Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Godzilla (Gareth Edwards, 2014) Review

It's finally time for the King of Monsters to return to the big screen. That's right, it's Gojira...申し訳ありませんが、私は意味 Godzilla....Yep, I just threw that in (sorry, couldn't resist). If you read my review of the 1998 Godzilla film, you know that the last time the west tackled Godzilla, it didn't end well. It's finally time to see him take on the big screen once again for yet ANOTHER reboot in 2014...seriously, first RoboCop, then Mr. Peabody and Sherman and now this. Does it redeem the 1998 version's crappiness or does it fall not the same traps? 確認してみましょう (Google translate...not 100% accurate...).

In 1999, an unknown egg is found open in a destroyed mine while a presumed 'earthquake' is destroying a power plant in Japan. A power plant worker, Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston), witnesses a horrific disaster that leaves him an emotional wreck as a result of the 'earthquake'. 15 years later, Joe is now obsessed with what happened and wrangles his son, Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), into visiting an underground plant where another egg is located. The egg hatches to reveal a giant monster labeled 'Muto'. To make matters worse, the world is thrust into a great battle as the Muto find themselves face to face with the king of monsters himself, Godzilla.

Godzilla does something I haven't seen be done in a monster film in quite a while (dare I say ever), it gave the monsters character. Godzilla isn't just a monster, he is an actual character. He's emotive, you connect with him and he displays a lot of personality without even saying a word. Just his facial expressions and movements are enough to make him the stand out character and my new favourite version of the king of monsters. Part of makes the monsters so memorable is the fantastic CGI. Good God, this is some of the best I've seen. I believe that Godzilla is really there and I believe he is really causing this devastation to the city (that's...not a spoiler, it's god damn Godzilla). While I do like his design, I do have a few minor nit picks about him but that can't even damage the film (although I do wish his eyes were bigger. That's kind of  a reason why Smaug is so great). Something that I picked up on quite quickly is that the music, while not memorable (a common problem with films I can assure you), fits so well. Not just asthetically but from a film making standpoint, the scenes are edited per As one might expect from Bryan Cranston, he is fantastic. Every moment he appears, he is just phenomenal as always. He is definitely one of our best actors at the moment. He leaves a strong impression and...well...he needs to considering a...rather controversial move especially based on the trailers.

I know people have to take leniency with film trailers but here I have to draw the line. They lie. Forget everything you see in the trailers because not a single bit will be relevent. What ever predictions or anticipation to build from the trailers, forget them. You aren't getting the film you're predicting. Godzilla, ironically, isn't about Godzilla. Almost at all. The Muto get much more screen time and the hero seat is given to the Brody family. This may work in the film's favour, however, as every time Godzilla comes on screen, I get chills and am filled with excitement. When they get some right, they bloody get it right but in the off chance they do something wrong, it shows. The rest of the acting is perfect. Aaron Taylor-Johnson holds the film well enough (and I'm more than happy to see him join the Avengers) but the rest sort of fade into clichéd territory. Other than Joe Brody and the monsters, no other characters really stood out. In fact, dare I say that the film gets kind of boring at times....but then a monster tears around a bit and all is forgiven. Can I also mention the fight scenes....or lack there of...kind of...maybe. Yeeeeah, every time Godzilla tangles with a Muto, the scene cuts to something else...yep. That happens about three times. Sure it's building up but come on, you know you want to see lots of monster fights.

Godzilla is a flawed film, there is no doubt about that, but when it does something right, it nails it perfectly. The action and the CGI is everything you could ever hope for in a Godzilla film just as Man of Steel did you Superman worthy action. The monsters are absolutely brilliant even if the battles are limited. If you want some better monster action, I recommend Pacific Rim but Godzilla sacrifices more monster battles in order to make the monsters more memorable and more developed. This does backfire as I was much more invested in the monsters and felt that Godzilla was the most interesting character (makes sense since his name was in the title...which is a surprise considering how irrelevant he is in the grand scheme of things). This is probably the only time in my life that I have ever wanted to see a prequel. We're getting a sequel so I can't complain. 

When it does something wrong, it stands out, but when it does something right, my God does the film get it right!

Also, Godzilla has given us our best death in any film of 2014 so far. Trust's glorious.

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