“He is a God, for all intents and purposes”
Gojira is a force of nature and director, Gareth Edwards understands that and treats him just like one. Therefore you get to witness the events playing out in the film just like a natural catastrophe, in televisions sets, in second and third hand accounts of the events that are taking place but are rarely there in your face for the majority of this 140 minutes long spectacle. Edwards brings his Indie credentials and sensibilities into it and sparingly uses the Kaijus and the overall action in this movie which leaves the audience asking for more. This will become quite frustrating if you’re of the impatient kind and came expecting a standard summer blockbuster fare. This is one movie that, I can finally say, that just gets it, it gets the genre, it gets the long illustrious history, the political bleakness that goes along with this character and while acknowledging that, creates, mind the pun, a monster of its own.
When you hire actors like Ken Watanabe, Juliette Binoche and Bryan Cranston you can expect class acting. Bryan Cranston owns the short duration of this movie that he is in. He makes you feel for the characters right from the get go and in a short span of the first 10 mins, you’ll grieve for him and his family, the first 40 minutes play out like a family drama but you can feel the sense of impending doom that is building up with each passing minute. Ken Watanabe downplays his role, something that he isn’t really known for, being demure. Aaron Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen’s roles creeped me out as they’ll be playing siblings in Avengers Age of Ultron and for some reason, I just couldn’t get that out of my head, however they did justice to their roles, even though Olsen does tend to suck out the energy of the scenes that she is in. The masterful acting is complimented with one of the best scores that I’ve heard in a long time, Wes Anderson’s frequent collaborator, Alexandre Desplat’s dark,ominous tunes gives you chills, is isn’t as blatant as modern scores, like that of Hans Zimmer these days, but very reminiscent of John Williams’ score for Jaws. The story is rich in establishing the world that they live in, the movie does not make haste while establishing the backdrop of the events that took place in the past as well as the present. Most movies tend to leave out the events that are taking place at a ground level and focus on the bigger plot which compromises with the soul of the film. Here you’ll see people die, and barely survive the Kaiju battles, as the cities reel in their aftermath. I would advise you to watch this movie in 2D, as projectionists here are still yet to learn the art of lighting a film properly during a 3D screening. As Kaijus emit EMP which engulfs their surroundings in darkness it gets incredibly frustrating when you miss half the details of the action that take place.
And finally, Godzilla, when you get the first full look at him and he roars right at you, I assure you’ll get goosebumps, a very few movies tend to generate that feeling of satisfaction and the slow, methodical build up definitely pays off big time. If there ever is a moment of triumph, you feel while watching a movie, that makes you want to pump your fist like Bender from The Breakfast Club, this is it, but wait, this will not be the only time you’ll want to do so. The sparing use of the Kaijus especially Godzilla, as I said previously, leaves you wanting more. This isn’t Pacific Rim that they can afford to go all guns blazing as they only have a total of 3 Kaijus and Gareth Edwards’ Indie methods to sway away and work around the carnage is highly laudable. You can only show so much of the Kaijus going at it, without it becoming repetitive. As we live in a world where we can proudly say that, “I saw a Mecha behead a Kaiju in flight, with a sword extended from its arm, what has this movie got to offer?” Well, as much as I love Pacific Rim, when you see Gojira power up for the Atomic Breath it just blows everything you’ve ever seen out of the water.
I do not remember getting as many goosebumps in the theaters, as I did while watching this movie. I hope you enjoy this movie as much as I did. I’ve been a fan of this genre for a very long time and it is immensely gratifying that those sentiments are respected and visualised especially with the tiny nods like the filmmakers actually finding out a way to write: Godzilla- King of Monsters without making it cheesy.