Retro Review: Godzilla


Release Date: September 16, 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 123 mins.
Director: Gareth Edwards
Studio: Legendary Pictures
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action
Stars:Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe


During a horrible accident at a nuclear power plant in Japan a man loses his wife , his job, and seemingly, his mind. Fast forward 15 years and Joe Brody (Cranston) is still looking for answers as to what really happened that day. His son, Ford, (Taylor-Johnson) whom is now an EOD tech in the military gets a phone call that his father has been arrested in Japan flies off to get him out. After a little convincing Ford is talked in to breaking in to a quarantined zone where the accident occurred. This ends up dragging him in to a face to face encounter with unstoppable monsters. Who will save the day when man is no longer able to defend itself ? I’m pretty sure you can figure that out.

As far as the locales go they picked some good spots. They jumped between Japan, Hawaii, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. The 3-D in the movie added an extra layer of oomph to the visuals when showing how massive the creatures are to us insignificantly small humans. The CGI for Godzilla is phenomenal and he looks way better than a mutated iguana (yeah ’98 that was a shot at you!). Now the acting was up and down as an overall effort. Bryan Cranston is the best part of the cast as he lights up the screen whenever he’s on it. Unfortunately, there is far too little of him on screen. Aaron Taylor-Johnson (AKA Kick-Ass) seems disinterested in playing his role as Ford. He’s literally got one facial expression for every situation. His reaction to hearing his father is in jail is the same as the first time he sees Godzilla.Its a lackluster effort and shouldn’t be allowed by the director, let alone a professional actor. Elizabeth Olsen (the Olsen that can act) is good in the few moments she receives on screen. Along with Cranston she helps bring some emotion to the human element of the film. Watanabe has like maybe 25 lines in the whole film so he’s not too significant. He does however get to deliver the ever so popular Japanese pronunciation of Godzilla. It’s his one shining moment on camera. Oh, and the final monster fight is overtly bad ass. Too bad that it takes like 3/4 of the movie before any fighting really goes down.

This series was in need of a reboot especially after the last two fiascos. The mission did not fail, as this is a great reintroduction to the masses. Awesome CGI, Two great performances from two under utilized actors, and one awesome monster fight are pluses. The draw backs are the lackluster performance of the main character and the lack of solid Godzilla action until almost the end of the film. Overall, it’s awesome and contains many cheerable moments. It’s a crowd pleaser for sure.