The 1998 film was absolute garbage. So surely the studios would have learned from that right? We want proper Godzilla, we want more monsters. So did they listen? Yes. Is it better? Yes. Is it a great film? Well…
Aaron Taylor-Johnson is Ford. A very generic army guy. His mother died when he was young in a power plant ‘accident’ that may just have been caused by some sort of horrible monster. He travels to Japan because his dad (Bryan Cranston) is busy investigating these big old monsters. One thing leads to another and soon there’s these two big bug looking M.U.T.O. things on a rampage and Godzilla shows up to take them down. As with most of these movies, the stuff with the people is pretty meh, but the monster stuff is really cool. It’s just a shame there’s not all that much of it.
When Godzilla first shows up it’s a real epic moment. He squares up against a M.U.T.O., roars and then charges. And then it cuts away and we don’t see the fight. And then the next time we see him, he squares up against a flying M.U.T.O., roars and then charges. And then it cuts away again. Look, I get that the build up is pretty good and that you don’t want to give us too much of it, but come on! When we finally see them fight it’s so awesome! And teasing us too much isn’t all that much fun.
Especially when you keep cutting away from fighting back to old plain faced Ford. He’s quite dull and boring as a character, even though Taylor-Johnson isn’t exactly a bad actor. Elizabeth Olsen is good as his wife, but she gets little to do except make a few phone calls during the course of the movie. Bryan Cranston is great! But isn’t in this movie nearly as much as you would hope. Ken Watanabe is good but just stares into the distance a lot and spouts exposition.
The design of the creatures, Godzilla especially, is fantastic. It all looks amazing. The special effects are great and, even thought here is probably a tad too much destruction for my liking, it all looks pretty flawless. And the action is pretty enjoyable too. The story works as it flows from place to place in a way that makes sense. I just don’t think it’s the best film ever. It’s enjoyable, but it’s nothing amazing. When a film like ‘Pacific Rim’ gives us non-stop robots vs. kaiju battles, it seems like a bit of a cop out to hold back so much in this, a film literally about a monster fighting monsters.
There is a lot of good stuff in this film. And it’s an enjoyable film overall. It just has a few misses int here too which hold it back from being seriously great. It is a massive improvement over the ’98 attempt though, so director Gareth Edwards deserves some praise for that at least.
JACK’S SCORE: 3/5