Aaron Taylor-Johnson in “Godzilla”
Easily this summer’s most hyped and long awaited film, Godzilla, had one hell of a three day haul at the box office and now it has two planned sequels set for future summers. Granted, this is great for fanboys and lovers of the reptilian like creature, but is it really necessary? The film is entertaining, but isn’t true to itself or its original source material. Godzilla or Gojira was originally a reaction piece to the terror and aftermath of the US dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The creature of Godzilla was created from the radiation’s effect on the earth and those living on it. This Godzilla takes a step back from the science and questions asked in the original to provide you with a new film without substance or anything really to say.
Joe (Bryan Cranston) and Sandra Brody (Juliette Binoche) work at a power plant in Japan, Both hold high positions within this plant and are fairly new employees of it. Tremors have been occurring in and around it lately and Joe would rather have an explanation for his boss as well as the most recent seismic readings. Joe’s plan is to have it the plant shut down, but doesn’t want to upset his Japanese employers. So after arriving to work he sends his wife to collect new data so it can be readily shown to his board of directors at a meeting he requested. What stared out as a normal day turns into a pure nightmare for Joe as the nuclear reactor suddenly melts down and he is forced to shut his wife and her team behind a blast door. Leaving him to raise their son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) alone.
Fifteen years later Ford has moved on from this horrific event and is returning to his wife Elle (Elizabeth Olson) in San Francisco from his final tour in the military. Upon getting home to his family, Ford is once again called off to help his father in Japan. Joe has been caught trespassing on restricted government property and is now believed to be delusional. Ford thinks his father is unable to let the past go, but lures him onto restricted property with him in search of missing data. Once arrested, Joe and Ford are brought to a facility where they are detained but scientists at said facility start to look at Joe’s data and compare to their own almost unable to believe its authentic. Suddenly Ford begins to believe his father may be onto something.
For a film called Godzilla is spends a good portion of it not talking about him or even letting him appear until it’s almost to late. Godzilla battles an evil bug like creature called the Muto. This bug has one plan only mate with its opposite and destroy humanity. Godzilla however, fights for humanity this time around and yet military personal are seen firing at him hoping to take the beast down.
Admiral David Stenz (David Strathairn) enlists the help of Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) with the situation quickly growing out of hand. Serizawa was the man whom originally discovered the shell from which the Muto came from. However, with every move the prehistoric beings take Stenz asks for guidance and Serizawa changes his answer each time. Serizawa and his assistant Dr. Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins) decide to lure beasts out into the ocean with nuclear missiles, seeing as though they feed off of it. This plan however, falls through and eventually they hope that Godzilla would just deal with them. Not that anything could be done anyways when anything that is thrown at these creatures just simply bounces off.
Godzilla is hardly worth the hype that was built around it, let alone a memorable film from this summers list of blockbusters. The acting is great from Bryan Cranston as he plays the loveable father turned delusional trespasser. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is a believe hero turned family man, and David Strathairn is the perfect admiral for any mission you could think to throw at him. Sally Hawkins and Elizabeth Olson two phenomenal actors seem like they are in the film just for the ride. Sally Hawkins who was recently nominated for an Oscar in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine seems to be here because Serizawa needs a sidekick, one with acting chops as good as his. The same can be said for Elizabeth Olson whom practically disappears after the first act of the film, only to reappear when Ford isn’t saving the day.
Godzilla is a highly entertaining film yet, it’s a complete disappointment altogether, it has too much going on and isn’t bold enough to ask questions of itself or why any these creatures suddenly appeared from within the hollows of earth. I’d stick to Netflix or give the new X-Men film a try this Memorial Day weekend, because Godzilla certainly isn’t your entertainment solution.