Godzilla is my kind of summer movie: creatively shot, stunning visuals, and heart-pounding action. This was a thrilling, creepy, monster disaster movie and I loved every moment of it.
Directed By: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, David Strathairn, Ken Watanabe, Juliette Binoche, Richard T. Jones, Sally Hawkins
I’ve read many reviews saying the movie doesn’t have much character development, well to be honest with you, you don’t see a movie like Godzilla for the character development. You see it for the monsters, and the destruction, and the mayhem. And after growing up in San Francisco, there was something exciting about seeing it destroyed. Is that a weird thing to say?
First of all, Godzilla was beautifully shot. There were so many memorable shots. (My friend tells me a lot of it was reminiscent of Spielberg.) There were two shots in particular that really blew my mind. I saw this movie in 3D and there’s a moment when we first saw Godzilla when the camera panned up with the flares, up Godzilla’s leg, then slowly moved back down and behind some people. For a moment I could have sworn someone was standing up in the theater. It was the first moment we saw Godzilla and it well, blew my mind. Then there’s was another shot, that’s actually shown in the trailer, when the guys jump out of the plane with the red stuff coming from their feet. In that moment, the movie had a striking and powerful color palate. And the shot was both beautiful and terrifying watching these men willingly jump into the flames of the burning city. And that soundtrack? It made the moment all the more dramatic.
Next, Godzilla was a bad ass. His size alone was terrifying but those slow pans up his body somehow made him see much more monstrous than any other, well, monster that’s tried to destroy a city. While certain shots may have made him look comical (I swear it times he looked like a wolf, bear, and dinosaur had mated…how’s that for a disturbing image?) I found Godzilla looked scarier when he was coming up from the water showing his stegosaurus-like backside. Yes, Godzilla looked better from his backside. There’s a sentence I never knew I always wanted to write.
While Elizabeth Olsen was purely there just because most movies think the audience needs a romantic story line of some sort to keep us interested, I felt the most interesting characters were Joe (Bryan Cranston) and his estranged son Ford (a yummy looking Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Maybe it’s because Bryan Cranston’s delivery is genius, but I wish we could have spent more time with his character. His literally gave me chills. And watching a man (Taylor-Johnson) who just returned home from the military only to be caught up in a horrifying disaster at home was much more interesting than a watching father desperate to get back to his son and wife despite the city being ravaged by terrible, terrible things. Maybe that was the problem, the movie veered into cliché territory as opposed to sticking to the more complicated one. And that’s probably what people didn’t like about the story.
So there’s room for improvement, and maybe they will touch upon this in the recently announced sequel…but as for THIS Godzilla, it’s a movie I want to see over and over again. If you’re a lover of movies, a lover of great filmmaking, a lover of Spielberg, a lover of dinosaurs, a lover of mass destruction, and a lover of Bryan Cranston, then this movie is definitely for you. So turn off your brain, grab the hand of the person sitting next to you, and enjoy the ride.
Random Thought: Anyone notice that despite this movie taking place in Japan and San Francisco there was a serious lack of Asian representation in this movie? I mean what gives?