By Joan Alperin Schwartz
Might as well get right to it. What bothered me about 'Godzilla', directed by Gareth Edwards ('Monsters') is the following...
'Godzilla' is not the STAR of the film. He's barely a supporting player. When the name of the film is GODZILLA, you expect our favorite, fire breathing, over grown lizard to be the main character...Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Who are the main characters you ask? Star crossed lovers - aka MUTOS (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism)...Seriously... that's the name the scientists, way back when, gave to these ancient flying creatures.
Okay, so these two MUTOS are in love and and want what everyone in love wants...a family...And miracles of miracles, they are preggers. Big Mama Monster is having lots and lots of babies...In fact, you can see them glowing inside her belly....
And as any caring mother would do, she wants to make sure her fetuses have lots to eat, so they'll grow up to be and strong.
Only problem with that is, the MUTOS food of choice...RADIATION...and they don't care where they get it.
They gobble up, planes, trains, computers, bombs and that's just for an appetizer.
Time for a quick back-story...
The film starts with several old stills of the U.S. dropping a nuclear bomb on Japan at the end of WW2.
We then move forward to 1999, where nuclear physicist, Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) is investigating seismic activity, at the Janjira nuclear power plant, where he works.
But before he can have his morning coffee, an horrific event occurs, which changes Joe's life forever.
We then flash forward to the present, where we meet Joe's now grown up, hunky, son, Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who's a lieutenant in the Navy, specializing in disarming bombs (convenient)
He lives with his wife (Elizabeth Olson) and their 3 year old super adorable son. It's establish immediately that Joe and Ford are estranged. Seems Joe has become a wee bit eccentric and has all these conspiracy theories, about what really happened at Janjira.
When Joe, who still lives in Japan gets arrested...Ford flies to his rescue and the rest is cinema magic. And that means excellent CGI, showing cities getting destroyed, people being wiped out, huge tidal waves and all kinds of fun destruction, brought on by the two MUTOS.
It doesn't take long before our monster love-birds tire of Japan, say sayonara and go searching for a more radioactive place to call home...That turns out to be, the City by the Bay.
But of course, San Fran is a long way from Japan and the trip requires food...So that means a pit stop in Hawaii and Vegas.
Godzilla, when he finally appears, got a lot of applause at the press screening I attended...The guy should open a Twitter account. He's very popular...And that's why I wanted MORE of him. I just felt cheated at the end and from the lack of response after the credits rolled, I have a feeling others in the audience did as well.
Sally Hawkins, Ken Watanabe, David Strathairn and Juliet Binoche (in a really small part) round out the cast.
'Godzilla' written by Max Borenstein from a story by Dave Callaham, opens in theatres Friday May 16, 2014.
I gave the film 31/2 bagels out of 5.
Check out our Two Jews On Film video for more of my thoughts and what I imagined John's score to be.
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