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MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe
Runtime: 2 hrs 3 mins
What It Is: Something is causing a seismic disturbance in Japan and it has been since a giant Earthquake struck the Philippines in 1999. At the quake site, Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Watanabe) and his assistant Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins) stumble upon a spore within a giant cavern. This spore is perceived to be alien. Meanwhile, in Japan, a gigantic tremor has destroyed the Janjira power plant run by Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston). During the meltdown Joe’s wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche) was killed and Joe began to lose his sanity. Flash forward 15 years now Joe’s son Ford Brody (Taylor-Johnson) is a Lieutenant in the United States military. He himself is now a husband to Elle (Elizabeth Olsen) and father to 3 and a half-year-old Sam. That spore unleashes a monster and now only the King of the Monsters, the legendary Godzilla can save humanity.
What We Think: While Edwards does a great job with the scope of this project, often times his cut from the action makes me angry. I bought my ticket to see Gojira beat the crap out of some monsters, and while he did often let the monsters duel these were interrupted by a cut to news footage looks at the very same fight. This isn’t the way I want to see that happen. I felt Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Ford character was rather wooden and didn’t emote near enough to warrant the emphasis on him. Elizabeth Olsen’s Elle was the humanity of the film as she waited for Ford to return while trying to help Sam escape a city under siege.
Our Grade: B-, It doesn’t quite get to that A material level. It’s far too saggy, and the plot tends to drag. A misuse of certain characters (and no I’m not talking about the big guy). What stops this sometimes boring film is Gojira himself whenever “da big guy” is on screen it is just a wonderful thing. Kudos to Legendary and Gareth Edwards for getting the look and feel of Gojira right, and let’s not talk about that ROAR which is just amazing. Go see it…in IMAX like a normal person should!