Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Godzilla

Lowdown: When giant monsters attack the earth, the world has only one way to defend itself.
Review:
I don’t mind silly fun, and as such I did not mind 1998’s Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla that much. I actually quite enjoyed it. But still, the only reason I sat down to watch the 2014 version was Walter White (you might know him as Breaking Bad’s star Bryan Cranston). Sadly, I was disappointed on all fronts with this new take. Yes, I was disappointed by Walter, too.
The premises offer an interesting take on past Godzilla efforts. Instead of the past takes telling us Godzilla & Co were the result of humanity’s nuclear bomb experimentation, this new Godzilla tells they were actually cover up for humanity trying to exterminate some giant monsters it bumped into. Only that they turned out to feed on radiation rather than be threatened by it.
Now, or rather 15 years ago, a mining operation gone wrong ended up exposing such a monster. Seeking the nearest centre of radiation it went directly for a Japanese nuclear power plant, where it wreaked Fukushima style havoc and – amongst others – killed Joe’s (Cranston’s) wife (Juliette Binoche in an extremely short a role) + orphaned his son. But that was it; the monster went dormant, under the covert control of Male Scientist (a Ken Watanabe whose main acting task was to open his mouth and appear astonished throughout) and Female Scientist (the severely overqualified Sally Hawkins).
Roll back to the present, and Joe is still trying to find out exactly what went on that day in Japan. He gets himself arrested, which sends his now American soldier of a son, Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), all the way back to Japan to get him on parole. But now the two of them get into trouble together as they investigate, and in the process – look at that amazing coincidence – witness the unleashing of indestructible huge dinosaur like monsters upon the earth. Most notably upon San Francisco, because the earth always deteriorates to the USA in American movies.
What follows is a dreadful film by all accounts. With all the stars at its disposal, Godzilla picks Ford's character to be our hero for the duration of the movie. He’s the ultimate good, the loyal family man, the good looker white boy, the never faltering American soldier. Let’s just say I would have preferred him being called General Motors instead.
More seriously, nothing in Godzilla makes sense and nothing tries to. It’s all a bunch of clichés, stuff we’ve seen time and time again from similar movies coming at our direction directly out of Hollywood’s arse. Single dimension characters, American goody two-shoes values stuffed down our throat, and absolute reliance in special effects to drive anything larger than an ant – they’re all here.
Overall: A movie that takes such a collection of fine artists and makes them look incompetent has to be special. So special it is better avoided. This new Godzilla resides somewhere between 1.5 to 2 stinky crabs out of 5.

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