Godzilla, Our Saviour
What I’ve always loved about Godzilla is the sea monster’s willingness to fight our foes, while not necessarily caring at all for the well-being of us humans. Godzilla treats humans as just another species on the planet—nothing special about us. And happily, I can say that this latest of version of Godzilla has just that attitude. To get there though, you must endure some incompetent scientists and misguided military missions.
Godzilla starts strong with the opening credits. I liked that it had a Charles Darwin to Bikini Atoll montage, and the redacted animation. Not only did it give a history of Godzilla, it set the tone for the government cover-ups, military failings, and the power Godzilla has in this movie. The first scenes are of Dr. Ichiro Serizawa, played by Ken Watanabe, and his assistant Dr. Vivienne Graham, played by Sally Hawkins, investigating of collapsed mining site and some cool cryptozoological remains, which had mix of vibes from Jurassic Park and Aliens. Even the story of Joe Brody was a compelling hook to the movie, even if Bryan Cranston’s character was over-the-top with his pain and mania.
If you have seen any other Godzilla movie, then you already know the plot. Godzilla plus some other monster of unusual size equals a great monster-fight in a city skyline. Nothing new there and that is a good thing. By then end, Godzilla delivers the images and cheers that most of the audience will crave. On path to the payoff you must really suspend disbelief and it’s not because of the enormous monsters. Dr. Ichiro Serizawa of Monarch is right on about letting the monsters fight it out, yet so off on generating any actual scientific analysis on the M.U.T.O. (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism). The United States military units make some really strange choices too like relying on planes to fight the M.U.T.O even after they know the monsters emit an electro-magnetic pulse that knocks out all the power. Or, transporting the bait for the M.U.T.O. in a very exposed train car without any effort to shield it or obscure it from M.U.T.O. detection. Those are only two glaring examples of inconsistencies in science and strategy. If those sorts of things bother you, you might try a bathroom break in the middle of the film.
The movie ends strong with classic images with Godzilla amidst the San Francisco landmarks. You will cheer as he deploys the atomic breath! I really like this “new” Godzilla because he isn’t really new, just updated and a bit larger than before. And, I liked the look of the M.U.T.O. too. I did wonder of those wings could really lift that huge body though. Oh pesky science questions! Sometimes you need to just forget all that and enjoy the movie.
The bits in between are problematic for those wanting realistic science and military planning. And there is a young, handsome hero trying to get home to his wife and child. That subplot was a bit generic for me. Yet, the movie hits all the Godzilla notes that fans want to see: giant monsters fighting and urban destruction!
Go see it in IMAX® 3D, if you can, it will make you feel like you are in the center of the action for sure. Godzilla is rated PG-13 with a run time of 123 minutes. Godzilla opens Friday, May 16th!