A long black carpet is rolled out on Hollywood Blvd with the side of the streets barricaded off and a heavy amount of security posted at steady intervals along the way. I find myself walking on this going through producers, executives and other members of the studios and departments that had their hands in this highly anticipated film as well as the cast behind me still taking pictures. We walk to the entrance of the Dolby Theatre with me eagerly rushing on by to get in. I sit patiently waiting for it to start, its late showing with a few minutes past 7.
Then the lights go dark. I've been waiting for this with high hopes to take me back to when I was a kid watching the classics but yet to still maintain a relevant balance that sets a tone thats more realistic than what we may have had in the past. With the hype strong, the question is does it deliver?
You better believe it does! THIS [Godzilla](movie:45291) is a beast and he's not playing games. Gareth Edwards is a long time fan himself and wanted to do the right treatment for this labor of love of his. You can tell its cared for while watching it with meticulous detail to the devastated environments alone. Theres so much to admire in a shot but it goes by so quick, you wish you had a remote to pause it.
Lets talk about the cast briefly, the main characters are kept small and given solid dialogue. I don't remember any piece that made my eyes roll or think it should of been cut out, no staleness here. They all bring their best to this and the chemistry seemed natural and not forced which is always nice to have. Heres a break down of the cast and characters;
The story: i don't want to reveal too much here because Gareth added some really cool extra pieces from what we know already from the origin of Godzilla so I'm going to tread lightly and cover the basic outline instead and skip the ending of course. Joe is a scientist that works at a nuclear plant in Japan and has a wife and a kid. A series of shockwaves hit out of the blue and he knows they're out of the ordinary by looking at the patterns. He suspects more but a devastating event occurs that destructs the plant and changes his life forever, 15 years later the story picks back up...
Ford, now grown and in the military living in California, has a wife and kid of his own. His wife is Elle who's a nurse at a hospital, the character here is small but a staple in Fords giving us a reason to still care. While on leave he gets a call notifying him his Dad has been arrested in Japan and needs his help. Reluctantly and with the loving nudge of his wife, he goes to bail him out. After going back to his Dads apartment with him looking defeated and worn down, he sees he's still obsessed with what happened so many years ago. Still searching for answers but has gathered evidence of seismic activity and sounds that he thinks is something talking at the peak of these shockwaves that is happening now again, the same way it did 15 years ago.
His son now maybe starting to realize that he's not so crazy after all, goes with him back to the house where they used to live before everyone was evacuated after the explosion in fear of radiation contamination. He needs to recover his data discs that proves the shockwave patterns from back then are the same as the current ones now. He knows the government is hiding something. They are quickly detained by local authority and brought to the plant nearby where its being used with the government protecting that something.
They soon are met by Dr. Ichiro Serizawaand after Joe is questioned on what he was doing there, its seen that he's needed to help. The group is a secretive department called MONARCH that specializes in focusing on MUTOS in particular ever since the first (Godzilla) was discovered around the time the Hiroshima bomb was dropped. The MUTOs are attracted to radioactive material ever since the blast and feed off it. They dwell in the seas and in dark spaces to where they can harvest it until fully grown. The plant has been keeping one and studying it as its still in its cocoon. Foolishly thinking they're prepared for anything, sh!t hits the fan quick and pandemonium sets in with the first monster attack. After barely escaping, Ford and the doctor team up to help the Admiral of a ship in charge to destroy this unknown creature that threatens our existence. Armed with a EMP capability, a victory isn't easily seen.
Dr. Serizawaand thinks Godzilla is still alive and may even restore balance to the given situation. The ships radar picks up a new object bigger than the MUTO and we then see our 'hero' for the first time swim under the ship to land as he rises up to the California shore to fight the MUTO. The Admiral sees to it that two bombs are prepared to be transferred, one to drop on the MUTO and one to distract it with its radiation to draw it in. Godzilla is also seen as a obvious threat even though the Doctor pleads the Admiral to not go along the bombing and instead let them fight so nature can take its course.
The audience around me roared when the fight started and it instantly brought me back to the old classic flicks. The battle was a nice tribute piece and worked well leaving you rooting for Godzilla to win. The battle became uneven when another MUTO became present which plays a intricate part of the plot, I'll leave that for you to see for yourself and discover that side story. During this you felt for Godzilla as the battle stretched out and he was attacked making us realize he too was vulnerable, a new emotion played into this version and it payed off.
Ford during this is with the military doing a Halo drop after a MUTO took one of the nukes and dropped it in the ground where its currently battling Godzilla. The specialized group depart above the skies and reach the target area of the broken in ground and descend into the pit to attempt to disarm the bomb. Its not easy to get open to disarm and having hardly any time left, they are forced to move on to a new plan; get the bomb on a local boat and get it as far out as possible before it explodes killing a mass of innocent people. As the monster battle continues so does Fords to help save the states population and possible the world...
Overall: As far as the direction went, i didn't know what to expect and came in with a open mind but what i saw i immensely enjoyed. The cast is stellar with solid performances and the tone was spot on and fit to be realistic to the extent that we can realistically accept given the nature of the movie. The action was spectacular and the way they made Godzilla more 'lifelike' was appreciated. He had more detail than any other previous version and the size itself was enormous. His roar was perhaps my favorite feature which was so grand in projection and depth it was great hearing it blast through the speakers surrounding me. The 3D use was clean and the effect was well received but I'm interested i seeing it again in regular format to see perhaps a slight richer presentation for the image qualities sake. I will say Godzilla has a special ability in this version which when happened, the whole audience went nuts, I wont spoil it for you but I'm sure die hard fans already can guess what it is. In the end, if you're looking for fun or hoping that this is the Godzilla you've been waiting for to be made right then you can rest easy as this is it. With consideration and dedication, Mr. Edwards has given us something monumental that not only has a whop of a impact but also a new vision to branch off of if proven successful that should take fans for a fun ride ahead.