The on screen history of Godzilla has sure had it’s ups and downs but, the hardcore fans have always been there for their favorite monster. With the bad memories of the 1998 Godzilla remake sixteen years behind us, the kind of monsters emerges from the sea once again and you’ll want to be present for his homecoming.
The story opens in Japan with Joe Brody, a manager of a nuclear power-plant played by Bryan Cranston, completely enthralled in his work. Joe begins to notice some suspicious seismic activity that he suspects is more than your average earth quake. Something goes horribly wrong during Joe’s research and his wife, played by Juliette Binoche, gets caught in the middle and Joe Brody is left to raise his young son Ford, alone. Years pass and we find Ford all grown up, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, he’s just come home from the army and is reunited with his wife, played by Elizabeth Olsen. Ford receives a call and has to go find his father who is now gone a little off the rails and completely devoted his life to finding out the source of the seismic activity all those years ago. It isn’t long before this source reveals itself as a horrifying flying creature. This creature has been trying to communicate to more of its kind and as the military plans for a way to destroy it, the creatures cries have awoken a different godlike creature that has been dormant for hundreds of years. This creature could be mankind’s only chance for restoring the natural order of nature.
The supporting actors in this movie all give somewhat stale performances in, with the exception of Bryan Cranston who performs very well but is given very minimal screen time. Ken Watanabe, who plays another scientist working with the military, also performs well but shares the problem of Cranston which is lack of screen time. Aaron Taylor-Johnson who is our main character, has some cringe worthy moments in the film in which he delivers mindless expressions and dull reactions despite the extraordinary events taking place all around him. Elizabeth Olsen does well enough but the flaws with her performance lay within the writing, which is no fault of her own, she does the best with what she was given. Despite the dull human characters in the movie, the star of the show is executed magnificently. Godzilla is magnificent to behold, he’s as tall as a sky scraper and as mighty on screen as any fan of the fiction could hope for. There are some excellent battle scenes between Godzilla and the other creatures and they are paced very well. I found as soon as I thought to myself “okay, i’m ready for some more action” a battle was surely about to begin. I also enjoyed the setting of the film, as most disasters in movies take place in New York or Los Angeles over and over again, this film is spread across the Philippines, Japan, San Francisco, Nevada, and even Hawaii. This diversity in setting is something I greatly appreciated.
The movie takes a bit of time gaining its steam in the beginning but once it takes off, its a truly fun ride. It’s no secret that Godzilla is the main attraction in this film and he makes that known every time he appears on screen. In my screening the entire theatre was clapping and cheering out loud for the mighty creature to restore the balance of nature and it was an experience you could only find in the theatre. If you plan on seeing Godzilla at all, I would highly recommend seeing it in the theatre before it comes to home release, as I fear some of the scale and attraction of the spectacle will lose some of its magic on your televisions at home. Despite the lackluster performances by the supporting cast, Godzilla is back in all his glory and this is one fantastic summer monster movie I would not miss out on.
(All movie scores are based on a scale ranging from 1 to 10)