Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Godzilla Review: Homage to the King of Monsters

I realize I am late to the party, but better late then never to get a critique out. As many know by now, a particular monster made his return to the silver screen. He stands at 400 feet tall and has made 30 appearances on film. It is none other then Godzilla; or Gojira if you want to be precise. The iconic kaiju has been in various films over the years, but the monster had yet to receive a proper incarnation here in the states (well there was this one time in 1998, but many do not want to remember it). That is until now as director Gareth Edwards brings his own concept of Godzilla to the big screen. However, could Edwards and his team do the iconic monster justice in this new film?

The story to Godzilla is nothing complex. Basically, it's the world being introduce to giant monsters and their only hope just so happens to be a kaiju by the name of Godzilla. Because of this, the plot to this new film is a tad underwhelming. Seeing that this is a reintroduction to Godzilla, it seemed only natural to have the creature's back story to play a big role in the overall plot. However that is not the case as Godzilla, while his origins are explained, seems to be just there. Because of this factor, the story was a little disappointing; however, that does not say it was a bad plot. While I was hoping for more, the story to this blockbuster still works in context with Godzilla. Any kaiju fan will tell you that the formula used in this film is exactly how has worked in past Godzilla films. So while it may not have the strongest story this year, Godzilla's plot still felt like a tribute. Plus, this story relies on building the tension all the way to last act, and it's enough to keep moviegoers glued to their seats.

What can you say about characters in a kaiju film? Not much. There are occasion when the genre features three dimensional characters, but this trait is not to be expected. The same thing can be said about the cast of this rendition. While no one in this film had a bad performance, the characters themselves did not leave an impression. There was only one who stood out from the rest and that Bryan Cranston. His time in the film was short, but Cranston steals the spotlight by making every scene his own. There is one other character to make the movie worth while, and he just so happens to be a colossal lizard.

The cinematography was something to behold. Edwards and the filmmakers went out of their way to make every shot count in this film. The cinematography goes out of its way to make the film look gripping, and it certainly succeeds in that department. While some believe Godzilla's look in the film is bloated, the bulkier design worked in the kaiju's favor. It allowed the filmmakers to do something different while keeping true to the monster's original concept. The same thing goes for the antagonizing kaiju: the MUTO. The monster's design was simplistic but complex enough to be impressive.

Many may expect kaiju fighting to the death. While it does happen, it may not happen as much as some moviegoers hope. This is actually a benefit on the movie's behalf. The slow build to the kaiju fight makes the seeing the battle in its entirety worth it in the end; and it once again falls under a trait that you would see in a Godzilla film.

If you look at this movie as a film, you certain to find flaws with Godzilla. However, if you know the series, then this should be no problem getting into. Like the films before it, this interpretation plays with all the right elements to make any kaiju fan happy. Plus, the film is a fun summer flick and that never hurts.

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