In 2009, Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros announced that they acquired the rights to reboot Godzilla. As a huge Godzilla fan, I was jumping for joy and was excited for the 2012 release date. Legendary and Warner Bros pushed the release date back several times because they wanted to get the story right. So does this movie live up to the summer movie hype? Well no, it’s a disappointment. It’s not a big disappointment like the Amazing Spider-man 2. It is disappointing to see Godzilla not be star of his own movie. However, Godzilla will entertain you for 2 hours, and the ending is super satisfying.
There are three big negatives of Godzilla. The first negative is that Bryan Cranston’s character dies, and he sets up the story. His death happens in the first 30 minutes of the film but he has about 15 to 20 minutes of screen time. I felt emotionally connected to his character. Secondly, Aarron Taylor Johnson’s story is the dead weight of the movie. I don’t think he’s a bad actor. The story telling and his acting were not up to par compared to Ken Watanable’s or Bryan Cranston’s acting. My final big thing was the lack of Godzilla. Godzilla only has about 20 minutes of screen time. I felt we needed more Godzilla because it’s his movie. The movie is not titled Godzilla and his humans but Godzilla. Godzilla in a sequel needs to have more focus and screen time. . Warner Brothers has a online clip of Elizabeth Olsen’s character running from one of the monsters but she suddenly stops because Godzilla appears in front of her and he’s ready for a fight. She finds shelter and then the camera pans on Godzilla, then we cut to Aaron Taylor Johnson and the soldiers. The same editing issue appears during the entire fight sequence between Godzilla and the other monsters, and the humans take up Godzilla’s screen time with the emphasis on them instead of being on him and his fight, because they rarely cut back to the fighting between the monsters until the end. I did miss Godzilla’s theme from Akira Ifukube. I wish they had played it at the end of the movie
Godzilla had many positives about it. The visuals, camera shots, and special effects were superb. The writing for exposition was great for describing special effects, and Edward’s had a vision on how to set the tone of the movie. The themes of the movie were excellent, too. They ranged from government cover ups to man controlling nature. The film makers had a clear cut vision on how make the movie.
Ken Watanable, David Strathairn, Bryan Cranston make the human story relevant to the audience. Cranston is gold in this movie. He brings a great amount of emotional depth to his character. I felt sad and pissed when he died. Watanable plays Dr. Serizawa, and Serizawa isn’t an asshole like he is in the first Godzilla movie. Edwards and Max Borenstein, (the screenwriter) did a great job of reinventing the character. He sees Godzilla as nature’s way of restoring order. I want him back for the sequel. His character has more story to be told. Strathairn plays the perfect military antagonist. He’s is a villain in the movie. He’s a scary villain because he thinks his way is right. He would rather nuke radioactive monsters than listen to his leading scientist, Dr. Serizawa. He reluctantly concedes to Serizawa’s opinion of letting Godzilla take care of the other monsters.
Finally, Godzilla is done right. Yes, Godzilla only has 20 minutes of screen time. He should have about 20 more because it’s his movie. Godzilla is more of an emotional anti-hero in the movie. The producers, studios, director, and the writers made Godzilla right. He’s not a wimp that runs away from a fight like in the other American version. He’s a little too fat and his belly jiggles when he stomps around. He might have been eating too many big macs. Godzilla is a bad ass when he gets his screen time. The fight scenes with the monster were done so perfectly. The last 20 minutes makes this movie worth watching again. The Mutos were intelligent monsters. They legitimately challenged Godzilla which is hard to do for any monster. I felt emotionally connected to the other monsters and Godzilla. You will jump for joy at the other monster references from the Godzilla universe.
Overall Godzilla wasn’t the fantastical spectacle that I hoped it would be. It was a fun movie, kind of disappointing, but go see it. Despite its flaws there is something so satisfying about the ending that made people stand and cheer, even though Godzilla isn’t the main focus like he should and the humans are. The creators of the film got Godzilla so right;. It’s visually fantastic; the themes are similar to the 1954 Godzilla; and Godzilla is anti-hero. It was so satisfying to see Godzilla on the big screen kicking mother fucking ass (yea I said it). Godzilla gets a 3/5.
A three out of five movie isn’t a bad rating. It’s a three star movie. I encourage anybody who read this review to go see Godzilla. I have several friends who are passionate Godzilla fans and deeply appreciates him as a pop fiction icon. They loved this movie. I am happy to be in minority opinion about how good this Godzilla really is. Studios do listen to dissenting opinions because they want to make the best movie possible for everybody. I hope Legendary Studios and Warner Bros do listen to critics and a few fans who let down by this Godzilla movie like me. I still had fun and I loved seeing my childhood idol take back the big screen. Go see Godzilla and decide for yourself.
Godzilla, what did you think? Comment below and let me know. We need Mothra in the sequel…so make it happen Godzilla fans. Take to social media and let them know we want Mothra.