Review: Godzilla (2014)
What We ThoughtGenre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
What We Liked :Solid Monster Combat, Some Brief Performances
What We Disliked:Lead was in the right place far too often. Little human interest.
Edwards understands what people love about the giant creature, but the humans have no place in his grand vision.
The king of the monsters has once again returned to the multiplexes.
Gareth Edwards brings Godzilla to the big screen for the first time in over fifteen years. Is his return a mighty accomplishment or is it another disappointing reboot from a major motion picture studio?
The story begins in the 1999 at the Philippines where excavators have found the remnants of a ginormous ribcage. You would expect some monumental story development to occur with the brooding music and dark tunnels, but its only there to set up the expectation that something large is coming. Who in their right mind wouldn’t know that there are going to be large creatures in a Godzilla film? Anyways, the story jumps to Japan where Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and his wife, Sandra (Juliette Binoche) work at nuclear power plant that is about to have one unlucky day.
When we see Brody again, he has aged by fifteen years, and his son Ford (Arron Johnson) has a family of his own and has just returned from duty as a naval officer. Brody has been hung up on the facts that lead to the disaster at the power facility all those years ago and gets arrested for trespassing. Ford must leave his wife, Elle (Olsen) and son Sam (Carson Bolde), in San Francisco and travel to Japan to bail out his father. He just doesn’t know that he is about to get involved in something bigger than he could’ve possibly imagined.
Godzilla has zero human interest. The more talented cast members are given the least amount of screen time and Arron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen aren’t able to bring the focus away from the epic monster battles. If it was possible for one man to derail all the good Godzilla accomplishes with its epic battle sequences Taylor-Johnson would be that man. It’s not exactly all his fault in regards to his acting, but more about the positions in which the script places him. All too conveniently, he is at the center of every major conflict when it comes to this monstrous crisis. It often feels as though he is the only man alive that can save the planet.
Where the humans often lead to disappointment, the king of the monsters fears significantly better. Godzilla has received a makeover for this new reboot and he certainly looks menacing. His incredible fights with the foes of this picture, the Mutos, are utterly epic and worthy of the price of admission. Hopefully these battles are a preview of what future Godzilla films could continue to focus on.
As far as summer blockbusters go, Godzilla is about as run-of-the-mill as they come. There is far too much convenience in the script to really build a captivating human interest story. When the buildings topple and the body count quickly increases, its Godzilla himself that earns more of the sentiment. Edwards understands what people love about the giant creature, but the humans have no place in his grand vision.