Godzilla

"Excellent"

Godzilla Review


For a blockbuster about gigantic radioactive monsters, this is a remarkably humane movie. But then that's no surprise for a film from Gareth Edwards, whose micro-budget Monsters (2010) showed that effects-based movies don't need to sacrifice characterisation and real emotion. So while this film is still a big action romp, it's also cleverly grounded by believable people.

It centres on Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), whose life was upended in 1999 by a nuclear accident in Japan that killed his scientist mother (Juliette Binoche) and turned his father into a conspiracy-theory nutcase. Now just as Ford returns from military service to his wife (Elizabeth Olsen) and young son, he's called back to Japan as his dad spots tremors similar to those 15 years earlier. And as three terrifying creatures rise out of the earth, Ford is drafted in to help protect humanity. Following the beasts via Hawaii and Las Vegas to an epic confrontation in his hometown San Francisco, Ford works with scientists (Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins) and military commanders (David Strathairn and Richard T. Jones), eventually realising that the big-daddy monster Godzilla might actually be trying to help.

One of the more interesting aspects of Max Borenstein's script is that it reveals fairly early on that humanity is responsible for all of this and also helpless to avert the coming cataclysm. And yet the military machine does what it can, firing pathetic bullets and mobilising nuclear warheads because that's all it knows how to do. This approach adds a moral complexity that plays out in the decisions the characters have to make along the way. Taylor-Johnson is fine as the bland but muscled everyman at the centre, but Cranston steals the film with a far more textured role. Watanabe proves to be a master at the distant stare, while everyone else just runs and/or yells like real people would.

There are some contrived plot points and the pacing drags badly in the middle, but the film is livened up by witty directing touches that include references to all kinds of genre films, plus Alexandre Desplat's superb monster-movie score. Impressively, Edwards resists letting the film slip into a full-on effects extravaganza, keeping the visuals gritty and real-looking. Even the monsters have an earthy gravity to them: when was the last time a climactic battle between duelling animated characters was genuinely moving?

Watch 'Godzilla' Trailer



Godzilla

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 123 mins

In Theaters: Friday 16th May 2014

Box Office Worldwide: $525M

Budget: $160M

Production compaines: Toho Company, Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures, Disruption Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Jon Jashni, Mary Parent, Brian Rogers, Thomas Tull

Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Ford Brody, CJ Adams as Young Ford, as Dr. Ishiro Serizawa, as Joe Brody, as Elle Brody, Carson Bolde as Sam Brody, as Vivienne Graham, as Sandra Brody, as Admiral William Stenz, as Captain Russell Hampton, as Tre Morales, as Master Sargeant Marcus Waltz, as Jump Master, Luc Roderique as Bomb Tracker, James Pizzinato as HALO Jumper, as Huddleston, as Whelan, Yuki Morita as Akio's Mother, Chris Shields as Dispatch Officer, Catherine Lough Haggquist as PO Martinez, Eric Keenleyside as Boyd, Ken Yamamura as Takashi, as Hayato, James D. Dever as Captain Freeman, Ty Olsson as Jainway, Kurt Max Runte as Crow's Nest Tech, as Head Nurse

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.