Possible spoilers ahead!
For the record: This new Godzilla movie is a 100 times better than the 1998 fiasco. But as my fellow TNU member Laneit said, “That’s not saying anything.” Gareth Edwards’ 2014 “Godzilla” takes its cues and tone from the 1954 original. And while this movie has a lot good things, it’s not the Godzilla movie I was hoping for.
In “Godzilla,” Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) is the chief engineer working at the Janjira nuclear plant. He discovers a mysterious seismic activity pattern that threatens the stability of his facility and the lives of nearby residents.
But before Joe can plead his case to his superiors, the mysterious force causes a meltdown. Leaving Joe, his family, and the rest of the area, devastated.
Fifteen years later, Joe still searches for answers, obsessed with uncovering the truth behind Janjira’s nuclear meltdown. During one of his trips inside the quarantine zone, Joe is arrested. Joe’s son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), a Navy EOD technician, must travel to Japan to bail him out.
The two haven’t talked in years, and part of Ford thinks his dad is crazy, but he still accompanies him back into the quarantine zone. Soon they discover that the government is indeed hiding something, and the fate of the world is at stake.
As I mentioned earlier, this movie has some good parts. First of Godzilla looks like Godzilla, not a Jurassic Park experiment. Also, the first twenty or so minutes of the new “Godzilla” are incredible, the nuclear meltdown sequence looked and felt epic. The flash forward to present day was done well, and quickly told you what had happened to the characters since the meltdown fifteen years earlier.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Juliette Binoche, and Bryan Cranston were great at the beginning of the film. Bryan Cranston in particular set a great tone for the film. He delivered an emotional and empathetic performance.
The main character in the movie, is a soldier who is apparently invincible. Let’s see now, Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s character survives the nuclear disaster in Japan; another attack at the same facility, Godzilla’s Hawaiian escapades and several more disasters. I get that he’s the main character in the movie, but at some point he should be injured with more than just a bloody nose.
Meanwhile Elizabeth Olsen gave a solid performance in the film, but the actress is given very little screen time. Instead of developing Elle as a character, Gareth Edwards cast her aside. Maybe some of her stuff got cut, or Edwards didn’t know what to do with the character.
One more thing: I know this is silly, but every time Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson kissed, all I kept thinking was “They’re brother and sister in Avengers 2.”
Similarly, Ken Watanabe’s Dr. Ichiro Serizawa is there only to deliver exposition. He constantly provides backstory, scientific data, and insights whenever a character (and the audience) needs clarification. The problem is he delivers all his lines in the same tone, and with the same facial expression. Ken Watanabe is a talented actor, surely they could have given him more to do.
I was hoping to see Godzilla stomp Tokyo like in the old days, and there is plenty of destruction to be had. You think Man of steel had a ton of collateral damage? You ain’t seen nothing yet.
Unfortunately this “Godzilla” is less about a giant monster’s rampage, and more about making Godzilla the defender of the universe. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know what I mean.
I won’t say this movie is the worst Godzilla movie ever because it’s not. But it’s just not the Godzilla movie I was hoping for.
“Godzilla” Final Score: 7