Picture this, a helicopter flies over a lusciously green island. Upon landing, out comes two scientists, a man and a woman, leading experts in their field. They have come to examine findings from an archeological dig. It’s possible that those guessing what film was just described above would guess Jurassic Park, but you would be wrong. It is the opening scene of Gareth Edwards' version of Godzilla. Granted, this monster is in most opinions some type of reptile, but as an avid Jurassic Park fan, this opening scene could have gone a different way so that Jurassic park wasn’t in mind for the first third of the movie.
Jurassic park paralleling aside, this summer blockbuster was pretty good. Visually, Godzilla did wonders with its special effects. With all the superhero films, or should it be Marvel films, to compare it to, the special effects were well executed. It probably helps a film when the director is known for his special effects skills as well. With the same amount of special effects credits as directing credits, this film is a good representation of Edwards’ skills. Godzilla the monster stays true to its form from the 1954 Japanese original version.
Although Godzilla is great visually, it shouldn’t be the main thing carrying this film, which sadly it is. The acting fell through and didn't capture the gravity of the film. Although we expect to have the majority of the story be about a giant lizard destroying the city, actors with emotion are necessary too. Bryan Cranston as Joe Brody was great but died 40 minutes into this 123 minute movie. Aaron Taylor Johnson who plays Ford Brody, Joe Brody’s son, does not convey the emotion necessary to carry the rest of the film.
Despite the struggling performances from the cast, this film had its high points. It was surprising to see so much of the actual monsters. Usually all the audience gets is bits and pieces of the monster through video cameras or photographs in epics like this, but a good portion of the film showed the monsters in all their glory. The battle scenes were so much more engaging seeing the monsters in full form. Another great thing about this film is its story. Godzilla finally has a purpose and it isn’t to destroy man kind and its buildings, but to restore balance. There is no more questioning whether this giant lizard is a friend or foe.