Saturday, May 24, 2014

Godzilla (2014)

Director: Gareth Edwards
Writers:   Max Borenstein, Dave Callaham
Cast:       Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe

It is a re-boot of the Godzilla franchise in which the world's most famous monster 'Gozilla' is pitted against malevolent creatures that has been named M.U.T.O (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism). M.U.T.O's are parasitic in nature and brought about the end of Godzilla's in old times. They feed on radioactivity for their survival and reproduction and mankind's only hope for their own survival is the bigger monster 'Godzilla'.

Continued theme in the film as pronounced by Ken Watanabe's character is that nature balances itself when its order is disturbed and mankind can do nothing to prevent that. In the film the actions taken by the US Army are ineffective when the monsters battle out in San Fransisco and this is a novelty in Hollywood action blockbusters. Many people are complaining about the lack of screen time for the title character. If they want mindless action, they should stick to Michael 'fucking' Bay's monstrosities that are passed as cinemas. What makes this version of Godzilla better than the usual fare is exactly the long buildup some people are complaining about. This foreplay is essential. The payoff is much better and the creators have manged to portray the helplessness the humans are facing with them being just a sideshow as Godzilla and M.U.T.O fight it out. The films works well on a standalone basis with a good but cheesy closure. The proof that they managed to convey the story properly is that people at the cinema in Kerela where I watched this were actively cheering Godzilla in the final battle sequence. Biggest cheer was when it batted the M.U.T.O away using its tail in a fed up manner. The highlight of the film would be the now famous flare parachuters diving into the dark San Fransisco skyline. The version I saw was PG-13 and film has not been released yet in Japan. I guess they would get a version in which there would be some fucked up mating scene involving the M.U.T.Os. 

The original Godzilla series from the 50s were allegorical about Japanese history with the world war and subsequent events. Japanese people were kept in the dark about the setbacks they were facing in the world war and in similar manner the existence of Godzilla was covered up intitially. This 2014 version is a great one-time watch without much Hollywoodization.

Rating: 4/5