Godzilla Review

By Eli Ralston

Since The Avengers, I had not been excited about a new franchise until I heard of Gareth Edwards’ reboot of Godzilla. As an unwavering fan of the ferocious reptile, I ate up each new detail, tease, and marketing release for the film. I found my old Godzilla VHS tapes and watched every single one, Godzilla vs. Gigan being my personal favorite. Though at first I was sceptical of whether this movie would live up to the hype, I am happy to say that it lived up to and exceeded my expectations.

     Godzilla is a modern take on the classic films, introducing Godzilla to the world after a lengthy hibernation. The film follows the story of Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) who loses his wife after an accident at a nuclear plant caused by the awakening of one of the films villainous monsters, MUTO. Though the cause of the accident was said to be an earthquake, Joe doesn’t quite believe it. This causes a rift in his relationship with his son, Ford (Aaron Taylor Johnson). The film then transitions to explain how these gigantic monsters come out of hibernation and terrorize the world. The only one who can save us is none other than Godzilla.

The human story of the movie starts off strong with the compelling story of Joe Brody trying to discover the cause and conspiracy behind his wife’s death. This featured a spectacular performance from, and in my opinion a future Oscar winner, Bryan Cranston. His raw passion gives life and believability to the role.

Aaron Taylor Johnson, who carries the rest of the film, feels flat compared to Cranston. His performance fails to portray the gravity of what he may lose, his family. Only a remote and broken connection with his father was shown while the rest of his family seemed excluded.  Elizabeth Olson, who plays his wife, Elle Brody, does a great job, but isn’t featured prominently in the film.

     Because this is a Godzilla movie, monster action is the main attraction. This film does not disappoint. The pacing of similar to the original 1954 film. Unlike the very poor 2009 Godzilla I appreciated how well the makers referenced it in this remake. Some fans may not like that Godzilla is not seen much in the early parts of the film, but this suspense made the later action scenes all the more impressive. Having said that, I would have to liked to see him more around the middle of the film where I was expecting more fight sequences.

However when the fighting does get started, it is truly a sight to be seen. The visual effects department did a fantastic job creating realistic monsters and fights, at least as realistic as a fight between a giant bug and a dinosaur can be. Godzilla’s roars, bites, throws, and fire breathing creates the best climactic action sequence since The Avengers.

It is spectacular to watch Godzilla evolve from a film of guys in fighting in monster suits to today’s jaw-dropping fight scenes between Godzillas and the MUTO. Godzilla was easily the best part of this film, but I would have liked to see him fight monsters from the old movies like Gigan, King Godriah or Mothra. I expect they are saved for the sequel.

Godzilla is rightfully successful. It lives up to the classic films while giving it a modern twist using the latest in visual effects. Though the human element of the plot didn’t pan out, the film is still a fantastic reboot of the popular franchise.

VERDICT : Great
Godzilla is a great reboot that lives up to the hype for fans of the original films and new fans that want in on the fun. It’s a movie for any action fan.
Positives : Godzilla, jaw dropping monster action, Bryan Cranston’s performance, true to original films
Negatives : Human story falls flat, not enough Godzilla in second act