Godzilla is probably one of the most famous movie monsters of all time. I would say that every body knows the story, but beyond ‘big lizard destroys Tokyo’ I actually don’t think that is the case. It certainly wasn’t for me going in to the cinema anyway. There are 8 films I can see on IMDB as well as some TV series, and I must confess I hadn’t seen ANY. It also took me a while to find someone willing to see it with me to be honest! I think I need more male friends…
But I digress! My only expectations for Godzilla were a lot of destruction and some cool monster action… well I got a little of that, but not as much as you would think. What surprised me about Godzilla was the amount of time the story spends on the human characters. That being said, I don’t feel like they developed these characters as much as they could have considering the screen time they took up.
The now legendary Bryan Cranston (of Breaking Bad fame, although I will always remember him as Hal from Malcolm in the Middle personally!) plays Joe Brody, a scientist who goes half crazy trying to uncover the conspiracy surrounding Godzilla and other unearthly creatures (although he has no idea what he is uncovering) after an unnatural event tears his family apart. Brody was the only character that got any kind of empathy out of me, although his screen time isn’t as much as you would think given the trailers, Cranston gives the most moving performance. After that it all fell a bit flat for me.
Brody’s son is played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson.. except he appears to have lost all his charisma and charm. Unfortunately Ford Brody is little more than a military man. He shows some compassion for other human beings and there is chemistry between him and his wife played by Elizabeth Olsen, but not a character I could root for or sympathise with. Olsen was also given a pretty dull part to play, the teary wife and mother… she did what she could with it! (A duo we will be seeing more of in the future with the new Marvel film on it’s way..).
A strange double act came in the form of Sally Hawkins and Ken Watanabe as the field experts on Godzilla and the MUTO’s (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism). Hawkins follows Watanabe around like a lost puppy and Watanabe’s character looks very perplexed and dazed at all times. He is the only one who seems to understand the beasts and believes they should be left to carry out their business as naturally as possible. Of course the military men disagree, and all hell breaks loose!
The story of the MUTO’s came as a surprise to me but I enjoyed the fact that Godzilla isn’t just a crazed monster tearing up the city for no apparent reason. I enjoyed the story between the monsters much more than the turmoil suffered by the humans on the ground I have to say. The special effects were obviously awesome, I don’t think we need to comment on them anymore as they are just on the top of their game CGI wise. I didn’t however like the fact that most of the action was in the dark – this coupled with overwhelming noise to the point I blanked it out, and the nice warm surroundings… I MAY have nodded off a little, and so did my friend… awks!
There were a few other things that made me lose interest a little, like the shock of discovering half a mountain has been destroyed when stumbling across it, and needing binoculars to find the giant MUTO’s carving a path through the desert… *scans horizon with binocular* “Oh there it is!” *zooms out* ITS BIGGER THAN AN EFFING BUILDING surrounded by nothing but sand… I laughed out loud at this point.
Ok, ok I have been a little harsh on Godzilla I fear. There were some excellent shots, such as the HALO jump which features in the trailer, and the few scenes of mass destruction… I did also feel some desperation when Brody couldn’t get back to his family. Over all though, a bit of a flop in terms of entertainment. I don’t think I will be watching it again. Sorry fans!