A little late on this, but, hey, I’ve been busy…
I liked the new Godzilla movie quite a lot, but it wasn’t what I expected.
I was anticipating a much more bombastic, action-picture treatment of the story.
Instead, we got a much more thoughtful, slow-building tale in which our hero doesn’t fully show his scaly face until things really heat up in the second half of the picture.
The director also spent a lot of time showing the monsters using a human-sized Point of View, often looking past humans as the monsters tear the place up. While that sometimes meant turning the POV away when things heated up, I though it a valid suspense-building choice.
I’ve heard some people say they didn’t think much of the human elements of the story, and while I’ll admit that the human story didn’t hit me hard in the gut (as it did in the original Gojira), I was impressed that people didn’t spend a lot of time panicking and doing stupid things. Rather, they ran when they should run, hid when they should hide, and generally behaved in a rational way consistent with self preservation in the face of giant monsters. And, in our hero’s case, consistent with trying to get home to his family.
I found it especially pleasing that the military wasn’t filled with bombastic hotheads — but rather was shown as involved with careful planning (and backup planning) and filled with people wiling to sacrifice their lives to protect others. (This has been my impression of people I’ve known in the military.)
As to the big guy himself… a big improvement from GINO (Godzilla In Name Only — the 1998 version), and very much like the G we’ve known and loved for years. I was — SPOILER! — surprised when he turned out to be more of a hero than villain, though obviously he remains a dangerous dude. I thought this an interesting balancing act between the early Showa and later Showa personalities. I don’t think they pulled off the “good but very dangerous” balancing act quite as well as the Heisei Gameratrilogy, but it was still a surprising and interesting take.
The MUTOS were okay, too. I liked the fact that there were two, and they were sexually dimorphic. And, of course, I really enjoyed Godzilla ripping them up.
Overall, as I said, a good film. I’d give it a B+ or four out of five stars.
I look forward to the sequel.
(PS — Props to the unknown designer tho did this episode’s header.)