‘Godzilla’ barely shakes the Richter scale


Godzilla barely shakes the Richter scale
Image source: cinefantastiqueonline.com

Image source: cinefantastiqueonline.com

By CLIFF WEE

A series of non-random seismic activities lead nuclear physicist Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) in a relentless probe into what he believes to be a cover-up. I would have thought that the first half an hour or so of the trying-hard-to-be-suspenseful storyline would uncover the star of the movie, Godzilla.

But no! Instead of unveiling the massive and powerful Godzilla in a scene that is similar to the T-Rex being introduced in Jurassic Park, I was disappointed. Out crawled some gigantic beetle-like monster known as a MUTO, Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism. Yikes. Unlike the T-Rex scene, this MUTO scene is a mess of blur.

Godzilla was not introduced early in the movie, as I was afraid it would be the case. After viewing the trailers months ago, I had suspected Godzilla would not appear until very late, and I was hoping it was not another case of Super 8 where we only caught a glimpse of the alien near the end of the movie.

Godzilla, however, did make its appearance earlier, but it wasn’t a grandeur entrance. The rather bad 1998 Godzilla portrayed the title monster better.

Image source: bloody-disgusting.com

So what is the movie about? Godzilla is definitely not the star. Its role is unclear. Good or bad, I’ll leave you to decide. At least, I get to understand why nuclear tests are conducted. According to the movie, these nuclear tests were actually collaborations by opposing superpowers to try to kill Godzilla. That is the only thing that makes sense in the movie.

So who is the star? The MOTUs? They certainly have move screen-time than Godzilla.

How about the lead actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson who plays Ford Brody, the son of the scientist? He is conveniently dropped into the thick of the action and is then asked to assist in the hunt for the monsters. Which government organization would engage someone just because he may know what his father had been researching all these years?

The screenwriters try to make Ford as likeable as possible though: having a lovely wife Elle and a young son. While celebrating his birthday with his family, he is beckoned to the other side of the world, Japan, to bail his eccentric father. They conveniently put him into another situation which tries to show he is a good father, but I think his character falls flatter than a carton stomped by Godzilla.

Image source: clotureclub.com

Image source: clotureclub.com

His wife, played by Elizabeth Olsen? She’s certainly a looker. If only she has more screen time in the movie even though her character does nothing much than trying to show that Ford Brody is a good husband and father. She should have been asked along for the ride. At least, we have another Megan Fox to ogle at.

Ken Watanabe as expert scientist Ishiro Serizawa? His expression remains the same throughout the movie. At least, he gets to utter the most memorable line in the movie, “We call it….Godzilla.”

So who is the actual star of this movie? Beats me. Certainly, it’s not Godzilla.

How about the action since this was supposedly to be an action movie? In this age of great special effects, the action scenes were choppy, and dim. An easy way for the producers to cut cost in the CGI (Computer Generated Graphics) department. The action sequence is probably meant to make you feel as if you are part of the residents running for cover and you don’t get to sit back and watch the battles.

Image source: screenrant.com

Image source: screenrant.com

On the whole, it isn’t a bad movie, that is, if you are easily satiated by ginormous monsters creating havoc in populated cities with high-rise buildings, but it is nothing compared to World War Z. With other blockbusters like the X-men and Transformers coming round the corner, Godzilla would soon be left in the deep abyss in the oceans.

Is it a movie made for IMAX 3D? If you love looking at the half crumbled high-rise buildings from the helicopter views occasionally, IMAX 3D would be an experience. But that could not be compared to the web-swinging Amazing Spiderman, which, in IMAX 3d, was awesome.

Watch it if you have nothing to do. Or you are a long time fan of Godzilla, and you want to know how you got excited during your childhood and want your sons to enjoy the experience as well. I’m sure boys would love such a movie of mass destructions.

Rating: 3.0/5 (TALK-o-meter: “Okay, I guess? Could be better.”)
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