With a purposeful grimace and no cell phones around/I got the 3D glasses and Imax sound…
Helpless people in a movie show, Bryan Cranston with a wig and no crystal.
The studio remakes, they want your money thrown down/And I waded through the lobby with a big frown.
Oh no, this weekend they will go…go, go, to Godzilla
Oh no, this movie really blows, this latest Godzilla.
I used the lyrics to the great Blue Oyster Cult song (slightly altered) to fit what I felt about this movie.
It started out promising enough. We see a military attempt at trying to kill Godzilla, circa early ‘40s, and a-bombs like the ones used on Hiroshima.
Joe Brody (Brian Cranston) is an engineer that loses his wife early on (Juliette Binoche, in a rather small part). They were somewhat interesting characters, but we eventually get to see the younger actors. That would be Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass) and Elizabeth Olsen – in one of the first performances of hers I’ve been disappointed by. In fact, another actor I usually enjoy – David Strathairn – gave the first performance on screen I hated.
Brody is a soldier home from deployment, with his wife (Olsen) and young kid. He quickly gets involved in hunting down Godzilla when his dad (Cranston) is arrested for trespassing on the old nuclear plant where his wife died. He’s convinced the vibrations and disaster that killed her was something other than what authorities explained. For some reason, the son has to fly to Japan to get him out of the pokey.
I don’t fault the filmmakers for going with the technique of a slow simmer – and building tension by not showing the creatures right away. Remember how affectively that worked in Jaws? That’s usually a smart move. The problem is – the movie is humorless, the characters wooden, and it makes the first half of this two-hour film a big snooze fest.
Some of the visuals in this were stunning. When a pair of soldiers are laying on railroad tracks as a creature moves underneath them; or catching a glimpse of Godzilla swimming just underneath the surface of the water, beneath a boat. Yet it’s another wasted 3D opportunity. Why not give this movie the camp feel the original ‘50s version had? Let’s see the crazed expressions from onlookers. Let’s see things thrown at us in 3D. When soldiers are running from collapsing buildings, shouldn’t we feel like they’re about to fall on us? Perhaps Godzilla could’ve thrown a car or bus our way, or whipped his tail at us. After all, the crowd is up for fun. In the packed theatre I was at, they cheered every time Godzilla appeared on screen. If the filmmakers are going to opt for a big, goofy blockbuster and no story – then give us something fun. Make some great fight scenes, building smashing excitement. Instead, we’re watching another Pacific Rim or [insert underwhelming blockbuster of your choice here].
The Matthew Broderick version of Godzilla in the late ‘90s got horrible reviews. The early reviews of this have been positive, although I have no clue why. Aside from some small tributes to the original and a few fun fight scenes – there’s just not much here. Yet everyone will run out of the heat to an air-conditioned theatre and the movie will be huge. Yet really, if you’re over the age of 12, I’m not sure why you’d find this entertaining.
It gets 1 ½ out of 5 stars.