October 18, 2014


Gareth Edwards, 2014
Edwards decides to take on the ambitious task of rebooting the 60 year old Godzilla franchise, 16 years after the previous (and awful) Roland Emmerich version. Edwards can seemingly only go up from there, and was coming off the more subtle (and pretty good) 2010 aptly-named monster-film Monsters. He certainly demonstrated some abilities in pacing and build up of tension in that film, which he certainly put to use here. He makes a few good decisions right off the bat, first off with not casting Matthew Broderick (whoever the casting agent that thought it would be a good idea to put him in big budget action film should've probably changed careers, and probably did). He instead takes a chance on lesser-known actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson to play hero Ford Brody, who comes off as sort of a Logan Lerman-type without the charm. The studios continue to force Elizabeth Olsen upon audiences, who is quite unremarkable as Ford’s wife Elle. There is some veteran actingat work, with Sally Hawkins and David Strathairn in supporting roles. None of them really get the opportunity to shine, at least not as much as Bryan Cranston. Cranston is the stand-out performance of the film, and unfortunately when he departs a lot of the momentum goes with him. Cranston is responsible for a good portion of the films build-up, and by the time that the film reaches the destructive climax it feels it drags on until the very end. There must have been a CGI-quota for high rise toppling. Maybe the special effects team was under contract for 28 destroyed skyscrapers, and they weren’t going to stop until every one of them have been toppled by either Godzilla himself or the insipid grasshopper beasts. Maybe beasts like Godzilla or King Kong are better left preserved in history. They certainly had their place in time. There is a certain unwillingness to preserve certain films, and instead of going in a more inventive direction we continue to reboot everything to the point of exhaustion. Maybe there is a certain magic to those gritty black and white versions. Maybe they don’t need multi-million dollar CGI makeovers. After all, by the time our great-grandchildren are in their thirties... is there going to be 25 Godzilla films that were made?

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