With unbelievable special effects, great sound editing, and a great cast, I expected Godzilla to be a powerful powerhouse of a summer blockbuster that would have all of the destruction, explosions and carnage that is expected of the storied franchise. After a series of thrilling trailers and a few exciting looks at the newest imagining of the prehistoric beast, I was really looking forward to seeing an incredibly well made monster wreak havoc.
Instead, I sat through a two hour movie that featured the titular beast for ten or fifteen minutes of screen time. Godzilla got a cameo in his own movie. Instead of being able to fill this article with arguably witty lines like Godzilla roars into theaters, or Godzilla smashes expectations or something like that I’m left trying to think of a way to explain the absence of the most important character in the film – maybe “Waiting for Godzilla” like “Waiting for Godot?”
I don’t know, and either way it doesn’t really matter, because Godzilla was missing. Rather than focus on the beast, the film dedicates the vast majority of its time to the characters attempts to understand what is happening and how they can save humanity. Unfortunately, after paying close attention in the hopes that I would be able to figure out why there were still un-destroyed cities on screen, I still struggled to understand certain aspects of the story. The film is filled with sizable oversights and plotholes that are too big to overlook. They may have been understandable if the film hadn’t taken itself so seriously and had simply followed the mindlessly destructive blueprint put forth by the previous films.
Moreover, the majority of the film focuses on Ford Brody’s attempt to save humanity. Brody isn’t a particularly interesting character, and he’s played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who does a decent job with the role. However, the cast featured other notable actors like Ken Wantabe, David Strathairn, and the very popular Bryan Cranston, which leaves moviegoers wondering why the best actors on the cast list were relegated to less prominent roles. The film never quite felt like it was anchored on a specific feeling or idea, and it may have been a bit more plausible and entertaining had they let the more talented actors carry more of the film.
After a substantial amount of time watching Taylor-Johnson and some of the underutilized cast members prepare for the epic, much-anticipated Godzilla battle, the beast finally lumbers onto screen.
And he looks incredible.
The special effects are finally at a point where Godzilla truly looks like a terrifying, indestructible prehistoric beast, and it’s great. You can almost feel his power with each movement, and it finally feels like the film has become what moviegoers were hoping to see.
Unfortunately, his epic battle scene seems a bit lackluster. Despite his brilliant entrance, in action scenes he seems a bit sluggish, and his attacks seem a bit lackluster. As a result of his seemingly bland attacking ability, the fight scene that was supposed to define the film actually seems to drag on a bit too long, making the whole viewing experience seem like a complete waste of time.
At a little over two hours, the idea that Godzilla only spends about fifteen minutes on screen, five of which are wasted on a boring fight scene, the film doesn’t feel anything like a Godzilla movie. Neither Godzilla the movie nor Godzilla the character were worth the wait, and I wouldn’t recommend waiting for the film to make its way onto DVD. Godzilla is the first movie of the summer that should definitely be skipped.