Release Date: May 16, 2014
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins
Director: Gareth Edwards
Studio: Warner Bros.
Distributor: Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures, Disruption Entertainment, Toho Company
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
“Godzilla” had a lot riding on it. The 60th Anniversary of when the kaiju first showed up, a huge cast of A-list actors, fantastic teasers and trailers, and giving justice to the 1999 movie that we’ll just sweep under the rug. So with all those ingredients combined into the movie bowl, what do you get? A movie that leaves you wanting more monster on monster action…like seriously, it’s like the whole movie was a tease and you never get to finish.
The movie starts off with snippets of atomic bomb testings in the Pacific with glimpses of the giant spiky mountain spines of Godzilla in the water. You’re then greeted with nuclear engineer Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and his wife, Sandra Brody (Juliette Binoche) in the year 1999. The nuclear plant is destroyed by seismic tremors that started off in the Philippines and end up killing Sandra. Fast forward to 15 years later and the Brody’s little boy, Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) grows up to be a military explosives expert.
Joe Brody is still obsessed with the fact that the nuclear plant didn’t go down because of an earthquake and that something was behind it all. Ford eventually has to free Joe from Japan jail for trespassing but not until the have a heartfelt moment about Sandra. Ford is dragged along with Joe to investigate the plant again and that’s when they discover the M.U.T.O. (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism). This is where they meet Dr. Ichoro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins). Eventually the M.U.T.O. comes alive, destroys the plant and Joe ends up dying because of a radiation cloud. That’s about an hour of the movie and Godzilla still hasn’t showed up yet.
Now you’re left in the capable hands of Aaron Taylor-Johnson playing Ford, and it’s agonizing. The biggest thing is that Godzilla and the M.U.T.O.s feed off of radiation and what does the U.S.A do to try and get rid of the monsters? You guessed it…shoot nukes at them. It’s the characteristic movie plot formula – protagonist loses family, fights for killing the monsters, conveniently is only guy in ALL of the military to do bombs, USA thinks the answer to everything is shoot more artillery at something, shit is going down the drain, everyone is losing, and the shining moment comes and everyone is saved.
I mean, you’ve seen it a hundred times, but where “Godzilla” fails is the fact that there isn’t enough monster. I want to go see a monster action movie, not a crappily done “let’s shove a human element into the monster movie.” They kill Binoche and Craston before Godzilla even shows up and Watanabe and Hawkins do nothing except for Watanabe has some cool one-liners. The most emotional parts of the movie were whenever Craston was on screen. So all the A-list actors are just filler fluff and you’re left with emotionless buff guy, Taylor-Johnson with a sprinkle of kaiju.
Final Thoughts: There are some really cool scenes in the movie though but that doesn’t justify a 123 minute running time of the movie where only about 30 minutes of it have monsters in it. It’s a great reboot, way better than Godzilla 1999, but for the next movie (if there is a sequel) have more monster fighting, for the love of kaiju. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you go see the movie because you really should see it, because the graphics are amazing. And the characteristic Godzilla roar is awesome. But when you’re done with the movie, it’s just…you feel like you’ve been cheated on.
P.S. Save your money and don’t see it in 3D. It’s not worth it. They don’t utilize the 3D like they could have.