The character Godzilla reminds one of the great monster movies of yesteryear - King Kong, Dracula, etc. However, in 1998, a very bad “Godzilla” movie was made, and people just kind of forgot about the character. The brand-spankin’-new 2014 Godzilla had to really deliver the goods to fans, without being completely illogical and strange. After all, this is one of the easiest film genres for a moviemaker to do - these big-budget action films seem to have a lot in common with one another, and creativity appears to be dead (Did you know Michael Bay is making ANOTHER Transformers movie?)
Gareth Edwards must have realized that he has a lot riding on this new “Godzilla.” Should it do well, it could become a franchise. Should it do horribly, it will be another “Jack the Giant Slayer” for Warner Bros. Translation - a big budget embarrassment that lost a ton of money. So it had to fall outside of the typical action-movie cliches. Fans might be happy initially, but critics will crucify the film and it won’t be remembered in a positive light.
"Godzilla" is strangely interested in the human-emotional aspect of the story, as opposed to when Godzilla finally destroys everything. It’s great that this movie tried to incorporate some kind of real story amidst all of the destruction and mayhem.
Joe (Bryan Cranston) loses his wife (Juliette Binoche) in a weird, toxic-gas accident that he unwittingly put her into. Years later, he is a broken man who is obsessed with exposing a governmental conspiracy that he enlists his son, an Army Lieutenant (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) to help him with. Before long, they look over a past event in the 1950’s, the first appearance of the mythical Godzilla, and realize that before too long, Godzilla isn’t the only monster that threatens them all.
Cranston gives an excellent performance, bringing lots of emotion and pathos to a role that didn’t necessarily call for it. Johnson also proves that he is very comfortable in the role of the macho action hero, having become much more than the quirky kid from the Kick-Ass movies. His performance isn’t quite as seasoned as Cranston’s, but as an actor, he’ll get there.
Edwards does a good job making this a story that the audience can easily get into, and also does justice to the old Godzilla movies, getting the action moments where the madness of Godzilla is unleashed very right. However, a good portion of the mayhem here takes place in San Francisco, and the Golden Gate bridge doesn’t get destroyed? In that aspect, I felt a bit ripped off. Otherwise, this reboot really works. It has a tacked-on ending that basically demands a sequel, which I will gladly go see.
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