A WELCOMING RETURN OF THE KING OF THE MONSTERS AND AN ATOMIC BLAST OF GOOD OLD MONSTER BEATING FUN!
Nico Beland Movie Review: A (3 ½ stars)
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
GOJIRA! (Or Godzilla) is back and bigger than ever in the second re-imagining of the popular Japanese movie monster from Toho by the US, the first being the 1998 Roland Emmerich movie. No, it’s nothing like the 1998 movie, no Matthew Broderick, no Godzilla laying eggs, no Godzilla being an oversized iguana, and no piles of fish.
In the directing chair is newcomer, Gareth Edwards (Monsters) and stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass, Nowhere Boy) as the main human protagonist, Ford Brody, a US Navy soldier who lost his mother after a laboratory accident when he was young. For a human character in a monster movie, Aaron does a decent job portraying his character and manages to have some witty remarks and effective emotion at the same time, unlike Broderick’s awkward Niko Tatopoulos performance.
Fifteen years after the accident, Ford has been living in San Francisco with his wife, Elle (Elizabeth Olsen - Martha Marcy May Marlene) and five year old son. When he is called in for an important he mission, he discovers that a nuclear accident occurred in 1954 and an indestructible creature was awakened, what could this unstoppable force be? Why, none other than the King of the Monsters himself, Godzilla.
In more recent years, the same incident occurred and a new monster was created, known as the MUTO, a winged creature with long hook-like claws and a powerful blast that can wipe out a city’s power supply. Honestly it looks like a hybrid of a Kaiju from Pacific Rim and the monster from Cloverfield.
The MUTO finds its way to places like Hawaii, Japan, and Las Vegas, and starts causing havoc everywhere. Flying around the city destroying buildings and knocking the power out with its powerful roar.
Fed up with all the destruction, the US Navy decides to unleash Godzilla to battle the MUTO and save the world from total annihilation.
Compared to the 1998 Godzilla movie, this new re-imagining of the classic monster surpasses the previous US film in just about every way. The CG effects are much more impressive and Godzilla’s design actually looks like Godzilla and not a giant iguana humping buildings in New York City and eating piles of a lot of fish.
Besides the special effects, every time Godzilla battles the MUTO is exciting and so awesome, it leaves you at the edge of your seat and cheering. That’s what everyone paid to see, watching monsters beating the hell out of each other, glad it didn’t disappoint and no references to those stupid Godzilla babies.
Granted the original Japanese films are still impressive for their times and the campiness of the films do have a charm to them, but there are plenty of elements from the original movies thrown in here, so die-hard fans won’t be disappointed. It’s nice to see Godzilla on the big screen again in the US, back before this film there were only two Japanese films, Godzilla 1985 and Godzilla 2000 and Roland Emmerich’s 1998 crap-fest released here in the US.
Fans will probably love it and newcomers will most likely get into the colossal Godzilla franchise through this movie, hopefully this will lead to a brand new franchise with rebooted versions of some of the other iconic monsters like Mothra, Ghidorah, Destoroyah, or Mechagodzilla. So maybe now we can forget about the Emmerich Godzilla, thanks to this Atomic Breath blast of monstrous fun.
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