About an hour into Godzilla, my son summed director Gareth Edward's reboot up with one simple statement. He tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear, "Dad, this movie is boring except for the fights." He captured my exact thoughts about almost every film starring the King of the Monsters. I take a mental nap when humans are onscreen and get jolted awake by the noise of two giant monsters fighting each other.
Two giant creatures that feed on radioactivity head on a collision course towards each other, destroying everything in their path. Drawn to each other's mating calls, they follow their instincts to the greatest feeding ground on Earth: the nuclear waste dumps of Nevada. Godzilla must stop them before they destroy the world. However, will the he succeed in annihilating them without wiping out the human race in the process?
Nobody watches a Godzilla movie for the plots or human interaction. Except for the first film's warnings against nuclear devastation, the other entries in the franchise revolve around aliens or diabolical Earthly powers trying to take over the world using some sort of Kaiju. Audiences fumble their way through long stretches of narrative to get to see 20 minutes of Monday Night Smackdown between two giant creatures using Tokyo as a wrestling ring.
If you walk into Godzilla expecting to see a Godzilla movie, then you'll be just fine. If you go into it anticipating what I did, you'll probably leave disenchanted. I don't know why, but I was expecting Director Gareth Edwards to up the amount of battle scenes and appearances by our title character. I wanted him to make the Godzilla flick I wanted to see - less yammering and more hammering.
The acting in Godzilla isn't bad, but it isn't phenomenal either. Everyone takes the attitude that audiences aren't coming to the movie to see humans, so why put forth too much effort. That's what it felt like to me. After watching so many disaster films over the past few months, I wanted a human story with as much weight as it had wanton giant monster destruction. I think I set myself up for disappointment.
I was quite impressed with most of the CGI in "Godzilla." The King of the Monsters looked like the menacing one we've wanted to see all along. There's no signs of a man in a suit to be found here. The MUTOS creatures were much cooler than I expected from seeing still shots of the film.
I did find it amusing that most of the effects-heavy sequences took place at night as to mask any CGI limitations. It's obvious the filmmakers for both this and "Pacific Rim" didn't have the type of faith in the quality of their work that Michael Bay does with his "Transformers" movies. They keep the Kaiju masked by the dark while Bay rolls his robots out into the exposing rays of the sunlight.
The movie is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of destruction, mayhem and creature violence. There's no gore to be found and very little blood. A few soldiers and bystanders have a little blood caked on them, but that's about it. I was also impressed at the lack of bad language and adult situations. Godzilla is surprisingly family-friendly and as tame as the older entries in the franchise.
Godzilla is, well, a Godzilla movie. You have to decide for yourself if that's to be considered a good or bad thing. The only difference between this and the older films is a lack of more Japanese people and the absence of a Toho logo at the beginning of the title credits.
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