Favorite

Godzilla: The biggest cock-blocker on Earth 

***1/2
click to enlarge 11godzilla4-videosixteenbynine600.jpg

When I as a kid and allowed to stay up and watch old movies on Sammy Terry's Nightmare Theater, it was a challenge sitting still long enough to see the monster. Before the creature made its big entrance, I had to endure the torture of waiting while the experts yakked and the square-jawed leading man got to know the beautiful lady. I vaguely understood that the buildup made the payoff better, but it was so hard staying awake until the monster finally appeared and the adrenaline juiced me enough to breeze through the rest of the show.

Good luck to impatient kids who opt to wait to see Godzilla's first big appearance, as the great beast isn't fully seen until midway through his new picture. We get to see a couple of MUTOs (massive unidentified terrestrial organisms, I swear), which look like giant, very aggressive origami insects, around 47 minutes into the proceedings, but still ...

For this adult, the long set-up was okay. I liked watching Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston make big money as a scientist fixated on the secrets behind a disaster in Japan 15 years earlier. He lost his wife (Juliette Binoche) that day and he wants answers. His now-grown son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) arrives and soon learns the dad may have been obsessed, but he wasn't crazy. Ford turns up throughout the rest of the film, while his wife Elle (Elizabeth Olsen) frets on the home front.

The short of it: The MUTOs eat radiation and they want to make more MUTOs. Enter Godzilla, the biggest cock-blocker on Earth. Understand, he's not here to protect humanity. To my eye, he barely even notices humanity. He just wants to stop the critters because ... um ... guess I missed the explanation. Regardless, this Godzilla does justice to the original from 1954. He's thickened a bit over the years, but the grand roar is still there.

Godzilla reminded me of Clint Eastwood's character in Gran Torino. He's old, grumpy and wants to be left alone, and if you push him too far, he will kick your ass and make sure you absolutely, positively get off his lawn.

Filmmaker Gareth Edwards (Monsters) has a good eye. Repeatedly, he finds interesting viewpoints for the disastrous goings-on. Indeed, the most striking moment in the film isn't primarily focused on the monsters. A group of soldiers are flown towards San Francisco to make a high-altitude, low-opening jump into the dark clouds covering the creature-infested city. Their first chore is to avoid smacking into a skyscraper when they emerge from the clouds. They leap into the sky to the strains of Gyorgy Ligeti's Requiem (the buzzy music from 2001: A Space Odyssey) and what you see and hear is bleak, noble and stirring.

Edwards is not inclined to present orgies of city destruction. He shows the results, or offers glimpses from a TV camera's eye, but focuses more on the incidental humans trying to do something, anything, while the monsters duke it out around them.

Godzilla has frustrating moments. The MUTOs attack Las Vegas and Edwards' muted take is annoying. The original film was unrelentingly grim. Edwards settles on unrelentingly serious instead. I wish he had allowed a bit of levity. The Las Vegas segment certainly could have used some. Still, this Godzilla is the best I've experienced since the first one, so there you go.

NOTE: While the film looks terrific on the IMAX screen, the unimpressive 3D does not warrant the extra ticket price.

Trailer


Godzilla
Rated PG-13 · 123 min. · 2014
Official Site: godzillamovie.com
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writer: Max Borenstein, Frank Darabont and Dave Callaham
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston
Godzilla 3D
Rated PG-13 · 123 min. · 2014
Official Site: godzillamovie.com
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writer: Max Borenstein, Frank Darabont and Dave Callaham
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston
Godzilla: An IMAX 3D Experience
Rated PG-13 · 123 min. · 2014
Official Site: for intense sequences of destruction, mayhem and creature violence
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writer: Max Borenstein and Dave Callaham
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston
Godzilla: An IMAX Experience
Rated PG-13 · 2014
Official Site: www.rialtopictures.com/godzilla.html
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writer: Max Borenstein, Frank Darabont and Dave Callaham
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston
Favorite

Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for Godzilla

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

What others are saying (11)

Charleston City Paper Godzilla delivers a mythical monster with surprising visual style It has all been building to this: The first mega-battle between Godzilla — the 12-story tall, spike-backed King of the Monsters whose trademark bellow is as familiar as a commercial jingle — and an equally massive insectoid creature. They're going to tear each other and a significant portion of downtown Honolulu to shreds, and we in the summer blockbuster audience have a front-row seat. by Scott Renshaw 05/15/2014
Creative Loafing Charlotte Godzilla: Missing in action Rating: **1/2 by Matt Brunson 05/16/2014
Inlander Messing With a Classic This remake of Godzilla provides on-screen flair, but little insight into the legendary monster by Ed Symkus 05/14/2014
8 more reviews...
Seven Days Godzilla by Rick Kisonak 05/21/2014
Colorado Springs Independent Another rebooted Godzilla isn't a masterpiece, but it's fabulous for a B-movie There's good stuff here. Not just in the cool monster effects, but in the attitude that underlies them. by MaryAnn Johanson 05/14/2014
L.A. Weekly Godzilla Has Too Small a Part in His Own Movie Godzilla is the movie monster with the mostest. King Kong may be just one gorilla-chest-hair behind, but not even the greatest of apes can quite match the half-dragon, half-dinosaur who first stomped and chomped his way through Tokyo in Ishiro Honda's 1954 Toho Co. extravaganza, Godzilla. In that picture —... by Stephanie Zacharek 05/15/2014
The North Coast Journal Weekly Overseas Visitors Godzilla overpacks, Million strikes it rich by John J. Bennett 05/22/2014
The North Coast Journal Weekly Not Fade Away Gigolo can't keep it up, Neighbors delivers by John J. Bennett 05/15/2014
Memphis Flyer Godzilla Versus Meta-Godzilla Taking on a monster with a past. by Addison Engelking 05/22/2014
Portland Mercury Return of the King Godzilla comes back, destroys a bunch of shit. by Erik Henriksen 05/14/2014
Boise Weekly Godzilla Attacks Boise (Twice) "The Japanese people saw Godzilla very differently than American audiences did in the 1950s." by George Prentice 05/07/2014

More by Ed Johnson-Ott

Latest in Film + TV

Feedback

Recent Comments


© 2015 NUVO | Website powered by Foundation