Like many others, I’m not a Godzilla fanboy, but after all the brilliant marketing I was all excited to watch the movie. It had Bryan Cranston and a terrific trailer where you can see how visually beautiful the movie is. This is why I felt I was stabbed in the back when I watched the actual movie.
The movie starts with what I thought were brilliant footage from the 1950s where Godzilla was first ‘dealt’ with, then moves us to 1999 Japan where Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) is a nuclear engineer trying to shut down a nuclear reactor he manages because of weird seismic activity. A disaster happens, and we move in time to see his son, Ford (Aaron-Taylor Johnson), as a father. Joe is now a ‘mad scientist’ trying to prove that what happened in 1999 wasn’t a natural disaster and, guess what, he’s right.
I’m sorry my plot paragraph was that long just to talk about the beginning of the movie, but this is what happens in the film. I thought the first 15 minutes were brilliant as an introduction and build-up for what comes next, but unfortunately the movie forgets all about them a few minutes later. All the science stuff that made the movie very interesting at first were ultimately left aside as the story moved on.
The thing, with Godzilla, is that it has too many stories that tell so little. We have the Joe Brody segment, the Ford helping the military segment, his wife’s (Elizabeth Olsen) segment, the Ken Watanabe segment, and finally the monsters and a few things I don’t want to spoil segment. Those are a lot of segments that, if connected like they should have been, would have made one great overall. Unfortunately, the story jumps from one segment to the other without linking the two the way it should, and the first beautiful 15 minutes felt unnecessary half way through the film. For me, Godzilla was a series of background stories that just don’t add up to make on consistent plot.
And to make things worse, the characters were underdeveloped. We don’t have enough screen time of any character, and no emotional depth whatsoever if we did. Ford Brody is the main character, and he felt like a stranger to the audience at the end of the movie. One scene involving a brilliant as always Bryan Cranston and Juliette Binoche completely dazzled me, but it was alone in a movie that doesn’t go any deeper than the screen it’s playing on. To be fair, the actors gave us decent performances and portrayed their characters just fine, but a movie without characters you can relate to is a movie that doesn’t go a long way, if you ask me.
Apart from that, the visuals were stunning, and the monsters were beautiful. However, I wasn’t a big fan of the fight scenes: first, half of those were in the background, and second, I saw giant badass robots fighting monsters almost a year ago in Pacific Rim, so that’s that.
I can also say that the movie was only building up for something bigger, and I’d say it was only the introduction of a movie. But all that build up lead nowhere, and the movie has a very dull ending and no grand finale.
I went to watch Godzilla without considering the original movie or the horrible remakes. I was excited for it, I wanted to love it, I even tried hard to do so, but the movie just didn’t sink deep enough. It was pretty on screen, but I’ve seen prettier. It felt in no way special, just like it made us feel nothing though out the 125 minutes runtime. I wasn’t satisfied.