Reinstating Godzilla as a creature of stature and awe, this fresh Hollywood take on Japan’s iconic atomic monster may not be perfect but shows that getting overexcited about Pacific Rim was a mistake. I’m sorry, ok? Some may not be happy that Godzilla keeps the monster pummelling to a minimum, but by presenting much of the film from our puny perspective, Godzilla avoids exposing the harsh truth that watching CGI creatures beat each other up has limited entertainment value.
Director Gareth Edwards did something similar with the low-budget Monsters, which out of necessity focused on the human story at its core as the film’s protagonists navigated a region ravaged by giant aliens with the minimum of special effects. Add $160 million to the equation and the places navigated by Godzilla’s characters, as well as the big guy himself, are impressively brought to life.
For the most part, as with Monsters, we experience the film alongside its characters. An enormous city-destroying lizard is seen through gaps between buildings; a rampage up the US coast documented in TV news graphics – and this approach immerses the audience in the pic. Despite the efforts of Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and their fellow cast members, though, there aren’t particularly compelling individual stories to tell, nothing you haven’t seen from Hollywood characters before. Experiencing it from their point of view though? Awesome.
‘Godzilla’ Movie Times (also in 3D)