[Movie Review] Godzilla

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor Johnson deliver strong performances.

The legendary city-destroying mega monster, Godzilla, has appeared in countless comics, video games, movies, and TV shows ever since he first debuted in the 1954 Japanese film, Godzilla. While movie remakes of the big ol’ reptile are hit or miss, the latest reboot hits a skyscraper-crushing home run. Emotional performances from powerful  actors like Bryan Cranston and Ken Watanabe keep the movie grounded in human struggle, so that by the time Godzilla emerges with some of the most impressive computer-generated imagery (CGI) ever seen, you’re 100% hooked.

British director Gareth Edwards succeeds in bringing together the right movie elements, because he honors what made the original such a classic. The 1954 Godzilla was released almost a decade after the World War II nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan by the USA, and it served as a symbolic story about the dangers of military science. Here, the parallels are to the 2011 real life Fukushima earthquake that caused a nuclear disaster in Japan.

The plot follows the Brody family, with Cranston playing father Joe, an engineer at the Janjira nuclear plant that is destroyed by earthquakes early on in the flick. The suspense builds as Joe begins to realize his “crazy” conspiracy theories about the government covering up the true cause of the earthquakes just might be true. While Godzilla doesn’t show up until halfway through the movie, there’s enough horror in the little things – a pencil sliding down a table, bats and seagulls freaking out for no reason – that you’ll feel the goosebumps long before the mega monster.

In fact, the movie blends creepy science-fiction scenes together masterfully, whether it’s the alien-like archaeological dig that unearths bizarre fossils or the Jurassic Park style man vs. primal beasts as Godzilla and the two other huge creatures he battles cause chaos among humans. Of course, once the climax hits, with absolute city-crushing destruction and madness, you’ll be smiling with wide-eyed entertainment. So, our final verdict? We give this reboot a solid “A”.

Images courtesy of Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures.