-GODZILLA PURISTS BEWARE -
Whenever a "Murican" attempt at Godzilla is addressed fans automatically get up in arms about the disaster piece that was Godzilla '98, but hope among hope that something more along the lines of Godzilla 2000 is released on a bigger scale. Back then, mistakes were made,and hopefully lessons were learned when it comes to adaptation and homage. Godzilla fans know that TOHO co. is Godzilla & that all the rest are merely imitations but one can't help but admire the attempt to finally get Godzilla right in his journey to an over seas audience. However the fear of the failure from 98 still looms large.
The Trailers and advertisements for this film gave us such hope and filled our hearts with anticipation, but how did it pay off?
Well for all the fancy effects,big budget design, cutting edge state of the art technology,and over paid, super educated film makers that Legendary Films threw at this, you would think it would be a sure fire success, but the devil is in the details, and it's best not to count your chickens before they hatch.
This movie somehow failed to utilize the main ingredient...Freakin Godzilla ! "Hello Mc Fly !" Ya know the guy on all the posters?, the name on the ticket?, the whole reason people stopped their busy lives ,drove to the theater, and emptied their wallets? "Do You understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?"
Yet the developers managed to screw up the single most important aspect.
Certainly the movie had other flaws and favorable features but to value them higher would be like scraping the crust from underneath a pie.
-WHO LEFT SUCH A BIG PLOT HOLE? -
The beginning of the movie is a real puzzler. It really fails to establish much of anything & that which is does establish gets erased within 20 mins.
It reflects a deprived use of popular actor Bryan Cranston whose character is so detached that it's absurd and quickly gets lost in environmental conspiracy a la "2012" and his rather nameless faceless son, played by the typical Channing Tatum / Matt Damon fill in of the month, is less than stellar. The subplot of the need of the son to unite with his fatheris so quickly swept out from the audiences feet it will leave you looking like actor Ken Watanabe as he stares dazed and confused. This character delivers the awe struck and utterly bewildered look so many times you begin to wonder if you missed something important or if that was his only direction as an actor. Seriously how many times can he appear to be so lost in thought just before muttering a whisper of some half coherent japanese philosophy. Likewise, the female lead couldn't have been more oblivious.
MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD
After a ton of hyperbole, we finally get a vague description of what's been happening. At this point in the movie (around 30 mins in) we'd expect to see or at least hear something about the big man on campus, but instead we see a much different monster hatch from a cocoon. "the Hell was that?"
At this point I was almost beginning to wonder if Godzilla was even in this dang movie.
After all heck breaks loose finally we hear a short story and some hazy shots of the currently existing Godzilla's back spikes. "
What that's it?"
I can't for the life of me understand why the director chose to spend so much time on vague., monotonous military Ops. , and pointless filler of unimportant , non recognizable characters, with little to no dialog whatsoever.
Oh and Godzilla finally shows up for a very brief cameo around an hour and 15 mins into the movie.
Bout dang time.
.....and now he's gone. :( Tease much?
- THE GOODS -
Aside from all that i will say the movie did manage to get some things right. The few passing moments that did include Godzilla were rightfully epic, thrilling, and inspired. They nailed the look & feel of the King of Monsters, which unfortunately makes it all the more bittersweet that they didn't actually feature him more , but instead chose to beat around the bush, hide the camera behind crowds, and clutter the view with windshields wipers on high.
They also felt the need to pull the cam completely away from the incredible giant monsters fighting back towards the empty streets or broken buildings.
Heyyy, what gives , man?
Futhermore , Godzilla's adversaries, while impressive in their own right, needlessly stole precious screen time from our main attraction.
After what seems like endless minuets of further military run around, the movie shifts focus to the 2 giant sized praying mantis looking creatures, gathering radiation, and trying to meetup and "lay some eggs" (wink wink) ah,yes quality screen writing.
This becomes the emphasis 3 quarters of the way through this slow moving, misguided movie, while Dr. Japanese (Watanabe) has an astounding epiphany: "Let them fight." uhh duhh? How were you going to stop that anyway?
At this point you think they are saving all the Godzilla scenes for the very end, until you inevitably realize all those scenes are going to be spliced and short. However, the brief battles were worth their weight. I truly enjoyed the action. Godzilla was in top form: glorious and awe inspiring.
Not only did he look astounding, he fought impressively. The hope and expectations of Godzilla lore were embarrassed and well represented as his dominance became clear from the devastating atomic energy breath, to his unmistakably recognizable roar. I for 1 was wonderfully thankful for that.
The final moments of this film were basically it's only redemption in an otherwise meandering prelude of emptiness.
- THE ROARING CONCLUSION -
If only they had spent more time & creativity building up to & towards Godzilla, this could have been the epic awesomeness we were all hoping for. ( 2005's King Kong was better)
The fans wanted Godzilla, but what we got was Saving Private Ryan.
Perhaps next time Godzilla returns from the land of the rising sun, his presence & purpose will be the main focus and biggest priority of the story.
Until then we have the dozens of Toho classics & modern movies to fill our hearts with epic roars, tail swipes, and super atomic flame breath!
I'm Jesse, I'm a professional writer, and I love movies.