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.
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.
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.