What if during the fifties, the United States and the Russian atomic bomb testing in the south pacific was not actually testing at all, but maybe the government’s secret strikes on an unexplained creature. “Godzilla” is back and he is more powerful and exciting than the original back in 1954.
In 1999, news gets out about a cave-in at a mine in the Philippines Islands, Dr. Ichiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe), a Japanese scientist, decides to go visit to see if he can find out what caused it. He has devoted his entire life to try and discover the location of "Godzilla" and will stop at nothing to find it. When he arrives with his assistant and devoted colleague, Dr. Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins) they find that something else may be threatening the world after what the collapse has revealed.
When an earthquake threatens to destroy a Nuclear power plant in Janjira, Japan, Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) the facilities top engineer, tries to find a way to save it from a meltdown. Things don’t go well for Joe and his team of engineers. An unusually high tremor causes an accident that destroys the compound and forces everyone to evacuate and abandon their homes. Fifteen years later, the now abandoned Nuclear power plant in Japan faces a similar fate it faced when an earthquake hit it in 1999. Now it threatens to become something more devastating when it happens again.
In San Francisco Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), the son of Joe Brody and a Lieutenant in the United States Navy who is a specialist with disarming bombs, is notified about his father’s arrest in Japan. His wife Elle Brody (Elizabeth Olsen), a nurse at the local hospital, encourages him to go and help his now aging father. When Ford arrives in Japan, he finds that his father has discovered that the incidents from the past are reoccurring. When they arrive on the abandon nuclear site they discover something more.
Director Gareth Edwards does a great job with reintroducing the Godzilla from the fifties and modernizing him to the present. He keeps with the original character style and advances the story to fit for our times. The special effects are realistic for most and actually seem like they are being shown live on the news. Because these creatures are mythological some of the effects can be hard to believe, but are presented well and help the story move along smoothly.
This is an excellent film to see in IMAX 3D. The creatures, the mayhem, and the destruction are magnified to bring you into the picture and experience it all. This is a fantastic attempt and much more improved version of “Godzilla” then the previous attempts in the 1990’s. It is a worthwhile see for those science fiction fans and anyone who grew up loving those “Creature Feature” films from the past.
Final Grade: I give this a B+ for its outstanding special effects, exceptional storyline, and bringing back the original creature we know and love.
Release Date: May 16, 2014
Director: Gareth Edwards
Runtime: 123 minutes (2 hours and 3 minutes)
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of destruction, mayhem and creature violence.