Godzilla – Review
Sixty years after his cinematic debut, the titular Godzilla returns to the silver screen for his second attempt at an American reboot; but while Gareth Edwards’ straight-faced twenty-first century take on the character succeeds in wiping away any memory of Roland Emmerich’s goddawful 1998 version, it fails to be memorable in its own right.
Visually extraordinary and made with clockwork precision, Godzilla feels so preoccupied with being taken seriously that Edwards and co. seem to have forgotten to have made it in any way entertaining. Sure, there’s a multi-generational family aspect to the story; but it’s played with such cold detachment that it becomes swiftly rendered null and void.
Of the human cast, only Cranston manages to give a truly engaging performance; his scientist-turned-conspiracy-nut played with the exact nuance required to keep it from becoming tired. Taylor-Johnson meanwhile is underserved by a thinly-written lead that could just as easily have been played by any jobbing B-list actor (think Sam Worthington), and the less said of the movie’s female characters, the better. Godzilla may be known for destroying cities, but his 2K14 guise manages to do just as much damage to the notion of women in cinema.
Where Godzilla does succeed however is in the visuals; with a superbly designed creature and genuine scope to his battles, it’s a movie let down by a lack of heart and soul, of enjoyment and wonder, and frankly, any kind of humanity.
Catch Van Connor’s reviews in our Movies section and live on Slam Dunk Cinema every Saturday at 12PM on Sheffield Live! 93.2FM or on the podcast via iTunes.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen