Thursday, May 15, 2014
Godzilla....This Time Plot Matters
Godzilla isn't a stranger to the big screen. Low budget Japanese movies from before most of us were born and of course the really bad 1998 remake. He has seen cartoons, toys, and even video games. Monster movies had a cult following, but how well does a giant monster fare in 2014 American cinema?
Story is what the 1998 version lacked and this is the first thing that the film gets right. An accident at a nuclear plant leaves a scientist (Bryan Cranston) angry and grief stricken, he spends fifteen years trying to solve the mystery surrounding a nuclear disaster that killed his wife. Another scientist (Ken Watanabe) is called in to research the discovery at the plant and releases an even bigger threat onto the earth. When Cranston is arrested for trespassing his son (Aaron-Taylor Johnson) must retrieve him and becomes involved in the global threat. Monsters begin attacking human populations and an even bigger monster wrecks havoc in an attempt to stop them.
The design of Godzilla is really cool. It looks like he is fighting the monster from Cloverfield even though that isn't the case. The back story of Godzilla is barely explained, but it still works. You never actually get a solid explanation of where any of the monsters come from. We get theories from Watanabe's characters and surprisingly it works fine. The fights are cool and you can tell that they really tried to stay true to what the classic Japanese films were about.
The cast is solid. The human involvement is handled well and I liked the scope. There are some moments that seem far fetched, but we are talking about a movie with giant monsters. Suspend your disbelief and just go with it. We go awhile without a Godzilla reveal, but it is worth the wait. My biggest complaint is that Cranston isn't in the movie long enough. I am also having trouble watching whole cities get destroyed. I guess it's a sign of the world we live in. I enjoyed the fact that Godzilla was the good guy, I appreciated the story, and had a lot of fun. Grab some popcorn, relax, and spend the first part of summer with the king of monsters.