Godzilla has a tired script, cliched characters with actors spending too long talking about inconsequential matters, and in some cases the sort of American guff I’d expect from Emmerich, despite the fact that neither he nor Edwards are American. An example of such Americanisms comes when reuniting a child with his forlorn parents, and making a big thing about it. And when it comes to those action scenes which never fulfil their potential, it’s like Edwards has forgotten that this is Godzilla, and we want to see Godzilla kicking the living shit out of everything a lot more, not just in the last 30 mins!
The cast don’t fare much better, either. Cranston’s one of only two worth turning up for (yes, I know I should watch Breaking Bad but I still haven’t got round to it). The other is Brit Sally Hawkins, as another sciencey person, Vivienne Graham. I was very pleased that she’s in it quite a lot, since she is sweet and creamy and uncommonly good.
Of the rest of the cast, Ken Watanabe (as forever-Godzilla hunter Dr. Ichiro Serizawa) spends the entire film with his eyes bulging out of his head as if he can’t believe he ever signed the contract to appear in this dross; Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays Cranston’s son Ford, apparently a Lieutenant in the Marines in 2014, yet with about as much brain power as a stoned hippie; David Strathairn, as an Admiral in charge of big stuff, is normally one of the most reliable actors out there, but he’s so wooden, he doesn’t just phone it in, he barely forgets to even dial!
And worst of the lot is Elizabeth Olsen as Ford’s nurse wife Elle. She looks like she might be the type of gutsy character who’d stand up to Godzilla and tell him to get the fuck out of Dodge unless he wants to end up in a burger, yet spends all 123 minutes doing nothing but crying. And moaning. And being more wet than a wet blanket. Just terrible.
Overall, there’s a distinct lack of excitement about everything that’s onscreen. In fact, for the most part, Godzilla is so boring, it could only have been improved by Nicole Kidman cameoing as Grace Of Monaco(!)
Oh, and I went to see this film in 2D, because that’s how it was filmed. Yes, there are 3D and IMAX versions out there, but none of it was shot in 3D – all that was added in post-production – and absolutely none of it was filmed with IMAX cameras, either, so you’re paying extra for nothing at all.
Despite this film being a massive disappointment, no doubt a follow-up is on the cards. Perhaps with Godzuki, next time?
Running time: 123 minutes
Released: May 15th 2014
Format: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Panavision)
Director: Gareth Edwards
Producers: Jon Jashni, Mary Parent, Brian Rogers and Thomas Tull
Screenplay: Max Borenstein (based on a story by David Callaham)
Music: Alexandre Desplat
Ford Brody: Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Dr. Ichiro Serizawa: Ken Watanabe
Vivienne Graham: Sally Hawkins
Joe Brody: Bryan Cranston
Elle Brody: Elizabeth Olsen
Sam Brody: Carson Bolde
Sandra Brody: Juliette Binoche
Admiral William Stenz: David Strathairn
Young Ford: CJ Adams
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.