Godzilla Reboot Review

Godzilla (2014) directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Max Borenstein. Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston. This movie is a reboot of the franchise.

Synopsis: The story begins in Japan with married couple Joe and Sandra Brody (played by Cranston and Binoche) on the day of Joe’s birthday. They live with their young son Ford (played by CJ Adams). After disaster strikes in the lab Joe and Sandra work in, she is killed along with some other scientists. We cut to fifteen years later and an older Ford (now played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who has just been reunited with his wife Elle (Elizabeth Olsen) and son Sam (Carson Bolde). Ford is now living in the U.S. and is a bomb disposal expert with the U.S. military, whereas his father lives in Japan. After receiving news that his father has been arrested for trying to access a restricted area, Ford flies over to collect him with the view of bringing him back to the U.S. However, things do not go according to plan with the emergence of Godzilla and some other giant flying insect parasites called MUTO (an acronym for “Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism”[1]).

I am not usually one for comparing reboots and remakes, but I must say this is a lot better than the 1998 Roland Emmerich version. It is darker in tone, and has a better overall story.

I purposely did not read up about this movie beforehand because I wanted to go in with an open mind; therefore, I was not aware there would be more than one creature throughout the story. Despite this, the addition of the two MUTO creatures serve for adding more danger, and a fiercer rival for Godzilla as well as humankind.

I was fairly impressed with the beginning of the movie. The credits mainly consisted of old Godzilla footage, and added a nicer feel to the movie. There is also quite an emotional start to this story with Joe losing his wife; probably the most emotional moment of the movie for me. Cranston does a good job with his portrayal of Joe, and his obsession with finding the truth about what killed his wife. My only grievance is that he does not get a tremendous amount of screen time compared to other characters.

This movie really cements Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen as continuing rising stars. This is arguably Johnson’s biggest movie prior to Kick-Ass (2010) and its sequel. Olsen’s on the other hand was Oldboy (2013). They both have some nice onscreen chemistry despite the fact they are separated for the majority of the story, and this paves way nicely for their appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).

Although the cheese factor has been significantly reduced compared to its predecessor, Dr. Ichiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) is the main culprit here. In the previous version, I remember an old oriental man in a hospital bed in sheer horror uttering the word “Godzilla” which made me laugh. Watanabe’s constant utterance of Godzilla amused me somewhat too. I have attached a link to the original at the end of this review.

Joking aside, visually Godzilla looks great and the CGI in general is fantastic. The creature looks far more defined and aesthetically pleasing than the previous version. However, I agree with people who have stated there was roughly only around 20 minutes of screen time of the creature which was not enough. Godzilla also shares a bulk of screen time with the MUTO monsters.

godzilla1

Overall, this is a step up from the previous version and is worthwhile spending your hard earned cash on. Breaking Bad’s Walter White and company versus gigantic monstrous creatures is too good to miss.

By Robert Spence

 

[1] “Godzilla Movie CLIP – MUTO (2014) – David Strathairn, Gareth Edwards Movie HD”. YouTube. Retrieved May 12, 2014.

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