This latest Godzilla movie continues the trend of summer blockbusters, being dark, serious, and completely humourless.
For a film that takes itself so seriously it has an absolutely ludicrous plot, which basically comes down to this: a giant lizard doesn’t want two giant insects to have sex. The whole picture is one GIANT cock block. Why Godzilla is so opposed to these other monsters doing the dirty is never really explained.
We follow one family’s journey through the ensuing chaos. Luckily for us it seems to be a family who are constantly at the centre of everything. They were the first to realise something was wrong, they were there when each of the beasts arise, and of course they are there to try and stop the monsters and save the day.
Bryan Cranston plays the father/grandfather of the family, and cries for most of his screen time. Similarly his on screen wife, Juliette Binoche, does little more than weep. Their child, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, didn’t inherit their crying gene, just a miserable worried face. The human characters are as 2D as their monster counterparts. Ken Watanabe plays a doctor who keeps saying “Godzilla will save us.” I’ve no idea how he has reached this conclusion, some nonsense about nature balancing itself out.
The two minute teaser trailer was far better than this bloated two hour picture. Using the Monolith theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey, it had mystery, as it barely showed the famous title character. Unfortunately the final product has no mystery at all. While British director Gareth Edwards has taken the smart choice of withholding the beasts for as long as possible, just as most of the great monster movies have done, he has failed to make this first hour or so remotely entertaining. While films such as Jaws, Jurassic Park, and Aliens had comedy relief and great banter in the shape of Richard Dreyfuss, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Paxton respectively; here in Godzilla we simply have people looking concerned, as they mutter rubbish about giant nuclear monsters without an inch of irony.
I’m getting really fed up with Dark Knight-esque, bleak blockbusters. It worked for Batman, but for Superman or giant monster flicks we need to have fun. Godzilla may be loud but that didn’t stop me nodding off. A remarkably boring film.
Action, Adventure, Sci-fi
15th May 2014 (UK)
2.35 : 1
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, David Strathcairn