I have to say I’ve been looking forward to this movie with a lot of apprehension. Godzilla is a monster movie icon that has a lot of history. In making this there is a lot more that could go wrong than right. First off we pronounce it wrong, the Japanese don’t use the D and it sounds so much cooler. This year marks the 60th birthday of Godzilla. This is like the 30th one although you really can’t count the one in 1998 with Matthew Broderick, it was a travesty. After that I’m surprised we still have a relationship with Japan. One of my biggest concerns is whether or not a generation that did not watch the original black and white movie with a man in a giant lizard suit, stomping a balsa wood Tokyo into rubble can appreciate what a truly awesome movie this is. Bryan Cranston is the only real name you’ll recognize but that doesn’t matter. The success of the Godzilla franchise was not built on plot and acting, it was built on a guy in a rubber reptile suit. The original in 1954 was a statement about the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Godzilla was not written as either good or bad, it’s just a force of nature that destroys and can’t be stopped. As the movies progressed Godzilla started battling other monsters that were killing and destroying which made Godzilla a sort of hero. If I have any complaint about this movie is I wanted more Godzilla. He doesn’t show up until well into the movie.
The movie opens up with a visual history of Godzilla using old movie reels of actual nuclear testing blended with footage of Godzilla. It gives you a real history of what Godzilla was. We see Godzilla trying to be destroyed with no success. We fast forward to Joe Brody played by Bryan Cranston and his wife working at a nuclear plant in Japan. There are unexplained tremors that he is sure are not earthquakes. When the plant is destroyed there is a cover-up. We fast forward 15 years and his son Ford is a bomb tech in the army. Joe is still in Japan trying to prove what actually happened at the plant. Needless to say Joe was right and we wind up with a giant insect looking monster that eats nuclear fuel and is destroying everything it comes in contact with. One of the things this movie stays true to is soldiers that have watched the monster survive a missile attack from fighter jets still stand in front of it and shoot at it with rifles.
Another constant is the crowds that gathers to gawk at the monster instead of running. You also have the small child by himself in danger
We see the total destruction of part of Hawaii, Las Vegas, and then we have the 3 Monster main event in San Francisco. You can’t really have 300 foot tall monsters fighting and not include The Golden Gate Bridge. The special effects are awesome and they find the correct balance between CGI and man in a rubber suit.
It’s Rated PG-13 with a perfect running time of 2 hours. This is an excellent addition to the Godzilla tradition, Ishiro Honda, the director of the first one would be pleased. If you are familiar with the originals you’ll love it. If not it’s still way better than Spiderman.
My Score; 5 Buds
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