Godzilla: A Monster’s tale

Godzilla: A Monster’s tale

Chilling Godzilla reboot upholds legacy



By (AP)

Published: Thu 15 May 2014, 12:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 6:29 PM

No one can blame Gareth Edwards for admittedly feeling nervous when asked to helm a remake of the biggest monster movie of all time. Sure, the only other film he had directed happened to be 2010’s Monsters. But this time, it was Godzilla.

Well, the latest iteration of the 60-year-old franchise is in capable hands. Edwards’ Godzilla is a pleasingly paced 3-D spectacle that pays chilling homage to the artful legacy of the original 1954 film — Ishiro Honda’s Gojira — while emerging as its own prodigious monster movie.

Created as a symbol of the nuclear threat following America’s atomic attacks on Japan in World War II, Godzilla’s reappearance suggests the nuclear tests conducted by the U.S. in the Pacific after the war were really meant to hold the radioactive dinosaur back.

This story begins in Japan in 1999 as nuclear physicist Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston, edgy in an unbearable wig) investigates questionable seismic activity at the Janjira nuclear power plant.

When a team at the plant, including his scientist wife, Sandra (an underused Juliette Binoche), dies in what everyone believes is a natural disaster, Joe dedicates his life to proving that what caused the devastation was anything but natural. His obsession creates a rift between himself and his son, Ford.

Fifteen years later, we catch up with Ford (played by a placid but sexy Aaron Taylor-Johnson) in San Francisco, where he lives with his wife (Elizabeth Olsen) and their son.

Serving in the U.S. Navy, Ford disarms bombs, a skill that later helps him save the planet from MUTOs — ‘Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism’ — that emerge from a long dormancy and begin traveling the globe, feeding on radiation.

The film focuses on Ford’s family story, which Borenstein takes his time developing. When we finally see Godzilla — just shy of an hour into the film — the anticipation has built to such a degree that we expect to be awe-struck. And we are.

The tallest of any Godzillas before him, this one stands 355 feet high — about 30 stories — with glistening, scaly skin and dorsal fin spikes down his back. His terrifying yet textured roar shakes the theater.

But we’re not bombarded with excessive CGI here. Godzilla isn’t oversold, although for some, his lack of screentime won’t be satisfying enough. However, the balance between the family-focused story line and intense action sequences is bound to please others.

While the predictable sequel has not yet been confirmed, one thing is clear: Edwards’ version of Godzilla remains the ultimate monster movie. The legacy has been upheld.


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