The time is now and a giant lizard emerges from the ocean. It’s existence had been known for decades, but never before it had stepped a foot on a soil. When another deadly threat shows itself, it is time for GODZILLA to rise to restore the balance on earth… or take us back to the stone age.
GODZILLA trailers sold us a dark, realistic take on the Japanese franchise. It was shown as well acted, dramatic movie, a GODZILLA film done right.
Did the makers deliver on the promise?
Let’s start with GODZILLA himself, because for the fans it is the key element they were waiting for. No one will be disappointed in that department. GODZILLA kept its original look, but at the same time is very believable His face with the traces of some intelligence is far from fearsome, it is even a little bit cute. You would really care for you pet lizard if it looked at you this way. It also inherited most features of the Japanese version. I have to praise the writers on this occasion - they managed to come up with a probable concept that will explain all the GODZILLA abilities.
Now the downside.
What brings the monster down is the script. The story thirty minutes on seems well written, character oriented, with some serious suspense not including giant monsters (at least not their visuals). Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and Juliette Binoche bring in a human element to the story early on, and their performances resonate through the whole film. All is going well until the first monster sequence kicks in. And then…
It is hard not to spoil anything by expressing my disappointment, but let’s just say that what GODZILLA has in authenticity it lacks in originality. Yes, the monster battle sequences will take you straight to your childhood if you are nostalgic for the original GODZILLA. But will the movie make you believe that what is happening on screen is real? I very much doubt so.
Let’s face it, Roland Emerich’s effort, with all is popcorn glory, wasn’t so bad after all. There’s nothing bad about pure pop corn fun, unless you had been promised otherwise. And this is where GODZILLA truly fails - it’s the heart. The second hour seem to be written by a different man than the one who had penned the first act. When action kicks in, it is all TRANSFORMERS and BATTLEFIELD. There may be nothing wrong with this, but I was promised a serious GODZILLA movie. I was promised to have a decent mega budget film about the failings of humanity and its helplessness in the presence of GODS. I was promised to believe. Alas, I did not.
But let’s forget the believable part for a moment, let’s just focus on action - it is slow, uninventive and pretty much boring. I do not consider it a spoiler saying that there’s only one battle between the monsters. It lasts long, I have to admit, but you do not really see anything slightly original. So many opportunities missed!
As much as I wanted to like it I have to admit that for me the re-birth of GODZILLA did not happen. But I do hope that the sequel, if it comes to it, will fix these mistakes and deliver something a true GODZILLA fan truly deserves.