|Image from: http://www.imdb.com|
With sixteen years passed since Roland Emmerich’s critically panned Godzilla, Hollywood take another crack at the King of Monsters.
Helmed by British director, Gareth Edwards, whose previous film Monsters showed enough innovation to get him this job, Godzilla is a summer popcorn movie that bravely shies away from spectacle.
There will undoubtedly be plenty of people who will take issue with this latest version, which isn’t as much about the action but rather the build up to it.
As a generation of film goers we’ve become greedy, expecting our summer films to be filled from start to finish with action sequences and visual effects.
Whilst Godzilla has both, Edwards and writer Max Borenstein take great pleasure in teasing us as much as they can before the monster’s big reveal, being bold by cutting away from some fight sequences.
Whilst this will frustrate many, Godzilla’s reveal is so glorious and its third act so action-packed that I couldn’t help but be swept up into a boyish excitement.
Comparisons to the work of Speilberg are well-founded and the film openly references his influence many times without going lens-flare overload.
Not only do the opening helicopter shots look straight out of Jurassic Park, but the human element that has soldier Ford Brody (Jaws anyone) trying to get home to his family amongst the mayhem is itself very Speilbergian.
High praise indeed then for Edwards whose last film proved interesting albeit forgettable, now making one of the best blockbusters I’ve seen in some time.
The film itself looks fantastic, the halo jump sequence being the centrepiece of the film’s visuals, and Godzilla’s look is loyal to the original Ishiro Honda film, although slightly more chubby (the Americans even made him obese).
The cast is top notch and although their characters are carbon copies of almost any other summer movie (the wife is a nurse, the husband a soldier..) there are great turns from Bryan Cranston and Ken Watanabe amongst others.
With this in mind I think it’s easy to tell that I loved Godzilla; king of monsters and the king of the summer movie season so far. It’s a thrilling monster movie that’s true to it’s roots, anti-nuclear undercurrent n’all. It looks great, has a stand out score, and is popcorn fodder in its prime. Hollywood, you are forgiven.