There’s nothing like the sound of two giant monsters beating the snot out of each other as us puny humans watch on in terror. Part disaster movie, part action film, giant monster movies continue to grow all around the world. From King Kong to Cloverfield, viewers love to watch titans duke it out. However, no giant monster has received so much fame and infamy as the “King of the Monsters,” Godzilla.
From the moment his name was first uttered in the 1954 Japanese film “Gojira,” Godzilla has evolved to become of the most iconic monsters of all time. Almost sixty years later, director Gareth Edwards tries to give this timeless anti-hero new life in “Godzilla.” Not only did Edwards deliver one of the best Godzilla experiences yet, he also manages to breathe new life into everybody’s favorite thirty-story anti-hero by doing something that Godzilla films have struggled to do for years, create meaningful human characters.
“Godzilla” follows the story of nuclear engineer Joe Brody, played by Brian Cranston, and his son, Ford Brody, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, as they fight to save their planet from utter annihilation. An ancient being labeled simply as M.U.T.O. (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism), begins to terrorize our fragile planet. Godzilla comes to earth’s rescue in hopes of restoring order to the planet. It should be noted that Godzilla comes to EARTH’s rescue, not HUMANITY’s rescue. The film blends the classic disaster film “man versus nature” theme into a well written and compelling drama. The strong human perspective throughout the film gives “Godzilla” a fresh feeling for a new age, but this strong focus on the people can at times overshadow the monster everyone came to see.
The film keeps the King of the Monsters under wraps for a VERY long time. The viewer doesn’t get to see much of Godzilla for the first half of the film. The early part of the film focuses on Joe’s search for the truth about a disaster from years past. Brian Cranston delivers a stellar performance during these early moments, but the focus eventually changes to the impending fight between Godzilla and the M.U.T.O.s. The film’s final half-hour delivers a jaw-dropping monster battle of the ages, it just takes some time to get there. The journey to the finale is a great story in itself, but the end accentuates the fact that there could have been more time spent watching these colossal titans duke it out.
“Godzilla” offers viewers a fresh representation of the King of the Monsters in all his glory. The story’s compelling drama and the truly epic final moments make “Godzilla” an amazing experience. Edwards delivers one of the first western representations of Japan’s classic monster that truly understands the conflict between the human race and Godzilla. The film holds its own against a bold lineup of summer blockbusters, and it ushers in a new age of Godzilla for all the world to enjoy.