THIS REVIEW IS SPOILER FILLED!!!!!
Godzilla was one of the biggest disappointments to happen to cinema this year, the majority of the film is disjointed, unnecessary and just plain boring. The 2 hour journey felt more like a ninety minute lead up to the end, but in saying this the last act of the film is one of the best pay offs I have ever seen. I can not adequately review this film without giving away spoilers so if you have already seen this film or want a reason why you shouldn’t then read on.
One of the main problems that I had with Godzilla is the focus of the film, it is so misguided that at times I was legitimately frustrated by how this film kept going on tangents without referencing what had previously happened. The first half an hour of the film is about the father – son relationship that Bryan Cranston shares with Aaron Taylor-Johnson, both bonding over the need to find out exactly why Cranston’s wife, Johnson’s mother, died. This was extremely effective at first, with Cranston providing some powerful emotional acting that we were starting to connect with. They both return to where the mother died, a seemingly abandoned nuclear power plant, hoping to seek out the truth, only to find out that the army has been using the power plant to habour a monster…shocking. The monster then wakes up and kills Cranston as well as many other workers, then the story detours completely from that storyline and doesn’t even mention Cranston or the mother again. We just sat through 50 minutes of a grief story for it only to be revealed irrelevant, this was one of the most frustrating aspects of this film, not only because it never has focus, but also because they got rid of the only actor, Cranston, who made any sizeable effort in terms of acting this entire film.
Although the focus of the film as a whole was annoying, the worst thing I found about this story is the lack of action. When seeing a Godzilla movie, you are walking into the cinema thinking that you are about to see 2 hours of a giant lizard creating chaos, NOPE, you are sitting through 90 minutes of face panning and watching people as they are watching Godzilla fight on TV. The film keeps ramping up to an epic fight scene then cuts away, we were right there at the scene! Don’t take us out of it! There were numerous times in which this occurred, it starting to feel that director, Gareth Edwards, was trying to make his monster Speilberg’s Jaws, by not showing the monster for the majority of the film, but I’m sorry Mr. Edwards, it didn’t work.
The army in the film were also incredibly dumb, their plan to kill the monsters was to bomb them, seems like a good idea yes, but they had tried it before, not once, but twice and both times ended up the same way , the monster overpowered the army and ate the bomb growing off the radiation, how about you think of something else rather than employing the same idea time and time again. This also brought one of the most cliche endings to an action film in the modern era of cinema, by nuking San Francisco in attempt to kill the monsters. Between The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and countless others, this is the most overused way to end an action movie.
Even though I have posted nothing but negative aspects, the last act of the film, as I saw it, was the definition of awesome. Seeing Godzilla being the size of a skyscraper silhouetted through the smoke and rubble was absolutely breathtaking. The ‘King Kong moment’ at the end top off that last act to be a 10/10, the arrogant nature of this massive beast is nothing to be annoyed by, but rather to be marvelled. If only the entire film was like this, not just pans of destruction without actually showing how it happened.
All in all, Godzilla had such great potential, if only it had just narrowed it’s focus and had allowed for the monster to be the true star of the film, not Aaron Taylor Johnson and his forgettable acting. If Godzilla was the good guy then introduce him so in the beginning don’t let the audience have the realisation in the last five seconds to think, “huh he is just a cool guy”, that was weak and cheap. A sequel has already been announced for this film, lets just hope that they have learned from this movie and will put into practice a combination of acting, a focused story and lots of action, but for this interpretation of the great monster the roar of Godzilla was little more than a meow.
I give this film 5.5/10