It had been far too long since everyone’s favorite giant lizard had a big screen outing. Needless to say, when they announced this film, most everyone was skeptical. After all, the last time Hollywood made a Godzilla film. . .well. . .it’s best that we not talk about that one, all right? Okay.
Now, I was super excited after they released the first trailer that had some footage with J. Robert Oppenheimer‘s quoting of the Bhagavad Gita, “Now I am become Death,the destroyer of worlds.” With the happy realization that they were taking the greatest of all lizards back to his nuclear roots, I sat back and eagerly anticipated the arrival of the movie. They lined up a great cast of actors for the human interest bit, using such talented folks as Brian Cranston and Ken Watanabe. It seemed like this movie had a lot of things going for it and I could hardly contain my excitement.
Did the movie live up to the promise I had seen in its earlier advertising?
Yes and no. Yes, I enjoyed it. The monsters were great and I liked the overall plot and what they were aiming to do with it. As my friend who saw it with me pointed out, it had a lot of the traditional Godzilla movie elements with the scientists, the obligatory random Japanese kid, the military doing its thing, and all of that fun stuff. What it lacked, however, was really engaging script-writing and the ability to actually make me really care about the people plot.
Look, I get that we need humans to draw us into the story so we can understand the impact of such a reptilian titan. That’s cool and all, but give them something to work with. Give them good direction and get consistent performances out of them. Everyone has to be over the top or understated. Don’t have a mixture of both. It just makes the understated folks look wooden by comparison.
Also, it needed more Godzilla. Seriously. There was not nearly enough screentime dedicated to the titular character. Should they make a franchise spawning from this film, give the guy some more time in the limelight. Goodness knows he deserves it after his long career. Seriously. His name is the title. It’s like he has top billing and he ought to be treated accordingly.
Long story short, see this on the big screen at a matinee. They did a lot more right than wrong with this one and it really is fun to watch. Despite my complaints, I really enjoyed this one.