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Saturday, 17 May 2014

Godzilla (2014)

I was sold with the Godzilla trailer – much as I tried to avoid watching it.  But if member serves me right I saw it before Noah @ IMAX Wadala.  The trailer was so brilliantly made that I sent a shiver up my already weak spine.  My only apprehension after the trailer was – like in many cases before – whether the trailer was the movie.  Godzilla, I am thrilled to say, had much more to offer.

Director Gareth Edwards, sets up a basis for this 2014 caper by first taking us about 60-70 years back in time where a nuclear blast occurred in the Bikini Atoll.  Of course, the same is covered up by calling it a routine testing.  Of course, there is a deep dark secret that the government is keeping from us.  Gareth does all of this interspersed with the titling, without saying a single word.  Truly brilliant!!!

Cut to 1999 somewhere in the Philippines where Dr. Ichiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and his colleague Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins) are called to inspect a mine that has caved into itself.  It reveals a fossil that can be at bare minimum a few million years old.  The Graphics used to show this gargantuan fossil is simply superb!!!

At the same time, Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) – an engineer at a nuclear power plant in Janjira, Japan – is concerned about a burst in seismic activity.  The call to shut the plant is taken too late and he loses his wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche).  15 years later, his son, Ford (CJ Adams / Aaron Taylor-Johnson) has become a bomb expert and is now in San Francisco with his wife Elle (Elizabeth Olson) and 5 year old Sam (Carson Bolde).

Joe continues to work on the conspiracy theory that the seismic activity was more than what meets the eye.  That is when the first of the new creatures emerges in Janjira.  A MUTO – Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism.  But as Admiral William Stenz (David Strathairn) says, “only now it is no longer just terrestrial”.  How does MUTO fit with Godzilla? I am not going to give any spoilers because you HAVE to watch it.

Godzilla is actually very unlike the 1998 or the 1954 versions.  IT first of all doesn’t portray Godzilla to be this horrid monster with an intent to destroy everything in its path just for the heck of it.  There is a solid story that is written by Dave Callaham (Expendables) backed with some great screeplay by Max Borenstein. There is a reason why everything happens and nothing is left to assumption.

Gareth Edwards’ claim to fame is the 2010 movie called Monsters which gave him a BAFTA nomination for best debut.  I haven’t seen it yet but after Godzilla, I have put it onto my must watch list.  Edwards’ use of Visual Effects has definitely put him in line for a few nominations.  Sequences such as the Paratroopers gliding along Godzilla after a 30K foot jump are giving me goose pimples as I type this.

The movie as such may not be brilliant thanks to some really corny dialogues that drag it down.  With some more attention to this angle, it could have well gone on to being a contender for Best movie as well.  Sadly that will not be the case.  That being said, it is still a must watch because it is NOTHING LIKE YOU HAVE SEEN BEFORE.  I can watch it again for sure.  Make sure you IMAX it this weekend. 8 on 10.

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