What’s it About?
The world’s most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.
Directed by Gareth Edwards
Hey Densters! Vic here with a brief review of director Gareth Edward’s (Monsters) new sci fi monster flick, “Godzilla.” I am going to keep this one kind of short and simple, though, gang (I hope). Not going to go into every aspect of it this go around. Just about every smart and astute blogger out there has already reviewed this bad boy in great and eloquent detail and I am a bit late to the picnic with this review.
We all just about know the story (by Max Borenstein and Dave Callaham), which is, that the irradiated and pre-historic big G returns from hibernation to go after not one, but two radiation consuming beasties called “Mutos” that threaten the very existence of civilization. Yeah, the story is more complex but I won’t go into all of that right now for the sake of brevity. We also know the well rounded cast (all of which I enjoyed thoroughly especially Cranston): Aaron Taylor Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Bryan Cranston, David Strathairn and the ever cool Ken Watanabe as Dr. Serizawa.
The film, for the most part is getting very good reviews and positive buzz and despite all of that the movie does have it’s fair share of detractors but I am going to admit that I am in the majority, here. For those expecting “Pacific Rim: Redux” then look elsewhere. This Godzilla movie is a different albeit refreshing animal.
My son, Christian, his friend Zack and I went to see “Godzilla” yesterday and we accidentally went into the wrong theater. After some time we noticed we were in 3D theater. Duh. Yeah, we’re boneheads, to be sure. After we griped a little at first we settled in and enjoyed the show. Thank the Godzilla Gods there were some spare 3D glasses laying around.
What I liked about “Godzilla” is that Edwards gave the film his own stamp and feel even though some of the routine machinations (kids in peril, shots of people in awe, panic scenes, etc) resembled the works of other sci fi directors like Spielberg and even James Cameron, it still all worked well for me. But, in my opinion, that was all to be expected.
Edwards is delivering a blockbuster and he is sticking to what works. I actually liked the slow build up and methodical approach to the material and even though this film lacks the deep symbolism, gravitas and metaphor that Honda’s 1954 outing has, it still has a respect and reverence for the mythos that I admired. Even though the re-working of the entire purpose and re-creation of the origins of Godzilla were changed, I adjusted to the re-interpretation pretty quickly and without much protest.
Also, the CGI is incredibly impressive and yes, it’s “massive” in scope and scale. G and the “Mutos” (as well as cityscapes, landscapes, battleships and jets) are all rendered with amazing detail and depth.
Impressive as well is the imagery and photography (some of which is very reminiscent of Spielberg’s JP, like shots of individuals through rain soaked windshields) that Edwards provokes in this movie. His DP Seamus McGarvey, who shot “The Avengers” does a fantastic job in maintaining realism and verity with his monster styled palette.
Well, I did say this was going to be short so in closing, I loved Alexandre Desplat’s score as well. It was nuanced, heroic (more so for the monsters than the humans) and had some levels of tonality that is rarely found in sci fi films. The track playing during the parachuting sequence was a cerebral piece that harkens back to Kubrick’s cosmic bedroom in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” (More specifically Gyorgy Ligeti’s “Requiem”) It was an inspired choice for the “HALO” jump sequence.
The action, CGI, heroics and pacing all work well for me and the movie surely brought out the inner kid in me and granted the film is not perfect (and I am not going to pick it apart to the point of sounding overly critical) and it is just mindless sci fi monster fun in the grand scheme of things. Even though the human element and drama that Edwards builds upon is not quite sustained and interesting throughout, it still somewhat heartfelt (Once Cranston is off screen, the drama becomes a bit remote and trite).
The teases of Godzilla as well can be a bit frustrating but the payoff makes up for that and it is resolved to become a grand and epic monster flick. that is why I enjoyed it so much and it meant so much to me that my son, Christian, was with me enjoying the heck out of it as well. It was a big deal for his old man to have him watch a Godzilla film that was enjoyable, witty, big, loud and diverting. Go see it, kaiju fans!
I did say that “Godzilla” was reviewed with much more depth, detail and specification by some really great bloggers out there. Here are some stand-outs. Check them out please!
Keith and the Movies
Tim’s Film Reviews
Mike’s Parlor of Horror
Dan The Man’s Movie Reviews