifying tonality severely devoid from the Roland Emmerich-directed Godzilla. Those memories of shoddy jokes and velociraptors vanish quickly under Edward’s rubble.
He’s working from a script penned by Max Borenstein, which is where the flaws come to surface. The human element isn’t intriguing, made worse that 80% of the film is character interactions, backstory explanations and Elizabeth Olsen looking concerned/scared. Pitted against malevolent monsters and our hero-in-disguise, I found it difficult to care about the journey from point A to point B.
Godzilla’s unveiling occurs following an agonizing tease, but very enthralling in its eventual execution. With a price tag coming in at $160 million, the computer-generated content is spectacularly clean; impressive considering Edwards’ previous film Monsters, was basically created out of his garage on a shoestring budget. Alexandre Desplat lends his composer expertise in tracks that will absolutely move audiences, figuratively and physically. Very well done.
Godzilla succeeds on a culmination of technical achievement and regard for history. Audiences can expect to exit theaters satiated, cathartic and absolutely wanting more.