*WARNING: This post contains spoilers for the newly released Godzilla movie. Readers beware!
Okay, let me preface this pseudo-review by letting you know this was the first Godzilla movie I’ve ever seen. Okay, OKAY stop yelling at me! I know! The big lizard just hasn’t been on my radar until this year. The trailer looked good and all the shirt designs lately had me excited to see what this new movie had to offer!
First of all, I can’t talk about the movie without mentioning my favorite human characters, Dr. Ichiro (Ken Watanabe) and Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston). I very much enjoyed the scientist perspective showing the history of what we encountered leading up to the events of the film. The scene in Japan with Walter White err I mean Bryan Cranston was heartbreaking and set the stage for the human motivation of the film. Both of these characters made me care about the story and had me emotionally invested. Let me also give a small shout out to the writer for not portraying the military as the cold, hard-line prick stereotype, especially Admiral Stenz (David Strathairn). As it became increasingly clear humanity was not in control of the monsters, he began to put his faith in Dr. Ichiro’s belief of Godzilla as “Earth’s protector”. It was nice to have a sympathetic and non-butthead guy in charge for a change right?
Okay, so Walter White err I mean Bryan Cranston’s death was very surprising to me. I definitely did not see that coming. It made sense from the perspective of the story they were telling, including the 15 year time jump, but I was still shocked to see arguably the biggest star in the film die so early. At that point, the focus shifts to his son whose name I can’t remember (the guy from Kick Ass). I really like that actor, but his performance felt stiff and awkward at times. So if I have a nitpick, it was this shift in narrative focus. The son’s family was cookie cut right out of every disaster movie you’ve ever seen. The military dad, the wife/girlfriend nurse, and the kid who just wants to see his dad. I would have enjoyed the movie more if the story went on more of a “Walter White err I mean Bryan Cranston help’s save the world and get revenge for his wife arc”.
So how awesome was Godzilla himself!? I totally got caught in the misdirection the film set up. Maybe because I hadn’t seen a Godzilla movie before? I was totally caught off guard when the initial monster reveal was not Godzilla. I am vaguely aware of the Godzilla universe and that there is a monster named Mothra, however. I really enjoyed the easter egg of the Mothra tank in the quarantine zone. Very cool!
The monster designs were one of my favorite aspects of the movie. I can’t count the number of times I jumped when a monster came out of nowhere or made a noise. So intense! I very much enjoyed the build-up to the final stand-off at the end. I especially enjoyed the way Godzilla “powered up” and “atomic blasts” the Muto’s. I think I might have said “holy shit!” out loud when it happened! It was a super cool moment and one I definitely wasn’t expecting as a Godzilla newbie. And that final kill-shot of the female Muto was freaking epic! It was reminiscent of the T-Rex scene from the end of the first Jurassic Park movie. Sent chills down my spine and my fists pumping in the air!!! I can definitely call myself a Godzilla fan now :).
Overall I’d recommend you check out Godzilla even if you’re a newbie like me. While you’re at the movies this weekend, be sure to check out all the AMAZING Godzilla shirt available this week!