The world’s most famous and powerful giant lizard returns in a movie titled after his name: ‘Godzilla.’ Directed by Gareth Edwards and written for the screen by Max Borenstein/Dave Callaham, Godzilla presents a view of a world where everything seems to go wrong all of a sudden and rather randomly. The thrill is light, and while Godzilla is the name of the film, it hardly feels like a bulk of the film is based on Godzilla at all which is a solid disappointment.
Godzilla starts off with Joe Brody (Brian Cranston) and his wife Sandra Brody (Juliette Binoche) working at the Janjira nuclear plant as scientists studying Japanese waveform patterns in the earth (which are showing quite the seismic activity already). Unfortunately the reactor zone is damaged by a major tremor and Brody’s wife is the unfortunate victim of a lockdown circumstance to salvage an entire plant from radioactive destruction. Fast forward to the current day, and the bulk of Godzilla focuses on Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who returns home from 14 months at sea in the U.S. Navy to his wife Elle (Elizabeth Olsen) and their son Sam (Carson Bolde) in San Francisco. After finding out his father has been arrested, he heads off straight to Japan and gets engulfed in his father’s conspiracy theories about how their mother died. Soon, these conspiracy theories ring true as a Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism (MUTO) is unleashed. These MUTOs reign destruction on everything in sight, and deviating away from the classical Godzilla, we end up seeing a story that has heartwarming elements for the small portions Godzilla is actually shown.
The biggest disappointment of Godzilla is not just the script or the bland character of Ford being the sole lead in the movie, but it is that Godzilla remains a secondary figure in a movie with his own name on it. The name is not “Ford” but rather “Godzilla” which ends up being a cheap gimmick to sell tickets to something that clearly does not feature Godzilla heavily. While Godzilla is portrayed as more serene, ominous, and even more eerie as a result of fewer scenes incorporating the giant, a lot of the movie seems like a missed opportunity where the CG budget just could not match or fit the entire concept.
Rating: 2/5 stars