After a hiatus of almost a decade, Godzilla makes his way on to the big screen once again. Pitted against creatures of little known origin spawned by the idiocy and arrogance of man, Godzilla is the need of the hour. Unlike the previous film which depicted him as a marauding monster out to single-handedly destroy humanity just so that he could spawn his own race by laying eggs in stadiums, Godzilla, this time around is humanity’s last hope. The film starts off with the discovery of a prehistoric fossil in Phillipines which shows signs of something making its way towards Japan. A nuclear Plant in Japan is the next target which experiences strange siesmic activity leading to the whole plant collapsing. As a result, Joe(Bryan Cranston) looses his wife to the debacle and is left with his son to rue the fact that he sent her down to meet her end himself.
He sets out to nail the reason behind the catastrophe and after fifteen years of searching, lands up with some substantial facts. His son Ford(Aaron Taylor Johnson) who is now grown up and an EOD lieutanant is just in town to be his company. But Joe is a tad bit too late as two mamoth creatures reffered to as the MUTA sprawl up from whatever the Japanese were hiding beneath the Nuclear plant that Joe was employed in. The MUTA start wrecking havoc and making way for mating and bringing more of their kinds amidst us but the appex predator has other ideas. Revealed by Dr. Serizawa(Ken Watanabe), Gojira, the appex predator makes his way towards Hawaii to face off with the MUTA and restore balance on earth. What happens next?
For all those who were expecting a reboot or even an origin story would be taken aback by this film. I was hoping that this would be an origin story but it turned out to be more of an episode of the Godzilla franchise which already had a beginning somewhere and didn’t exactly end with this film. The creature created with the best of visual effects of recent times looks and feels like the Godzilla of old times but life like real. One has to agree that Godzilla isn’t a monitor lizard lookalike as we were led to believe in the 1998 version. This Godzilla is more in line with the classic of the Toho company. The MUTA is created with vengeance and it wrecks havoc with utter lack of any compassion or remorse. The face offs between the MUTAs and Godzilla are terrifying as we know that Godzilla is the only one who could actually save us from annihilation.
The film gets the drama right and real. Be it the initial buildup or the drama between the father son duo of Cranston and Johnson, it never feels like the cheesy comic book drama that we are accustomed to from films of this genre. One would actually feel for the characters and that goes down a long way into making the fears and the screenplay more exhilarating. The film offers continuous edge of the seat moments and thrills which are not of the comic book sort. The film is dark and gritty and you have major characters dying. This isn’t exactly the feel good film that you might be expecting as by the time we are done, the news reads that there are still thousands missing. But all is well with the characters we care about and that is a relief.
Godzilla’s origin is never revealed and the set of super powers that he possesses and unleashes on the MUTA does point towards an extraterrestrial origin. The MUTA on the other hand resemble the Kaijus from Pacific Rim and the Japanese films and TV shows of yester year. Their faceoff is truly legendary to look at. Gareth Edwards who helms the direction for this film has developed a style of his own in which he shows lesser of creature violence and more of emotional buildups and fanatical situations showing glimpses and suggestive presence of the creatures. This is a style that he coined when he was making the low budget Monsters which he practically shot, edited and animated single handedly. In a big budget Godzilla movie, the same style still holds its own. Don’t misunderstand me by thinking that there is not enough action. There is practically as much action as you can fathom. The lover of the genre will find every ingredient that they look for. But Edward’s signature are over every scene.
Godzilla is the ultimate summer blockbuster for every age group. There is just enough logic and drama on the plate to justify the action and make the audience connect to the characters. Godzilla is the new rockstar on the block and he gets a hero’s sendoff by the time all hell settles down.