Godzilla destroys box office, expectations


The revival of the titular Japanese monster was a necessity that the cinema owed us after the monstrosity that was the 1998 Roland Emmerich film that turned the giant lizard into a dinosaur. It’s not an Oscar-worthy amazing masterpiece, but it is a fun movie. Director Gareth Edwards did the only thing he needed to do: make a Godzilla movie that doesn’t suck.

There is no amazing acting in this movie, although it is comparatively better than the 1998 movie that featured Matthew Broderick who seemed like he was a bit wary of the concept as well. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe and Elizabeth Olsen all give subpar performances playing their stereotypical characters: the brave soldier, the confused scientist and the scared mother, respectively. The only terrific performance is from Bryan Cranston who, after Breaking Bad, may just be one of the best natural actors of this generation. But it doesn’t matter if the acting is good, because the real star of this film is supposed to be the monsters.

This movie has been helped tenfold by the advances in technology and computer-generated imagery (CGI). Every little detail, from the smoothness of the MUTO to the scaly nature of the Godzilla can be observed and, thus, appreciated. In general, the movie just looks amazing. The destruction of the cities with buildings collapsing and trains being ripped in half all look real and, for the most part, obey the basic laws of physics. But let’s face it: The audience is paying to see the carnage and destruction. It takes a very specific kind of taste to appreciate a film that only has cinematic merit in its use of meticulous CGI.

The one, and most crucial, fault of the film is the fact that it lacks a clear plot. But, the filmmakers don’t care that there is almost no plot because the entire point of this movie was to show off how good the modern technology in cinema can be. The core audience, young men, can appreciate that the best part of this movie is that the monsters fight for almost half of the movie. And that looks fantastic.

If you want to see director Gareth Edwards make a movie that has both a good plot and is visually compelling, watch his underrated 2010 film, “Monsters.” He knows how to make a monster movie, but perhaps his first attempt at a blockbuster wasn’t as widely successful as we all expected.

Godzilla is not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination and believing that this movie completely lives up to the massive hype is a lie. Don’t expect a movie as brilliant as “12 Years a Slave,” but that doesn’t mean that this movie is as awful as Godzilla (1998). This movie is enjoyable, plain and simple. If you can avoid raising a critical eye at the film, you may actually let the carnage settle in.