Godzilla - Cinema Review

'Aaron Taylor-Johnson follows Godzilla around the globe by accident, like Clouseau with less laughs'

Godzilla outperforming Warner Bros. expectations has a negative side for moviegoers beyond the fact that it's likely we're going to have to sit through another one of these films in the near future. Whilst presentationally the films may appear to have few similarities it soon becomes clear what Godzilla actually is: this is a similarly globe-trotting, franchise-friendly version of Pacific Rim. When the numbers for that film came in Warners must have been dreading the performance of Gareth Edwards' monster reboot. For 'exceed expectations' then, read: 'relief'. You can also likely kiss goodbye to Warners fronting up the cash for a monster film with no previous track record again.

There's sadly even more in common with the two films than meets the eye. Like Pacific Rim, Godzilla is a gigantic disappointment. The marketing department have done a good job of presenting this as an intelligent Action film, but beyond two or three well designed set pieces, full of spectacle, there's as little reason to recommend Godzilla as there is Guillermo del Toro's film.

The problems are rooted in the human contingent. Representing the audience is Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), the ultimate man in the wrong place at the wrong time. Following Godzilla around the globe by accident, like Clouseau with less laughs, there's an argument that though ATJ is there to allow us to see everything, he isn't the film's leading man. It's a fairly flippant criticism but try to keep track of how many lines he has. Twenty? Thirty? That might be overly generous.

Certainly it seemed that David Strathairn had more, playing the US Admiral in charge of everything, but even he probably only gets the normal amount assigned to a minimal support turn. If Godzilla is the protagonist then at least Strathairn has some influence over him, more than you can ever say for ATJ, but like Bryan Cranston and particularly Elizabeth Olsen, who really gets nothing to do, Strathairn's level of import and influence is limited. The real problem is not that he and others aren't developed, it is how their character influence unfolds. This was meant to be an intelligent monster movie from the man who made the intelligent Monsters. The best this can come up with? Yet another discussion on whether we should use nukes against the giant alien enemy or not. For that to even be discussed in a film about a beast borne from nuclear power, you've had to go a very long way into 'stupid' indeed.

And that is, unfortunately, what this film turns out to be. It features the same stupid military mistakes you can see from the very first Action films, the same stupid lines like 'I'll come back for you', the same ridiculously large finale which doesn't really have anything to say and so blows everything up instead; not that it doesn't look great whilst doing so.

That Edwards - again, a man who made a monster movie about things - has been given the ultimate monster about something and squandered the opportunity to comment on anything is really a bit of a travesty. The best Godzilla can manage is a handful of nods to discussions about nuclear, hardly the pressing topic of the moment on the world agenda. The terrible beast that once undercut world superpowers to make important points about global events? I am afraid he has been tamed.





By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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