This was not the Godzilla film I was hoping for although as a science-fiction monster film in general it was entertaining enough.
Years after Joe Brody (Cranston) lost his wife in a catastrophic nuclear power plant disaster he is still searching for answers that he feels have been covered up. His constant obsession for the truth lands him in jail and his son Ford (Taylor-Johnson) travels to Japan to try and bring his back home. While there they discover the many secrets being hiding on the old site location and witness the reawakening of a massive creature the human race will have trouble comprehending.
Things are compounded when Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Watanabe) informs the military that there may be another creature brewing deep in the sea and that these two massive monsters may be hunting one another. The human race will have to decide whether to fight, or sit back and let these monstrous creatures battle as nature has intended.
Growing up I was always a fan of the Godzilla films, I may in fact be the only one who found the 1998 blockbuster failure to be a fun adventure. I was highly anticipating the newest film and with a cast consisting of Bryan Cranston and Ken Watanabe I was even more delighted. After seeing a few trailers the film looked to have some promise, there seemed to be the attempt of a dramatic script and I hoped the reboot would delve deeper into the past of the famous creature.
After watching I can say there were many strong elements to this film. The cast was great and their performances were strong enough to deliver some of the intended emotion of the plots tone despite some spotty writing at times. Unfortunately for as many things as I liked, there were as many things I disliked, and when this one wrapped up and the end-credits began to roll I felt it was an enjoyable film as a science-fiction adventure, but a disappointment as a reboot of Godzilla.
I don’t often hit films with a heavy hand on the keyboard and for the most part I do my best to try and find the good in all films. But this one just had me feeling like my money had been taken, after a horde of misrepresentation and false advertising campaigns this film delivered in its media package. Sure I heard the rumblings of the titular star only being in the film for brief moments, and for the most part I defended this in hopes for an intriguing re-envision of the classic tale.
But of my complaints, this one was down on the list as I felt there were many other problems with this special-effects filled blockbuster. My number one issue was the lack of time Bryan Cranston had in the film. Bolstered as the headlining star, his reputation was what had given me the hope of an intriguing tale, but by the time the second-act came around I knew that would not be the case. I also felt this film simply pulled elements from other projects. As if this one didn’t seem enough like “War of the Worlds” the replication of the deep, bass-toned shriek of the Muto’s was laughable and took away any possible buildup of of suspense.
Also I feel not only was Godzilla not given much screen-time, he was also relegated to the sub-plot of his own film. Now going back to these Muto’s, why they were the main theme of the film I do not know and why they could not have created at least a more intimating look is beyond me, but watching them made me think, “Starship Troopers” on steroids and with a bigger budget. So to say the least they were far from intimidating.
There were also many moments where the chaos-sequences were simply added to say they were, and to deliver some good CGI regardless of whether or not it fitting into the cohesion of the script. I liked how the first time Godzilla makes landfall it causes and massive tsunami and every other time it doesn’t. I also laughed at the fact a couple recognizable buildings in San Francisco were destroyed multiple times during the battle scenes. It was also odd how the scale of Godzilla would change, for example he is completely submerged swimming under the Navy vessels and when he stands up the water level barely touched his knees. All of these oversights led up to a bad remake.
It was not all bad though, while the film was a rather recycled take on the catastrophe-adventure genre it still held my attention and despite the annoyances of Godzilla being hidden by, closing doors, smoke, clouds, water, debris and anything else the filmmakers could think, of he was still good while onscreen.
Like everyone said, he was only in it for twenty-minutes but it was a good stretch, and fun to watch the monumental scope of the destruction. The acting was good enough to carry your interest throughout for the most part as the script hovered around the generic. This was not a complete disappointment and is worth a one-time watch, but it will be forgotten for the most part delivering some good imagery when it finally got over the cinema tease, and second long glances.