With Godzilla, Japanese director Ishir? Honda created a film masterpiece in 1954 that both thrilled and terrified audiences alike. The work was so loved by American audiences that in 1998, an American science-fiction monster film directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich revamped the entire production, once again sending American audiences into a frenzy. Decades after the original, the iconic scene with Godzilla scaling the Empire State Building in the center of bustling New York City has brought this beloved film back into the limelight with Gareth Edward's 2014 rendition.
The cast stars actors Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, and Bryan Cranston. Warner Brothers premiered the film around the world on May 14, and it made its first appearance in the U.S. two days later. The film was released by Toho productions (the mastermind behind the original 1954 release) in Japan.
Visually, the cinematography in this film is off the charts. It's no surprise that since the original movie debuted 60 years ago, special effects have come advanced by leaps and bounds. The rigid and robotic movements of the 1954 revered monster have parted way for a digitally enhanced masterpiece with captivating panoramic views. Edward's choice of camera angles pull the audience right in, sitting at eye level with the gigantic monster as chaos ensues. The action and central plot of the film seem to unfold simultaneously, and the audience is right there at the heart of the action.
Godzilla is still waging war between massive skyscrapers he could be using as chess pawns, but this time he's half a world away from the previous film shot in New York City. Joe Brody, a safety specialist at a nuclear plant, and his wife and son live in Japan. When his wife dies suddenly, he is determined to find out what killed her. But the plot takes a turn here and the focus is now on Joe's son, Ford, where it remains for most of the film.
Viewers who saw the movie on opening night said the energy of the crowd was electric. With mixed reviews from the previous film made in the 90s, everyone was anxious to see what a fresh director and seasoned cast could pull off. The audience's spontaneous applause as they cheered on the ruthless monster said it all: Godzilla's comeback was well worth the wait.
Watch out, because Godzilla's roars may also have the audience running for cover.
If viewers do have any complaints, it's that the storyline is somewhat predictable. But, spoiler alert,: we've known the gist of Godzilla's day-to-day activities since the original debuted. After all, the greatest success of the movie was not a deeply complicated plot with twists and turns at every point along the way, it is the design of the movie that has kept ticket sales high and growing.
Yet, Edward's appealed to a wider audience than ever by including a diverse cast. If anything he has kept fans wanting more, not leaving them simply bored. Who knows what plot advancements will be in the works for a possible sometime in the future.
Godzilla is beautifully ugly, with scaly skin so vividly textured. He's repulsive yet intriguing, and the demolition he causes is equally eye catching. Over the years, filmmakers have parodied and paid homage to this monster versus [insert equally horrifying villain here], but Godzilla has something special that has stood the test of time. Despite negative reviews of the 1998 film, ticket sales at the box office were through the roof, totaling nearly $370 million (unadjusted). Profits from this weekend alone for the 2014 rendition have reached nearly $93.2 million and are expected to grow substantially.
With precise digital rendering and more descriptive images than ever before, audiences can rely on having a far more realistic experience.
Whether or not you're a sci-fi junkie, you may just get hooked after seeing this – there's definitely something for everyone. Lovers of Godzilla lore have predicted this film is just the beginning of a whole new genre of experimental special-effects creations. Fans of the 1998 thriller will not be disappointed with a new take on an old favorite that may leave you sleeping with one eye open for the next couple of nights.