INTRODUCTION. So we can all pretty much agree that Roland Emmerich’s take on this monster movie legend was pretty terrible. But then Gareth Edwards, of Monsters fame, started work! And we gaped in awe at its stark, bewitching trailers and teasers! If you enjoyed those then you will probably enjoy most of the latest Godzilla film.
PLOT. Be still and have patience. The story progresses gradually – it is a tease at the beginning, in that you won’t regret your forbearance. With that warning out of the way…
Godzilla‘s plot can be split into its human drama and monster aspects, which interact in a dissonant manner that will cause some viewers to leave the cinema with mixed feelings. The human drama side takes itself very seriously; for a 123 minute film you might suppose there would have been ample time for its expansion but most of it builds up at the start. Now the monster aspect of Godzilla is just way out there. Packed with absolutely bombastic actions scenes on an unrivalled, epic scale. Edwards does a much better job of conveying the immensity of Godzilla than, say, Del Toro does with his Kaiju in Pacific Rim.
The relationship between these two aspects may come off as clumsy at times but I think it is compensated for by those few sublimely picturesque moments in which they directly meet. You will want to watch Godzilla for the action. Perhaps (like me) you will want to see it again because of its insistence on a particular theme: the infinitesimal role of man against the greater backdrop of our ancient planet.
CHARACTERS. I ran away with myself up there, so let’s keep this short. Bryan Cranston is the bomb for being able to bring depth to a tragic-persona archetype. Aaron Taylor-Johnson has some hits and misses. Ken Watanabe might be unintentionally hilarious. It’s an odd affair. You spend quite some time as a viewer wanting to see a better exploration of the human drama – however, you’re also extremely keen on catching more glimpses of Godzilla. Don’t worry about the latter. It happens and it is jawdroppingly fun.
CONCLUSION. Godzilla is very much the sum of its genre’s tropes. It does these things very well, both as an homage to monster movies and as a standalone production. Definitely one to catch on the silver screen because you are gonna want to hear this big guy roar in surround sound.
STORY: 7/10 CHARACTERS: 6.5/10 REWATCH FACTOR: 7/10 OVERALL: 7/10