“The arrogance of man is thinking that nature is in their control and not the other way around“-Ken Watanabe as Dr. Ichiro Serizawa
Nuclear tests in the Pacific, conducted in 1954, were more than just tests. An international oversight group discovered an entity, that was immune to nuclear blasts.
Over the years, this creature slumbered. Waiting for the moment when forces that threaten to unbalance nature rise, for this creature is born to neutralize these forces.
In the late 90s, one of these malevolent creatures attacked a nuclear reactor in Japan and after the nuclear energy was consumed, it began hibernating. After 15 years, that creature woke up and mankind was left completely unprepared for the reckoning that was to come.
This creature is capable of consuming nuclear energy and the U.S. military has nothing capable of stopping it. To make matters worse, a second creature, specifically a female creature, awakened in the United States and it making its way to its companion in order to reproduce.
Dr. Ichiro Serizawa, played by Ken Watanabe (“Inception,” “Letters from Iwo Jima”), and his assistant Vivienne Graham, played by Academy Award nominee Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”), are the only ones who understand that this predator is the only means of killing these creatures.
Dr. Serizawa even has a name for this monster. He calls it, “Godzilla.”
Director Gareth Edwards (“Monsters”), does impressive justice to this iconic character on its 60th Anniversary. Screenwriter Max Borenstein certainly writes a story that highlights the grandeur of the king of the creature features, but this is a film that needs to be appreciated for it is seen more than what is happening.
The narrative that centers around the Brody family, is a little distracting and it eventually takes a backseat to the monster’s brawl. Joe Brody, played by Golden Globe winner Bryan Cranston (“Argo”), lost his wife Sandra, played by Academy Award winner Juliette Binoche (“The English Patient,” “Chocolat”), in the attack in Japan and he has spent 15 years trying to find the cause of the attack and the reason for the cover-up.
“You’re not fooling anybody when you say that what happened was a “natural disaster,”. You’re lying! It was not an earthquake, it wasn’t a typhoon! Because what’s really happening is that you’re hiding something out there! And it is going to send us back to the Stone Age!“-Bryan Cranston as Joe Brody
Joe’s adult son, Ford, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Kick-Ass,” “Anna Karenina”), now finds himself in the middle of this titanic clash as he is trying to return to his wife Elle, played by Elizabeth Olsen (“Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene”) and his son Sam, played by Carson Bolde, in San Francisco, where the monsters are converging with Godzilla in tow.
“Godzilla” is a movie that needs appreciation for what is visual more than the sum total. The narrative of the film is a distraction/device to give the characters a purpose to be a part of the story and it is shielded by the conflict between Godzilla and the two monsters.
Visually, this film is truly impressive. The visual and sound effects are top notch and make the film a worthy reboot for the king of the monster movie franchise.
There are also a lot of Asian and Pacific tropes and motifs that enhance the authenticity of the franchise and the film does begin in Japan and slowly works it way to America, reflecting the giant creature’s journey to the states via popular culture.
“Godzilla” is an impressive film. Audiences will be satisfied with what they see and it is a passable feature.