Movie Reviews

Movie Review – Godzilla


Roaring onto our screens and with a darker, more menacing makeover is director Gareth Edwards take on the most famous of monsters, Japanese icon Godzilla. Equal parts paranoia thriller and summer event movie, Edwards’ creature feature stomps the memory of the 1998 movie into the ground with a grown up approach and some utterly jaw-dropping, city-sized destruction.

Despite it’s B-movie origins, the original 1954 Japanese release was a surprisingly serious affair, a thinly veiled metaphor for the fear that permeated their culture at the destructive power of the atom bomb. While the world has moved on, an increasing reliance on nuclear energy and the perils that brings with it provide the backdrop to the story for Edwards’ beast.


Transporting us back to 1999, we find out that Godzilla is a creature that has been around for a very long time, feeding off of radiation and believed to be residing in the Pacific Ocean. A shady international agency called Monarch, lead by Dr Serizawa (Watanabe), is responsible for ridding the world of the gigantic lizard but their attempts have thus far come up short.

When strange happenings at a power plant draw the attention of American scientist Joe Brody (Cranston), he begins a 15 year journey to uncover the truth.


Godzilla spends the the first half of the movie building tension and teasing glimpses of the titular monster, Edwards restraint behind the lens a testament to how much faith the studio have in him. When the big reveal is eventually unveiled the film is all the better served for the slow and steady build up.

Godzilla is an astonishing sight on the big screen. A gargantuan lizard monstrosity, the sheer scale and foreboding size of the beast is awesome in the purest sense of the word. As the movie begins to gather pace and the inevitable carnage begins to unfold you’re left with a sense of wonderment at Godzilla’s furiously destructive power and the third act is unquestionably one of the most impressive sights you’ll see in a cinema all year.

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Godzilla

The movie is not without it’s flaws; when the narrative switches perspective from Cranston’s scientist to his soldier son Ford (Taylor-Johnson) the story doesn’t grip you in the same way that the initial hunt for the creature does. There’s also the feeling that some of what we’re seeing is set-up for future instalments of the franchise and the two hour running time goes by criminally fast. 

What we are treated to though is a genuine contender for the summer blockbuster; a rip-roaring adventure brimming with spectacular action and a towering performance from the biggest and baddest of all the kaiju. The king is back.

(Images courtesy Legendary Pictures, collider, empire, the guardian)


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