*I was provided admission to the movie in return for my true and honest opinion.
GODZILLA: My driving force to see this movie was my 10 year old son, because all he could talk about was, “Godzilla.” Generally speaking when my kids ask to see a movie, it is one of the more popular selections and offers some great entertainment. I have 2 very different takes on the movie, my own and my son’s. Godzilla has been recreated so many times, that I was personally hoping that new life would be brought forward on the screen, and my son was hopeful that there would be non-stop Monster action and the Godzilla conquer-it-all scenes would make up most of the movie, so who would have their wishes met?
I have to tell you, I have thought this review over a lot. I want to be fair, but I have to say, the movie did not deliver a new life to the character Godzilla, but really what can you expect of a monster. My thoughts turn to the characters, and there was just not a lot of depth. My son loved the last part of the movie and a few scenes in the movie where you get to see the other Monsters(read on)
What’s good in the movie? When you actually get to see Godzilla, and learn about him in the very last part of the movie, you will be amazed at the character. Often times when we we saw Godzilla during the movie you saw only the ridges on his back that looked like rocks sticking out of the water. When Godzilla actually came to land and you got to see the detail on his body, his tail, his face, his mouth, it was then you got to see an amazing digital design. *SPOILER** My son loved the last 15 minutes when Godzilla actually came to land, battled and used his BLUE Fire to smoke out the MUTOS. Just so you know the MUTOS feed on radiation. The bad MUTOS though are what my son perceived as Godzilla until Godzilla was actually introduced in as a different character- remember a 10 year old saw commercials and came to see a monster. The monster was not identified in any of the trailers so he did not know what he was looking for other than good battles, which he got at the very end of the movie. I knew that the MUTOS were not Godzilla, but he did not and apparently neither did a few others around me as they asked, “is that really Godzilla now? ”
The movie is fairly slow, more acting than action until about 35 minutes or 45 minutes when we get to see the first MUTO attack. There is a lot of background, some of which even confused me, because there is so much detail, and plot conveying, and none of it seems to loop together. I assure you that my son was not understanding the correlation between the earlier Godzilla, the tale they were explaining and all the history and honestly it got a little boring(YAWN). Now when the MUTOS appeared and made quite a stir, the movie lit up a bit. Yes, there are other monsters in this movie(MUTOS), but, in most cases, we don’t see their whole body, you often see them through goggles, smoke, dark backgrounds or only glimpses of partial body. The MUTOS are what Godzilla must defeat before they multiply.
The MUTOS reminded me of something right out of the Power Rangers series that we watch on television. The fact that they were cool looking and almost like the mega monsters the kids watch on television made them ‘cool’ to my son. They were as big as buildings, standing on buildings, flying with special wings and just the generally, creepy nasty ‘villian’ that must perish. The question throughout the entire movie was how to get them to die? Of course the answer: Godzilla, not military help, however, just as you would expect, yes, predictable, the military steps in.
A little complaint about the MUTOS: The MUTOS are often in scenes, but when you want to see where they are, what they are doing, or how they look it is often through goggles, or really dark back scenes that make it pretty hard to see what they are fighting. Sometimes the scene is too close up and in the one scene on the train tracks, it is hard to see where the MUTO is and once you do, you know it is going to wreak havoc.
I failed to identify with any of the characters. Bryan Cranston, plays the very smart employee of a nuclear reactor plant who’s only true wish is to prove conspiracy and that his wife(Juliette Binoche) died not from an explosion but a different underlying cause. Brody is dad to Ford(Aaron-Taylor Johnson) who will fast forward 15 years in this movie to fight the MUTOS. Binoche’s appearance is minimal, quick and her script is basically on the wall, as it was predictable. When Cranston is killed off(and you thought he might have been the movie hero), there is no great loss and the movie carries on with ease. The thing you need to know is that Brody’s thought that “these things were talking” is what is actually the HERO part of the movie because he had a theory that actually explained what all had happened but of course no one listened. His son FORD will carry on and fight these MUTOS all the way through, never be harmed, touched or maimed, but his only true mission is to get to his wife and son to be reunited. There probably was a lot more they could have done with FORD’s character but it fails to develop and he is predictable. Elizabeth Olsen is Ford’s wife and there is just no depth to the character, so you learn she is a nurse, they have a child and she wants to speak to her husband and see him again, as she is worried he has not made it out of each attack that has occurred. Again, every time the MUTOS appear, FORD, just happens to be around.
Godzilla. Godzilla is the character you are set up to cheer for. He is cool looking and the blue radiation that he uses to pelt, wilt and kill off his enemies is ever-present(at the end of the movie only). You want to help him fight off the MUTOS(the husband and wife) as one flies at his shoulders and head and he other attacks him from the front on. The GODZILLA is unmistakably the one we all know from previous movies, so there is nothing that will shock you about his appearance. My son was cheering for him, but also asking why we had seen so little of him until the end. The MUTOS take center stage more often than not. These are shiny, odd looking creatures, almost hard to believe that the modern look they offer would have been here long ago, but who’s looking right?
The best part of the movie, according to my son, was the last 15 minutes where Godzilla attacks on land and the MUTOS fight against him. There is thrashing, radiation breathing, and tail sloshing all making a great battle. The predictable: people in the way, trapped in buildings, unable to get out and all needing reunited. The hero is not FORD, but Godzilla and to see that he can will live on is the perfect way to end the movie as he is hte one we all had compassion for!
Not the movie I thought I was going to see, but my 10 year old son said that fight scenes were good. Language was not a factor in this movie and it honestly was not scary. Would I go see it again or watch it again? Probably not, but I can tell you, if you know your history, or have watched other Godzillas this one redefines them all.
Ford (Aaron-Taylor Johnson)