Circa 2014 Godzilla Movie Was More Than A Pleasant Surprise….
Circa 2014 Godzilla Movie Was More Than A Pleasant Surprise….
Godzilla is not the kind of movie that is my cup of entertainment tea, but my colleagues at work more than implied that I should go and see the watery behemoth and write an objective review. Perhaps, from the get go I had low expectations for this Godzilla movie because I had always thought and the evidence has supported my thinking that all of the past Godzilla movies were campy and somewhat tongue-in-cheek. I am happy to say that my prejudice was overcome by the new Godzilla movie and seeing it was more than a pleasant visual and entertainment surprise….
I should have peeped that this Godzilla movie was going to be different because the brilliant Bryan Cranston of Malcolm-In-The-Middle and Breaking Bad fame, and the equally brilliant actress, Juliette Binoche of the Unbearable-Lightness-of-Being fame were cast in the movie. As a matter of fact, Mr. Cranston, who plays a Nuclear Physicist, powerful acting performance is what drives the movie in the first hour or so. I had to remind myself that this was a Godzilla (monster) movie that I was watching because of Cranston’s warranted emotional wallop of a performance. This is so because the movie pacing is like a good mystery tome that introduces all the players and potential clues, and, then having you, the reader, yearning for the first murder or in the case of the movie, a glimpse of the misunderstood hero/shero (forgive me, I could not glean its sex) Godzilla.
Mr. Cranston’s character went from living the good life to one of obscurity because of a terrible lost; so much so, that he is ostracized from his peers and, moreover, his only son, on account that there was no closure for said tragic lost… manifested in the fact the he is parroting conspiracy theories for the cause of his Job-like hardships. It turns out that Mr. Cranston’s character is not a kook after all… that there are cogent reasons rooted in facts for his paranoia, which, of course, has to do with the behemoth Godzilla. Apparently, Godzilla was around during the Dinosaur era and was like nature’s check against the rest of the monsters. For some reason, Godzilla is awaken after being dormant for decades and his lack of restlessness, apparently, is being triggered by something that is just as terrifying, which, incidentally, has the ability to frighteningly multiply. Moreover, these beings seem to feed off Nuclear waste and said waste seems to be like their version of Viagra.
The problem is that, we, as human beings, see all creatures not like us as benevolent monsters, and, so, therein lies the dilemma when there are multiple threats. Our weapons do not discriminate when we are fighting ‘aliens’ because, frankly, we do not have the luxury of picking favorites. The new Godzilla movie poses the question what if there are monsters which just want to be left alone and share the piece of the planet without being bothered and are just as threatened, if anything else were to upset the delicate balance? The problem is compounded too because we do not know or care to learn how to communicate with these ‘alien’ creatures that might share a love for mother earth and do not take Darwin’s survival of the fittest literally.
In watching the new Godzilla movie and witnessing the attention to detail in the delicate balance between drama and action, I am reminded again to give mad ‘props’ to directors like Josh Whedon, Christopher Nolan, and Ridley Scott, who basically set the vaunted standard that movies of this genre can be just as good or better than the ‘artsy fartsy’ drivel that normally competes at Cannes, etc. I need not name the respective movies where these noted directors made their respective bones and set the nosebleed standard for other directors to try to emulate.
I must then commend the director of Godzilla, Gareth Edwards, whose only auteur work so far was directing Monsters - the powers that be at Warner Brothers truly saw something special in this young man and their trust was warranted because he did an excellent job in bringing the new heroic, behemoth, Godzilla to life. It is evident in the fact that the mayhem and destruction of the cities, war machines, and all that make the attributes of the first responders look disaster-real, notwithstanding the technology that can be had from Green Screen and the like to secure this seemingly, authentic visual reality… and the $160 million that was spent on this movie genuinely showed in the finished product. Lest I forget the script - authored by Frank Darabont, Max Borenstein, and Dave Callaham - which seems to parallel our real life happenings and gives one a sense of Historical symmetry in light of the recent Tsunami and Nuclear melt town suffered by Japan, the place of Godzilla’s fictional home.
Now, Edwards is not only an up and coming director to be reckoned with, but he may be a good money manager too for getting so much out of a $160 million budget, which is paltry compare to other budgets for movies of this nature. I have one caveat though that in a ‘microwave’ generation, I do not know if the young men and women, who mostly this movie is catering to, have the patience for the build up until Godzilla makes his/her diva-like appearance… but I may be wrong for the Box Office's take will tell the tale in the coming days.
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