When I was 3 years old, my mom and dad took me to see my first movie in theaters, Jurassic Park. One night I stayed over at my grandparent’s house, and my grandfather had a gift for me. Knowing I loved dinosaurs, he gave me three movies, three movies that would forever change my life. Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster, and King Kong vs. Godzilla. I watched these movies religiously, pausing each monster fight so I could study and draw the creatures on the screen. Because of Godzilla, I went to art school to become what I am today, so to say the least…I am a very big fan of the franchise.
Godzilla is a summer blockbuster that feels like it was made in another era. It’s as if Stephen Spielberg from the 70’s had today’s technology. One of the first scenes of the film is a wide shot of a helicopter flying over the jungles of the Philippines, reminiscent of Jurassic Park. Jurassic Park and Jaws are great movies to compare this to because the pacing, mood, and tone is identical to those films. We get glimpses of the monsters, but just enough to keep us on the edge of our seat with our eyes glued to the screen in anticipation of the next monster sighting.
All the buildup pays off during the final act of the movie. When Godzilla comes ashore to fight his two new villains, shit really goes down. As you watch these monsters fight, you get a true sense of how HUGE they really are as they slam each other into buildings and crush everything in sight. Each punch delivered is slow and heavy, the audience can feel the impact of the carnage. The fight between Godzilla and the MUTOs is without a doubt, the coolest battle in the modern era of Hollywood blockbusters.
The acting is a mixed bag, but never veers into “bad” territory. Bryan Cranston was an amazing choice for this movie and all his scenes are intense, emotional and gripping. Unfortunately he does not have much screen time. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is decent in his role as Ford Brody. He isn’t a bad actor; it’s just that his character doesn’t have much personality. He helps move the story along and that’s about it.
Overall, the movie was ALMOST perfect. As a huge Godzilla fan I couldn’t be happier. The character was treated with respect and the movie was high quality all around. The only “bad” things that I can say about the film are that his enemies, the MUTOs, lack the personality of his classic villains, and that the classic Akira Ifkube score was not present at all. It would have made the movie even more amazing to hear the score as Godzilla fought.
Go see this movie immediately. I have no doubt that this will be the best movie to come out this summer and maybe even the year.
Written by: Chris Kulik