60 years ago in the age of monster movies, Godzilla was born, a colossal giant that captivated generations of fans. 16 years ago, Legendary pictures tried to latch onto this idea but as audiences and g-fans agree, they failed in their attempt. In hopes of once again transforming the man in a suit into a computer generated image, Legendary seeks forgiveness with a second attempt in light of Godzilla’s 60th anniversary.
Our story begins with an American family living in Japan and a major accident at a nuclear plant, these events and the quest to understand them, is the primary goal of our protagonists. However as new threats emerge in the form of prehistoric kaiju and the growing threat of an alpha predator our hero’s goals change. The alpha predator is Godzilla and the foes he faces are also giant monsters that threaten humanity, resembling praying mantises. As for our hero, Ford Brody is a navy lieutenant, whose only real concern is returning to his family. With drawn out action sequences and stunning CGI effects Godzilla lives up to its name.
Although the movie is called Godzilla and that’s what the majority of people looked forward to seeing, movie producers prolonged his appearance until the first half hour was over. In a two hour movie like this one, this may not seem like much of a loss, but some would be disheartened to know that character arcs and backstories replace possible monster rampages. However, as much as this may seem like a con, it’s also a pro because in doing so each one of Godzilla’s entrances become highly anticipated enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. So even though the final fight is drawn out into a 20 minute conflict there is no doubt that those 20 minutes were the highlight of the movie.
CGI has become the draw of many movies making it possible to do things movie makers never thought possible but what worried audiences going in was that for 60 years Toho has created great films and detailed costumes that make their kaiju seem real in a way that CGI never could. But this movie definitely delivers a new take on Godzilla that will be hard for Toho to beat. Simple expressions like roaring and even breathing showed definitive expression, something that a man in a suit may not be able to do. Filmmakers combined the Godzilla in the 2004 production, Godzilla Final Wars and the lizard like monster of 1998, but don’t mistake the new look with the overgrown tuna fish of ’98 because they are not even in the same league in terms of design. Although Godzilla went beyond expectations the monsters he fought known as MUTO’s were sorely lacking compared to Toho’s creations. No one’s saying they should copy the classic monsters but compared to nightmares of imagination like Gigan and King Ghidorah the new monsters have little to offer.
The story of the movie took a new spin on the original tale making Godzilla a product of nature’s balance and not nuclear radiation. Although this made for an interesting twist it left a few confusing plot holes.
To say that the man in a suit age is over would be a misinterpretation but not seeing this movie is a mistake of monstrous proportions. 8/10
Logan Conrad // Staff Writer