Oh boy... here we go again. Godzilla is back, and literally bigger than ever. Let the mayhem commence!
Obviously, the one point of this movie was to show off the giant creature with some giant special effects, but it had a surprisingly not-stupid plot, which took its sweet time in setting up, and building up. This effectively accomplished two goals: to make the film long without too much effort or plot direction, and to build suspense for the monster, both of which I appreciated.
|Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins do science and discuss important plot points in thick accents.|
I was also surprised to find that, in spite of a sneakily misleading trailer inhabited by only one creature, this flick featured more than that advertized and famed one; in fact, there were three. Another good surprise, as I enjoyed the two over-sized praying mantises who feed off of radiation even more than our titular hero. They had better motivation, they looked way cooler, and in movies like these, I root for the villain (okay, to a certain extent). These guys make their appearance earlier too, and honestly that was the best part of the film; afterwards there was a drooping decline all the way to the end. There were scattered "wow" moments throughout of course, like the very cool skydiving scene, but that was only about thirty seconds of awesomeness, and it was the longest of the blips of awesome.
|Father and son visit the ol' homestead-turned-nuclear-wasteland-but-sike-not-really, aka, District 13.|
The decline was actually related (and related) to the death of Bryan Cranston's character, Joe. I did not see that coming, and can only think that it was necessary so that we wouldn't question why Aaron Taylor-Johnson's character, Joe's son Ford, had to step up and be the main character (main human character that is). Taylor-Johnson wasn't a terrible lead, but he really didn't have much to do since the film is really constantly lead by GCI coolness, and compared to the beginning when Cranston effortlessly dominated the screen, (no monsters to compete with did make it easier) it was a drop down to the son's level. Still, I wasn't watching to critique acting abilities so I enjoyed his leading performance as well as the film allowed. And he did do a nice job taking care of the little kid separated from his parents-- aww! I also enjoyed Elizabeth Olsen's character of Ford's wife, and amused myself trying to imagine how they'll be as the new additions to The Avengers team.
|Godzilla, evil giant mantises, and nuclear bombs are just a warm-up for Ultron!|
But enough of the humans; here, the bigger the character is, the bigger the character is -- and they fed the monster admirably. And not a little amusingly. Forget the mindless monster who just wants to trample skyscrapers; this Godzilla is arguably more heroic than Ford. If that look he gives Ford as he's disappearing into the dust cloud from the building that just fell on top of him wasn't a perfectly rendered look of a tragic hero, I don't know what is. Also, what other reason can there be for his doggedly hunting down the Mantises if he doesn't even eat them, but after destroying them, just plops majestically back into his watery dwelling, like the Lone Ranger riding off into the sunset? No -- he's no mindless beast; he's a roaring guardian; a trampling protector; a dinosaur knight. Teaching us the animal kingdom's favorite lesson -- that we shouldn't pollute our planet!
But even our big-headed, little-armed friend from the Jurassic era plays second fiddle when it comes to either exploring his massive squishy heart or impressing us with his massive scaled muscles and vocal features. It's always about the looks, isn't it? Yep, this film is all about those expensive effects, and even I -- I, who firmly believe that effects are only used well if they're used to enhance the meaningful content -- have to admit that it was the greatest part of this film. But you know what? It wasn't as great as they would like us to believe. I couldn't help but notice the very interesting fact that most of the monster action was contained in nightfall -- a good time for monster battles to take place to be sure, but also a good time to make a hard job easier on animators too, yes? And the one time we see Godzilla fully in the daytime, it is clear that darkness is his best lighting.
|But whatever, I sure did have a lot of fun watching it all!|
This was hands down the best movie that rides on GCI action that I have ever seen; it is the king! But king of disaster flicks and Michael Bay isn't exactly what that big, heroic guy would have heroically, stoically, and monstrously hoped for. Humans. When will we never learn? Oh well -- until the day we do, we will enjoy ourselves with toppling buildings and rampaging monsters!