Watch out folks, the king of monsters is back!
A much anticipated film for most of 2014, Godzilla is the second American re-imagining of the original 1954 Japanese film. It looks to go back to the roots and bring this character back from the hell that was 1998 Godzilla by Roland Emmerich.
First thing off the bat, don’t bother with 3D, wasn’t worth it. Secondly, my overall feeling for the film for when I left that screen was…that last half an hour was awesome. And there lies my issue with the film. Now, the first part of the film I did enjoy, but compared to all the hype and PR given to the film, I felt it was lacking.
The story of the film looks at the revisiting of Godzilla after an attempt to kill him via nuclear weapons. In present day, after an apparent accident at a nuclear facility in Tokyo fifteen years ago, a new creature surfaces, dubbed as a MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism). After which Godzilla appears and a second MUTO. Now the formula sounds simple. Two big baddie monsters and one big good monster. Epic monster duel right? Well yes, but it’s a shame that most it happens off camera. During the film there are three occasions where there’s a monster punch up and only one we get to see. The film is told from the point of view of the humans, and Godzilla isn’t shown until an hour into the film. That I’m fine with, builds suspense to the unveiling of Godzilla. But his unveiling wasn’t exactly as epic as I was expecting. He appears, then does some off-camera fighting with the MUTO and then that’s it. It was actually laughable seeing Godzilla chase the MUTO by swimming, whilst surrounded by the Navy. It looked kind of awesome but at the same time out of place.
The film arrives with a star studded cast. Bryan Cranston, fresh out of Breaking Bad, brings his A game to this film but is sadly whistled away too quickly. Ken Watanabe, playing a scientist is purely wasted in this film. The man has such talent but on-screen he looks really lost. His character doesn’t carry much weight and it shows. Aaron-Taylor Johnson, best known for his work in Kick-Ass, is playing a much more mature role, a soldier with a family. The chemistry between him and his on-screen father, Cranston, is there and works well but on his own, Aaron is just stale. This is not his kind of role, he is better suited for comedy if anything.
However, with all these issues, when that last act/punch came, nothing mattered. It was the most spectacular display of monster fighting I have scene in a long time. The special effects were fantastic and each punch, tail whip, roar was just so well executed, the rest of the film didn’t matter. That is not to say I hated the rest of the film, I thought the actual writing and the plot was rather intelligent, I found myself siding with the scientist to just let nature take it’s course and let Godzilla defeat the MUTO. But I think compared to expectations it was lacking. Without the immense PR, I think Godzilla would’ve been a great film, but the fact it came with such high expectations, it didn’t live up to it. If those two fights were on camera, then it would’ve been great, those were the two points of the film I was really disappointed at.