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New and improved 'Godzilla' is a homage to its predecessor

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'Godzilla' movie review

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In 1954, the monster of all movies, ‘Godzilla’ directed by Ishirō Honda was released by Japan’s Toho Co., Ltd., to the delight of millions of viewers. This weekend, Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, along with the visionary new director Gareth Edwards will once again unleash the epic action adventure ‘Godzilla.’

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This latest version of ‘Godzilla’ unfolds across multiple continents and spans several decades, tracing the impact of a series of mysterious and catastrophic events through the eyes of a handful of ordinary people caught at the epicenter.

The film stars an international ensemble cast led by Aaron Taylor-Johnson (‘Kick-Ass’), Oscar® nominee Ken Watanabe (‘Inception’), Elizabeth Olsen (‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’), Oscar® winner Juliette Binoche (‘The English Patient), and Sally Hawkins (‘Blue Jasmine’), with Oscar® nominee David Strathairn (‘The Bourne Legacy’) and Bryan Cranston (‘Argo,’ TV’s ‘Breaking Bad’).

In revamping the story, the filmmakers pay homage to the 60 year old monster whose birth began with a World War II catastrophic event in Japan. During this time, dedicated scientists Joe (Bryan Cranston)and Sandra Brody ( Juliette Binoche) arrive at their jobs at the nuclear plant having sent their son, Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) off to school. Soon they are faced with the destruction of the plant and the devastation of their family unit.

15 years later, Ford is now a soldier with a family of his own and estranged from his father who is convinced that the incident at the plant was not the result of an earthquake.

Bryan Cranston is a versatile actor who is able to deliver great performances in comedy and drama. In the film, he represents the average citizen who struggles to make sense of the event that altered his life and his suspicion that a government cover-up is in place. He brilliantly brings his character to life as he morphs from a self-assured scientist to a broken man who is a shell or his former self.

Aaron-Taylor-Johnson as Ford is the son who is haunted by the event that destroyed his family. As a soldier he is use to solving issues head on. He conveys his character reluctance to interact with his father and his desperate desire to regain the connection between the two.

The anticipation of viewing the mighty monster builds as we are doled out glimpses of a trail that is forged from the jungle to the ocean to a fleeting sighting of a tail. When the monster finally makes his appearance on screen, we are mesmerized by the exquisite detail as he battles his enemies the ‘Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms, ‘Mutos’ by shattering skyscrapers and smashing cars. These gigantic creatures courtesy of CGI are fantastic looking and move smoothly. By using previsualization (previs) and CGI completed shots are blended to create visually stimulating scenes that add to the mystery of the film.

Diehard fans of ‘Godzilla’ shouldn’t worry that this new and improved monster has been upgraded beyond recognition. He still possesses his radioactive fire-breathing capabilities and can throw down with the best of them as he rampages throughout the cities.

The upgraded storyline of ‘Godzilla’ earns its place alongside the legendary original. It successfully incorporates the theme of human resilience during tragedy. It also instills within us our hope that our nuclear infused guardian will appear again when we need him the most.

The film is presented in 3D, 2D and IMAX® in select theatres and will be distributed worldwide. It is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of destruction, mayhem and creature violence. It has a run time of 123 minutes.|

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