Title – Godzilla (2014)
Director – Gareth Edwards (Monsters)
Cast – Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn
Plot – Jo Brody (Cranston) has a theory about a nuclear power plant disaster that hit Japan in the late 1990’s that many refuse to take heed to, even his distant son and soldier Ford Brody (Johnson). But when similar events start to take place again the world realises that something long laid dormant is about to reacquaint itself with the world.
“The arrogance of man is thinking nature is in our control… and not the other way around”
Review by Eddie on 16/05/2014
Those seeking summer action film wham-bam-thank-you-mam blockbuster carnage from start to finish in Godzilla are going to be sorely disappointed with this new king of the monsters, but for those with appreciation for finely paced and well-staged action, Gareth Edward’s Godzilla is going to prove highly entertaining and thoughtfully constructed despite not being exactly the hotly anticipated creature feature classic that many perhaps hoped it would be.
Quickly graduating from his debut made-for-under-a-million-dollars feature Monsters to a 160 million dollar large scale reboot of one of the most beloved cinema creations in history, Brit Gareth Edwards had a mighty large task in making a film that not only re-imagined Godzilla for modern audiences but provided heart and soul for the CGI wonderment to take place around and on that front he does a commendable job. Without wishing to spoil much of what occurs throughout the story, the film takes a pretty stock standard approach of distant family members pulling together in time of a world disaster and fills that out with some extremely basic supports from the grizzled military commander through to the token loyal wife and in the form of Ken Watanabe’s scientist one of the most glazed over and gawking acting appearances of the year (seriously just count the times he stands around looking at something as though he has just been hit by a bad case of the stares). With a weak and underused support base Edwards does strike gold with the combo of Johnson and in particular Bryan Cranston who seems to be still on an acting high from his 5 season arc in Breaking Bad and here adds much needed gravitas to the human flavour of the piece, but in the end who really needs these humans when Godzilla is on the loose?
With the CGI star of the piece Godzilla a startling and impressive incarnation (even though the big fella seems to have a penchant for the odd lizard cheeseburger) it’s safe to say this is where Edwards film comes into its own and becomes a must-see big screen adventure. With the films ample and sparingly used set pieces Edwards has proved that while he can handle the human element he excels at the popcorn munching extravagance even more so. Unwilling to spoil many of the films unique set ups it’s safe to say there is enough jaw dropping imagery on display here to safely call Godzilla one of the most visually impressive films you’re likely to witness this year and while the film’s most stunning set piece in the form of a military drop has been seen countless times in the films trailers and adverts there are many other moments of a true epic nature to allow us to call this a feast for eyes. In a stage in motion pictures where CGI has reached all new levels of over-saturation it’s a real joy to behold a film that seems to use its wizardry to realistic and stunning effects.
Godzilla is a finely crafted and immensely entertaining reboot of a franchise that perhaps many thought would now lay long dormant, but thanks to Edwards’ deft touch you get the feeling once again that us mere mortals will find it more than OK to see more of what is on display here. While Godzilla is in itself its own worst enemy: a film held back by a subject that can only take it so far, there is little doubt that this big budget effort is about all you could ever want from a giant radiated lizard going about his business.
3 and a half jungle submarines out of 5