Gareth Edwards directs the latest reboot to the ever popular Godzilla universe. In this iteration, the origins of the creature are established and scenes fifteen years in the past setup the premise for the present’s perilous predicaments. Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and his son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) investigate the truth behind a nuclear malfunction that killed many at a power plant in Japan fifteen years ago. There they learn the truth behind the recent seismic activity.
The first half of the film is pretty much a historical setup to the climatic and CGI-heavy end cap of the film. It takes nearly half the movie before the audience finally sees the famed beast. The sheer size and power of the monster is worthy of its statue. Any glimpse of the monster is a welcomed delight to this flawed movie.
I decided to watch this movie in 3D IMAX this morning after reading a glowing review from Michael Phillips, movie critic of the Chicago Tribune. Phillips is generally hard to please so I figured garnering a 3½ star (out of 4) review meant the movie surely would be special. I was a fan of Bryan Cranston a.k.a Walter White and a fan of the mythical beast. I decided to take a gamble and splurge on this screening. It is unfortunate to state but it wasn’t worth my money or my time. Cranston is so grossly underutilized that I feel cheated by the trailer. This movie is entrusted and supposed to be carried on the shoulders of lead actor Taylor-Johnson. The only problem is that he isn’t that great of an actor, or he sure as hell didn’t do himself any favors in this movie. His acting coupled with a poor character script dampened my enthusiasm for the film.
Elizabeth Olsen who plays Ford’s wife, Elle, is generally left a bystander to the entire movie. There were more up-close scenes of her trademark big “Olsen” eyes then of actual meaningful dialogue or scenes. I knew my opinion of the movie wasn’t going to be high when I started to want the lead actor to be killed by one of the monsters, only because he bored me, and was content to only cheer for Godzilla to conquer these incompetent fools.
The film truly made Americans look like idiots. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say they keep on making the same mistakes. Lastly, if you are resolute to not heed my warning please do not watch this in 3D. The 3D effects did NOTHING to enhance the film, unlike say what they did in Gravity (2013). In fact other than having images of people projected a bit farther “out of the screen” I don’t recall any 3D effects during the battle sequences (major bummer indeed!). Last summer’s Pacific Rim was a far better movie in my opinion.
In addition, the sound editing coupled with the director’s propensity to shift focus on the camera’s lenses in rapid succession gave me a migraine and made me nauseous. It was almost like I had been force-fed a Justin Bieber concert. I had to take an Advil when I got home.
Honestly, the only saving grace to this film was the special effects during the last half of the film and the presence of Godzilla. That’s it! The plot and the acting was the problem I had with this movie. Because of that I DO NOT recommend you watch this movie in theaters. Save your money and your time.
*There are NO extra scenes after the credits.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (intense sequences of destruction, mayhem and creature violence)
Running Time: 123 minutes
My Grade: C+
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