I'm a freelance opinion haver, currently residing in Brisbane's West End. I'm having opinions mostly on stuff shown in cinemas and that are put in front of me on a plate. I don't have a blog because I'm much too lazy to keep it up. Same for Twitter.
One of the most anticipated non-Marvel films of the year is definitely Godzilla. By now, it's a rare person who hasn't come across the titular monster in one form or another. Either in the Japanese series of films from the 1950s utilising miniature cities and men in rubber costumes to the completely forgettable, Roland Emerich directed, heavy on the CGI, disaster porn film of 1998. Godzilla and giant Kaiju have become part of western popular culture as is evidenced by this year's dumb but entertaining Pacific Rim.
In the original film, Godzilla was a monster to be defeated by humanity. In subsequent films, he became a super-sized super hero of sorts, fighting foes such as King Kong and Mothra and saving the world.
This iteration of Godzilla is somewhere in between.
In the 1950s the US Government tries to kill him by exploding a nuclear weapon next to the giant monster but instead only succeeds in driving him deeper underground/under water and hiding there until the present day. However, something awakens Godzilla in the present day and then he goes hunting.
As far as plot goes, that's as far as I can go without ruining the whole story for you.
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) who plays Joe Brody, is featured heavily in the trailer and gives a suitably intense performance as the possibly crazy (but we know he's not) father of Lieutenant Ford Brody(Aaron Taylor-Johnson of Kick Ass). Ford is the closest this film gets to a human star and the film mainly follows his exploits as he attempts to get home to his wife Elle (Elizabeth Olsen) and son Sam who also happen to be in the path of destruction. The main cast is rounded out by Ken Watanabe at his intense, scenery chewing best as Dr Ishiro Serizawa a man who has been studying giants like Godzilla in secret for many years.
All the actors give suitably credible performances and apart from possibly Cranston and Watanabe, play their roles dead straight.
The CGI is fantastic and really brings the monster to life showing the immense strength in the ponderous movement of such a giant creature. The 3D conversion was skilfully done with nary a conversion artefact to be seen. Although, the movie could have done away with the 3D all together and been none the worse. I maintain that the only non-animated film in the most recent crop to use 3D properly and to its full effect is Avatar.
The sound editing was another integral piece of the experience which did not disappoint. The film used every trick in the book including: a subtle score which faded in and out as necessary, periods of near silence, and low rumbling roars that are felt in the bellies of the audience to convey a sense of isolation as well as showing the alien nature of the titular monster.
My one real problem with the film, (SPOILER ALERT – SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON'T WANT TO HAVE SOME OF THE ENDING SPOILED) even though it has everything going for it, is the fact that the humans don't actually do much. In fact, Lieutenant Brody mainly moves from disaster to disaster narrowly avoiding getting killed each time until the end of the movie when everything is solved without the intervention of humanity.
Godzilla is an entertaining popcorn flick that will entertain most of the same people who enjoy any film put out by Marvel and DC. It's not going to win any Oscars for the performances but then again who expects that from this type of film? Go see it if you're into explosions and destruction on a grand scale.