THE JOCK: Ashton Huey
This year’s reboot of the “classic” Godzilla has finally come out. While you may think that the entire movie is just us (humans) fighting the 50-foot beast, it’s much more. The film opens up in the past with some background information on some seismic activity in Japan. I was fully expecting the film to be 2 hours of humanity trying to kill Godzilla failing each time until there’s some last ditch Dues ex Machina (I believe that’s how you spell it) to save it within the last 15 minutes. Despite that, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Godzilla.
I honestly had no clue this movie even had Brian Cranston in it when I was buying my ticket. In my opinion, he nails his character from the start, but that may just be the Breaking Bad fan in me, bitch. However his role is very minimal so it doesn’t have him seeking all the limelight. I did not expect for this movie to have much of a storyline besides us (humans) fighting Godzilla. I do not want to spoil much so I’ll keep it brief. There is somewhat of a love story going on with the protagonist and his wife as they have been separated from each other due to the goddamn monster ravaging the city. There is a countdown in which the monsters must have been defeated by or else it is bad news for everyone. The guy from Inception says some profound things every once and a while.
Between other monsters and the government screwing up, I grew to enjoy the dinosaurs on steroids. I believe many are describing this film as Pacific Rim but with dinosaurs instead of robots, to which I agree. However, something this film does try to impart is the (ongoing) battle of man versus nature. It is my belief that this is a good sentiment as a critical point of the film with much of the ecological problems rising today. Especially with over use and over population and that we have to “find” a solution. Overall the film was great, then again, this film reminded me of the power ranger cartoons I would watch with mechazoid fighting the run of the mill intergalactic monster.
THE SNOB: Alexis Munier
I’m going to be honest here. I realize I am not the target audience for this movie, but as any fan of Breaking Bad would understand, I had to see it anyway. Well, Bryan Cranston died within the first twenty minutes and frankly, I just feel used. Stuck inside a movie that I had no interest of seeing sans Bryan Cranston, I was forced to sit through the misery that is Gareth Edward’s Godzilla.
Clichés are littered throughout this movie to the point of absurdity: stranger taking care of lost child, wise Asian man warning people, military wife who watches kids, etc. If you’re going to give me cinematic tropes, at least give me some more exciting ones. I needed a little bit of crazy scientist or wisecracking best friend to get me through this one. What’s even more frustrating is that Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, and Elizabeth Olsen are all excellent actors that deserve better than the lines they were given. And who keeps letting Dave Callaham write scripts? I’m looking at you, fans of The Expendables.
However because I’m feeling sympathetic, I’ll approach this as if they intended for all of the characters to seem overly one-dimensional. If that’s the case, then what should truly shine are the action scenes. Seeing as Godzilla only shows up around midway through the film, this is not the case. Most of the screen time is spent on entirely uninteresting and unoriginal characters that somehow the audience was supposed to grow attached to (pretty crazy, right?). Ultimately, Godzilla’s biggest downfall is that it spends far too much time trying to be something it’s not. The lackluster characters take away from the truly spectacular visuals and impressive action sequences. It should’ve learned the lesson Pacific Rim took in stride: focus on the action and don’t take your characters too seriously.
If you’re an action fan, there’s really not too much for you here. If you’re a serious drama fan, you probably left after Bryan Cranston died or you just didn’t see this movie in the first place and I envy you. Essentially, Godzilla disappoints on almost all fronts. But, this movie did do what it was supposed to do, which was make a boatload of money so who’s to say my snarky comments are worth anything. Now I’m going to spend the next few minutes erasing this entire movie from my memory.