Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Godzilla: The Re(al)-view

Joe Brody: You're not fooling anybody when you say that what happened was a "natural disaster,". You're lying! It was not an earthquake, it wasn't a typhoon! Because what's really happening is that you're hiding something out there! And it is going to send us back to the Stone Age! God help us all...
**THIS IS A MONSTER MOVIE! If you're looking for character development, I suggest you look elsewhere.**

It's the 1950's, nuclear bombs going off in the ocean, we see a huge spine in the ocean … nothing else, and then the roar/scream (or whatever you want to call it). Fast forward to 1999, the Philippines, where Japanese researcher, Ichiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and his British assistant Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins) inspect an excavation site which also houses a monster's skeleton and two cocoons hanging from the ceiling; except ... one has hatched and headed to sea, leaving behind the biggest trail you can think of.

Japan (same period), American engineer, Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) loses his wife, Sandy (Juliette Binoche), in a nuclear reactor 'accident', where he watches her die through a protective door as she's overcome by toxic radioactive mist; it’s also Joe's birthday.
2014, Joe's son, Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) - a Lieutenant with the US Navy returns home (after 14 months at sea) to his wife, Elle (Elizabeth Olson) in San Francisco and their son, Sam. After celebrating his return, and Ford has to go to Japan, because his estranged father just can't seem to move past his birthday, 15 years ago. Ford bails his father out of jail for trespassing; and helps him retrieve his (Joe) research data from their old home which has been quarantined off as a radioactive zone. As they go through the neighbourhood, things do not appear as they seem - for starters, there is no radiation whatsoever, then security guards take them to the supposedly abandoned nuclear plant. From this point on, the monsters take over the movie, as expected.
While there have been complaints about the lack of quality Godzilla shots; director, Gareth Edwards, went with the less is more policy, which worked out brilliantly. An approach which is in contrast to Roland Emmerich’s 1998 debacle also titled “Godzilla”. Rather, he soothed our monster cravings by giving us an extended view of the MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism) – you know those giant-flying-insect-looking monsters. 
Character development was never an expectation for a movie of this genre – Monsters vs. Monsters; if you want that I suggest you watch a mid-western American drama like August: Osange County (2013). For a movie about literally the king of monsters saving Western U.S.A. from desolation, the only character you need to worry about is the KING! One good reminder here is that human influence is almost irrelevant, because these guys (monsters) are definitely playing in a much different league; it’s not to be compared to Pacific Rim.
The supporting cast were all good, with big ups to Bryan Cranston, whose intense moments on-screen added to the build up of the awesome cinematic thrill that would come from an epic battle of monsters, and the devastation that would follow. This is all possible because when Walter White is terrified, you should be!

Another notable scene is the halo jump scene, which was pretty awesome (a bit similar to the 2009 reboot of the Star Trek franchise). But the most notable, is that moment where Godzilla wakes up and walks back to the sea, those few seconds sum it up – He is the King of Monsters.
He is the KING!!!

Opened: May 16, 2014 Runtime: 2 hr. 03 min. Genre: Action, Sci - Fi. Rated: 12