Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, Bryan Cranston
He's bigger, ferocious and a lot better than his predecessors. Godzilla - who stirs you with his deafening roar, the ominous attacks, the radioactive beams he shoots from his mouth and even his scaly and warty skin - has improved since he featured in the original Japanese film that released in 1954. He has close to six decades of tradition, beginning when he almost resembled a man dressed in an oh-so-ugly costume and still managing to scare everyone in Tokyo in 1954, and later transforming into a comparatively massive turd in 1998 film that starred Matthew Broderick.
Directed by Gareth Edwards, the film reels off Godzilla's origins in contemporary times as "terrifying force of nature" and is represented in a manner which remains loyal to the Toho series of Godzilla movies. The film kicks off with a prologue introducing Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston), who manages a nuclear reactor in Tokyo, and loses his wife (Juliette Binoche) in a mysterious meltdown. About 15 year later, Brody's son Ford (Aaron-Taylor Johnson), who works as a bomb disposal expert in the US military, is summoned to Japan to get him out of jail and unwillingly joins him in revisiting their ancient home which now lies in the quarantined zone. The father-son duo soon get embroiled in an international conspiracy that includes multiple nations and several monsters.
'Godzilla's stellar cast featuring Oscar winning actress Juliette Binoche, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins and David Strathairn (all nominated for Oscars), Bryan Cranston (who won an an Emmy award), could have worked in the favour of the film had they not been thin on characters. And considering the fact that it is Godzilla who dominates everyone, the viewers frankly don't feel like focusing on any other Hollywood stars. And the viewers who have shelled out money to only watch the monster and the ease with which he ruins building as he lashes his tail, aren't bothered about the characters, their oh-so-repetitive expressions and their confusing situations.
Director Gareth teases the viewers by never giving a closeup of the big lizard in the first part. What the viewers see instead is his stomp and several peeps into his dorsal fins as they glide through the sea. In a nutshell, the first part of the film comes across as a character analysis with Godzilla making one special appearance.
However, post interval, the film offers a handful of moments Godzilla fans might love, courtesy his much-awaited and well-crafted fight sequences. He takes on the adversaries, spews radioactive beams, but isn't portrayed as a villain, which is also made quite clear as the film ends, by referring to him as "Our saviour?" Yes, the monster is shown as anti-hero who is a key part of the natural order, and a force which can restore balance by annihilating the two MUTOs. The film's background which has been composed by Alexandre Desplat doesn't deviate from the storyline, instead the union of vision and sound adds the much-needed magic to the film.
We give three out of five for 'Godzilla'. If you are an ardent fan of Godzilla, you wouldn't mind dropping everything to see him roar and annihilate his foes.
Rating: 3 out of 5